Monday, 15 November 2021

Young Tall Poppy and Unsung Heroes of SA Science Awards

Rod and I are pleased to be here tonight to celebrate and to recognise your outstanding achievements.

Rod, I might mention, is an Oxford‑trained physicist who has also taught secondary maths and physics, so also has a professional interest in your achievements.

Of course, one of my distinguished predecessors, Sir Mark Oliphant, made very direct, and major, contributions to science.

I will have to lend the support of my office in other ways, but lend it I shall. As part of my role as Governor, I hope to champion our world-leading scientific research.

Rod and I recently visited the Upper Spencer Gulf and were struck by the extent to which sustainability was integrated into the activities and outlook of every institution we visited, including industry, educational institutions and others.

Most directly, for example, Sundrop farm is harnessing solar power for electricity generation and fresh water production and using hydroponics to boost tomato yields with less reliance on the vagaries of nature in the sometimes harsh South Australian environment.

This whole visit impressed on us the extent to which science and innovation affect every aspect of our lives.

South Australia has embraced innovation throughout its history.

Many names continue to resonate: Nobel Prize winners Florey and the Braggs, father and son; Basil Hetzel and his ground-breaking work in discovering the link between iodine deficiency and brain damage in unborn children.

There are many others. Their legacy is your inspiration.

You are the generation of scientists who will develop the answers to our pressing questions and needs - and who, in turn, will frame questions we cannot yet anticipate but which will inspire those who come after you.

The innovation, research and collaboration that is being conducted in our universities and scientific institutions should be a source of pride for all South Australians.

The Adelaide Bio-med City and Lot 14 which bookend North Terrace ensure that our quest to be at the forefront of science, medicine and space technologies is a reality.

There are so many more examples one could give.

I thank the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, Inspiring South Australia and National Science Week for organising these awards.

Recognition early in a career is a wonderful accolade and motivator.

By shining a spotlight on our outstanding researchers, we not only understand and appreciate the impact their work is having but encourage others to explore careers in science.

I was pleased to see that this year for the first-time recognition is also given through Citizen Science awards, honouring a long and respectable tradition of the citizen‑scientist.

To all the nominees and winners, we are proud of your work.

As humans we are wired to be curious about our world; to explore and embark on the fascinating journey of research and collaboration; overcoming the frustration of setbacks and the determination to try again and again.

We don’t have all the answers yet; but they are there waiting to be found.

Long may you contribute to that quest of discovery.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC


Coming events