DEA Scientific Committee

Below is a list of names of Scientific Committee Members followed by brief profiles for each Committee Member.

DEA Scientific Committee Members 

Stephen Boyden
Peter Doherty
Bob Douglas
Michael Kidd
Steve Leeder
Ian Lowe
Robyn McDermott
Tony McMichael
Peter Newman
Sir Gustav Nossal
Hugh Possingham
Lawrie Powell
Fiona Stanley
Rosemary Stanton
Norman Swan
David Yencken

Profiles of DEA Scientific Committee Members

From 1949 to 1965 Professor Stephen Boyden carried out research in bacteriology and immunology in Cambridge (UK), New York, Paris, Copenhagen and Canberra.  From 1965 to his retirement at the end of 1990 he pioneered work at the Australian National University on human ecology and biohistory.  He has published several books on these themes.  Since retirement he has been involved in the establishment and activities of the Nature and Society Forum (of which he is at present Co-ordinator) - a community-based organization committed to improving understanding, across the community, of the processes of life and human and ecological health.

Professor Peter Doherty AC, FRS, FAA is Laureate Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine. He received the Nobel Prize in 1996 and was Australian of the Year in 1997. Recognising the importance of the issue, Professor Doherty has written on climate change and his recent book "A Light History of Hot Air" published by Melbourne University Press has a sub-text promoting this message to a wide readership.

Professor Bob Douglas became Dean of the Medical School, University of Adelaide, in 1988 and for a number of years was Chair of the Geneva based World Health Organization Technical Advisory Committee on the worldwide control of acute respiratory infections. From 1989 to 2000 he  l ead a new National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University. In 2000 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his work on the prevention of respiratory infections in children around the world and on training of public health specialists in Australia. Prof. Douglas has led the development of a new organisation called  Australia 21 www.australia21.org.au  which is building research networks to tackle some of the unsolved problems facing Australian society , including issues relating to sustainability, energy options, sustainable agriculture, youth wellbeing and Australia's international role. He is co-editor  of a book entitled "In Search of Sustainability" published by CSIRO Publishing in January 2005.

Professor Michael Kidd AM is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University. He is an Honorary Professor with the School of Medicine at The University of Sydney and was President of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners from 2002-2006. He has research and education interests in primary care, ehealth, medical education, safety and quality in primary care, and the management of HIV and hepatitis C. He is an elected member of the executive committee of The World Organization of Family Doctors and is their liaison person with the World Health Organization. He also works as a general practitioner in Adelaide and Alice Springs.

Professor Steve Leeder is Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine and Director of the Australian Health Policy Institute at the University of Sydney. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1998-2002. His background includes clinical medicine and epidemiological research and policy development. He has had a long standing interest in the interplay between health and the physical and social environment and has been President of both the Australasian Epidemiological Association and the Public Health Association of Australia. For 18 months from 2003 Steve worked as Visiting Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Professor Ian Lowe AO is emeritus professor of science, technology and society at  Griffith University in Brisbane and holds adjunct appointments at three other universities. His research concerns the influence of policy decisions on use of science and technology, especially in the fields of energy and environment. He directed Australia's Commission for the Future in 1988 and chaired the advisory council that produced the first national report on the state of the environment in 1996. He was named Australian Humanist of the Year in 1988. In 2000 he received the Queensland Premier's Millennium Award for Excellence in Science and the Australian Prime Minster's Environmental Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. He chairs Brisbane's Urban Environment Advisory Committee and is a member of the national Environmental Health Council. He has written a weekly column for New Scientist since 1992 and received the 2002 Eureka Prize for Promotion of Science.

Professor Robyn McDermott is a public health physician who has worked as a clinician, health service manager and epidemiologist in rural Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific. She has served as President of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 2002-04 and as Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia from 2004-9. She has undertaken consultancies with WHO, World Bank, AusAID and State and Commonwealth Departments of Health in the areas of primary health care, chronic disease prevention and management. Her research interests are in the determinants of health in disadvantaged and Indigenous populations, health system improvement and sustainability.

