The Science Symposium of the School of Thinking (SOT) is a world class panel of science, innovation and R&D thinkers.
Like Plato’s Symposium, they meet quarterly over luncheon to discuss the SOT strategy and projects.
(In the July 2018 symposium the question under discussion was: How can placebos work in the triune human brain?)
The seven members of the SOT Science Symposium are Sir Gus Nossal, Professor David Penington, Dr Graham Mitchell, Dr John Stocker, Mr Michael Taylor, Mr Peter Turvey and Ms Maria Deveson Crabbe.
Gustav Nossal took his Ph.D. at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Sir Gus has been President of the Australian Academy of Science (1994-1998); a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (1989-1998); and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program (1998-2003). Nossal was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year in 2000. Since 2010, Nossal has been Chairman of the Gates Foundation’s Discovery Expert Group, charged with developing longer-term research strategies.
After graduating in medicine at Oxford David Penington returned to Melbourne as Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne then Dean of the Faculty of Medicine then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne for eight years from 1988. He was Chairman of the National AIDS Task Force (1983-87). He was Chairman of the Board of Cochlear Ltd from 1995 to 2002. His autobiography “Making Waves: Medicine, Public Health, Universities and Beyond” published by Melbourne University Press July 2010.
John Stocker has a distinguished career in pharmaceutical research and extensive experience in management of research and development and in its commercialisation. Dr Stocker is Chairman of the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee, Environment Protection Authority of Victoria. Recently he was a Director of Telstra and a Board member of Wine Victoria. Before that he was Chief Executive of CSIRO and the Australian Government’s Chief Scientist and a member of the Board of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in June 1999 and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003.
At The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) Graham Mitchell made discoveries in immunology obtaining his PhD in 1969. In 1990 he was appointed Director of the prestigious Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading biological scientists Mitchell was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia. He has been an advisor on innovation to the Victorian, Commonwealth, Tasmanian and Northern Territory Governments.
Mike Taylor is currently a Director of the Public Transport Development Authority and the Country Fire Authority. Formerly the Secretary to Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services and Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry. As a result he has been extensively involved in negotiating International, Commonwealth, State and industry agreements on a wide range of transport, security, regional development, water, energy, minerals, agricultural, food, forestry, fisheries, environmental and sustainable natural resource management issues. Mike has chaired international negotiations, meetings, delegations, projects, policy and trade development work in Asia, North America and Europe.
Former Executive Vice President Licensing and Company Secretary of CSL Limited Peter Turvey had responsibility for the protection and licensing of CSL’s intellectual property. Among the many licensing deals he was involved with, the most significant included the Gardasil license to Merck & Co., the licensing of the IscomatrixÂ® adjuvant platform technology to the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers, and establishment of the P.gingivalis vaccine technology collaboration between the CRC for Oral Health and Sanofi-Pasteur.
In 2016 Maria was appointed the CEO of Absolute Care & Health Pty Ltd, a Melbourne-based in-home care provider. Before that Maria was CEO of Marie Stopes International Australia, she was the driving force behind the successful registration of RU486 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. As Regional Director Maria was accountable for operations in the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, PNG, Timor Leste, Cambodia, China and Mongolia. Previously she was the Founding CEO of Aussie Bodies. Under her leadership, Aussie Bodies achieved its number one status within the sports nutrition FMCG category. Maria received the 2014 Telstra Business Women Award for Community and Government (Victoria) and also the 2014 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2016 Maria was appointed an Honorary Fellow, Nossal Institute for Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne.