The Queensland Chapter of the Australian Academy of Science, the Queensland Division of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Academy of the Humanities invite you to a public seminar on 08 November 2011 to hear some of their leading Fellows speak.

Speakers will be:

Professor Ian Frazer, FAA, FTSE, FRS
Chief Executive Officer, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane
“Cancer and how to avoid it”
Cancer is the consequence of an accumulation of genetic mistakes in a somatic cell, conveying to progeny cells the capacity for dysregulated growth and for spread out with their tissue of origin. Genetic mistakes in a somatic cell are contributed to by lifestyle choices, environmental genotoxins, infections, and bad luck. Failure of our immune system to control genetically damaged abnormal cells increases the risk of cancer. Understanding the basis of cancer allows rational approaches to reduction of cancer risk, and to using the immune system to control cancer growth. Immunotherapy for cancer will become a significant part of cancer control in the 21st century.

Professor Gillian Whitlock, FAHA
ARC Professorial Fellow, School of English, Media Studies & Art History, The University of Queensland
“Living Archives”
The University of Queensland's Fryer Library is now the repository of two major collections of letters exchanged between the asylum seekers held on Nauru during the Pacific Solution (2001-7) and activists who campaigned on their behalf. The Julian Burnside/Kate Durham and Elaine Smith collections are diverse: letters, envelopes, photographs, articles in the media, phone cards, hand-made gifts. These are rich resources for biographical research, yet they also challenge the methodologies that are used to work with correspondence. In this paper I will discuss the scholarly issues raised by these archives, and the importance of these materials for humanities researchers.

Professor Mark Blows, FAA
Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Head of School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland
“Why does evolution fail?”
Evolution commonly fails when we don’t expect it to. In many cases, a population will fail to respond to selection in the presence of the two necessary ingredients for evolutionary change; selection on a trait, and genetic variation for that trait. A fundamental issue in understanding evolutionary limits is determining how the genetic variance evolves under selection, a question that is ultimately related to how genetic variance is maintained in populations. Analyses of selection and genetic variation that consider multivariate relationships among traits are beginning to allow us to understand these fundamental issues.

Professor Suresh Bhatia, FTSE
ARC Professorial Fellow, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland
“Engineering at the Nanoscale”
Porous materials having nanoscale pores (or nanoporous materials) offer a multitude of opportunities for both fundamental and applied research, on exploiting the strong adsorptive forces in such pores in nanotechnologies for gas storage and separation, electrochemical energy storage and in understanding the behaviour of biological cell membrane transport processes. Here, I shall review my group’s research in this exciting area, comprising atomistic simulations of material structure and of the dynamics of confined fluids, in conjunction with experiment, and their applications to hydrogen and methane storage, carbon dioxide capture and storage, as well as the quantum molecular sieving of hydrogen isotopes.

Professor Emma Whitelaw, FAA
Head, Epigenetics Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research
“Epigenetics – the new genetics”
Tremendous progress has been made in our understanding of genetics over the last century. What makes us unique individuals is not just the set of genes that we inherit from our parents. It probably includes other molecules bound up with the DNA in chromosomes. These are called epigenetic marks. The field of epigenetics, introduced by Waddington in the 1940s, is undergoing a renaissance. Recent advances in this discipline will be discussed. Epigenetic states can be altered by the environment and there is some evidence that these states can be inherited across generations, reigniting the debate about Lamarckian-like modes of inheritance.

Event: 2011 Joint Public Seminar
Date: Tuesday 8 November 2011
Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm, followed by a cocktail party
Where: Long Room, Customs House, 399 Queen Street, Brisbane
RSVP: By calling +61 7 3346 6353 or by e-mailing

For more information, please click on the flyer.