Friday, 5 August 2022

It is Rod’s and my great pleasure to be with you this morning to officially launch National Science Week in South Australia.

We have just enjoyed a tour of the STEM Day Out and Careers Showcase in the Goyder and Jubilee pavilions.

I congratulate all the organisations that have contributed to the exhibits not only here, but which are staging events, exhibits or activities across the State.

National Science Week is now in its 25th year and remains an important demonstration of the diversity of opportunities in science whether that’s space botany, robotics, palaeontology or myriad other topics.

The week brings added vibrancy to our city and State with more than 100 events and expands our appreciation of the opportunities arising from scientific endeavours.

To my mind, National Science Week is at least as important, if not more so, as the Adelaide Festival or the Adelaide 500 Supercar event because this is the week when scientists inspire future scientists and we can start to see the sparks which will ignite our future.

From Rod’s and my recent visits to scientific organisations in Adelaide such as SAHMRI, to the exciting start-ups and innovative companies at Tonsley Innovation District, the Australian Space Discovery Centre at Lot 14 and Fleet Technology, we are confident that South Australia is making a big contribution to finding solutions to the significant challenges confronting our world.

This week I have been privileged to recognise several of our young scientists with the presentation of Awards.

Who would have thought it was possible to rethink the ultrasound technology most of us are familiar with as a way of looking into the body from the outside and instead implant it inside the body?

Who would have thought it was possible to implant an ultrasound device to monitor for tumour recurrence and improve bone healing in cancer patients?

That’s what Darcy Dunn-Lawless is going to Oxford University on his John Monash scholarship to research.

Who would have thought of applying techniques and approaches from dealing with anti-biotic resistant bacteria to the problem of weeds becoming resistant to chemical herbicides, which is an increasing threat to world food supplies?

That is what Young Tall Poppy of the Year Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa is doing at Adelaide University.

It is clear to us that we have a generation of outstanding young people who are not only committed to research and applying it to solve real world problems, but who are also committed to inspiring younger students.

In the years to come, I hope to hear more of their “who would have thought it was possible to…” moments

National Science Week encourages students from an early age to develop and maintain and interest in STEM study and careers.

Through the week, the event demonstrates that science is relevant and has positive impacts on our everyday lives.

As Governor, I am encouraging our leaders and future leaders in all fields – especially science - to partner collaboratively with others, share information, seek out and listen to the inputs of those in diverse fields and people at all leadership levels.

Because diversity brings strength.

In that regard I was most interested to hear of the embryonic First Nations Science Festival which aims to explore Aboriginal Technologies and knowledge systems.  Our First Nations peoples were, after all, our first scientists and our first astronomers.

One event will bring together marine scientists with Aboriginal elders to beachcomb Henley Beach – western science interacting with knowledge forged over thousands of years.

I look forward to seeing how this aspect of National Science week develops.

To the National Science Week organisers and exhibitors, thank you for your hard work and commitment to growing National Science Week.

I wish you all the best for a successful week. Already Rod and I can see it’s awesome!