Professor Tony (A.J.) McMichael is Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, at The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. He was, from 1994 until 2001, Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interests over three decades have spanned occupational diseases, dietary influences on chronic diseases, environmental epidemiology, social epidemiological research and, more recently, the population health consequences of global environmental change. During 1993-2001 he has coordinated the assessment of health impacts for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His recent book, "Human Frontiers, Environments and Disease: Past Patterns, Uncertain Futures", was published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Peter Newman is the Director of the Sustainability Policy Unit in the Department of Premier and Cabinet on secondment from being Professor of City Policy at Murdoch University. He is currently co-ordinating the development of a Sustainability Strategy for Western Australia. He has been an elected councillor with the City of Fremantle and is best known for his work in rebuilding the Perth's rail system.  Peter also works on an international level where he studies global cities and is a Visiting Professor with the University of Pennsylvania. His book with Jeff Kenworthy 'Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence' was launched in the White House in 1999 and his 2001 co-authored book is called 'Back on Track: Rethinking Australian and New Zealand Transport.' His 1989 book with Jeff Kenworthy 'Cities and Automobile Dependence: An International Sourcebook' was the first to define and compare how cities around the world were building themselves around car transport.

Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE, FAA, FRS was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (1965-1996) and Professor of Medical Biology at The University of Melbourne. His research is in fundamental immunology with five books and 530 scientific articles in this and related fields. He has been President (1986-1989) of the International Union of Immunological Societies; President of the Australian Academy of Science (1994-1998); a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (1989 to 1998);.Chairman of the committee overseeing the World Health Organization's Vaccines and Biologicals Program (1993-2002) and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program (1998-2003). He was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year in 2000. Other honours include Fellow of The Royal Society of London, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Member of the Academie des Sciences, France, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Emil von Behring Prize, the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Prize, and over 120 named lectureships in ten countries.

Professor Hugh Possingham heads the Departments of Mathematics and Zoology, The University of Queensland and The Ecology Centre (and Centre for Conservation Biology). In 2000 he was winner of the Inaugural Fenner Medal for Plant and Animal Science (Australian Academy of Science) and in 2001 he received the Australian Mathematics Society Medal. Amongst his many interests in conservation biology, he has an interest in biodiversity and climate change. He is a member of the Wentworth Group of Australia's leading environmental scientists who advocate radical and fundamental reform to halt further degradation of Australia's landscapes. 

Professor Lawrie Powell AC, a graduate of The University of Queensland Medical School, is a distinguished hepatologist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of inherited liver disease and cirrhosis. He has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of these contributions.   In 1990 he was appointed Director of The Queensland Institute of Medical Research which, over the next decade enlarged three-fold in size and funding. He was instrumental in the successful development and planning of the new Comprehensive Cancer Research Centre which opened in 2002. Currently, he is Director of Research at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Professor Emeritus, The University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Fiona Stanley AC is the founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research that was established in Perth in 1990. The Institute is multidisciplinary and researches the prevention of major childhood illnesses. Her particular interests are in strategies to enhance health and well-being in populations; the causes and prevention of birth defects and major neurological disorders: the causes and lifelong consequences of low birth weight; patterns of maternal and child health in Aboriginal and Caucasian populations. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, a national organisation with an agenda to improve the health and well-being of young Australians. In 2003 Fiona Stanley was made Australian of the Year for her contribution to child health.

Rosemary Stanton OAM is a nutritionist whose work over the last 45 years has involved public health nutrition, education and consumer issues relating to nutrition. She is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales, is involved with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology (Sydney) in their international work on sustainable use of resources in food production. As well as many scientific papers, Rosemary has authored over 30 books on food and nutrition and writes for newspapers and magazines for the public and the medical profession. Her current interests focus on the interrelationships between healthy diets and environmental factors.

Norman Swan qualified as a paediatrician but is best known for presenting and producing ABC Radio National programs: Health Report and Life Matters and hosting the ABC television program: Health Dimensions. He has contributed to many other radio and television programs. Norman has been Australian Producer of the Year and was awarded a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes for his radio work. In 1988 he won the Australian Writers' Guild Award for best documentary - on scientific fraud. He has also won three Walkley National Awards for Australian Journalism including the Gold and Australia's top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daley Award, twice. In addition to his broadcasting Norman edits his own newsletter, The Health Reader.

Professor David Yencken AO is Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne and Patron of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He is also the convenor of the Australian Collaboration, a collaboration of peak national community bodies. His recent reports include: A Just and Sustainable Australia (Yencken and Porter 2001) and Where are we going: comprehensive social, cultural, environmental and economic reporting (Yencken 2001). His most recent books are Resetting the Compass: Australia's Journey towards Sustainability  (Yencken and Wilkinson, 2000), Environment, Education and Society in the Asia Pacific (Yencken, Fien and Sykes, 2000) and Young people and the Environment: An Asia Pacific Perspective (Fien, Yencken and Sykes 2002 ). He is also the founder and editor of the Tela series devoted to the exploration of the relationship between the environment, economy and society.