16 April 2015
Queensland’s first Chief Scientist will be recognised for his significant contribution to scientific research and Australia’s biotechnology industry when USC awards him an Honorary Doctorate at its graduation ceremony tomorrow (Friday 17 April).
Emeritus Professor Peter Andrews AO served as Chief Scientist from 2003-2010, during which time he played a major role in shaping and implementing the Queensland Government’s Smart State agenda which massively boosted funding for scientific research and development.
USC's Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Birgit Lohmann said Professor Andrews’ leadership and distinguished scientific career make him a worthy recipient of this award.
“Before his appointment as Chief Scientist, Professor Andrews worked for over 30 years in academia leading multidisciplinary scientific teams and establishing entrepreneurial research centres and laboratories at several universities,” Professor Lohmann said.
“Not only has he been an exceptional scientist throughout his career, he has been an inspirational advocate for scientific education, research and industry who has had a major impact on placing science firmly on the public and policy agenda in this country.”
Professor Andrews will address USC Science, Health, Engineering and Sport Sciences graduates at the ceremony starting at 5pm.
“When I graduated with a science degree – about the time that these graduates' parents were born – the Australian economy was still happily riding on the sheep’s back and enjoying a succession of mining booms, so the impetus for a knowledge-intensive economy was not strong,” said Professor Andrews.
“Today's graduates will have not only greater opportunities but also greater responsibilities because it is now so obvious, to almost everybody, that our economy can no longer rely on traditional industries alone.
“One of the biggest difficulties facing Australia is the conversion of our research strengths into economic and social outcomes. Graduates of USC, with its emphasis on innovation and regional engagement, will be particularly well-suited to driving that transformation."
Professor Andrews and social scientist Fiona Wood recently wrote Uberpreneurs – a book that explores and analyses the stories of 36 extraordinary individuals who have changed the world for the better with their entrepreneurial spirit and heroic visions
The achievements of some of the book’s subjects, such as Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are widely known. Others are less well known but equally important because of their efforts to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots of the developed and developing worlds.
“The key message of this book, and the one that I hope will be taken up by this cohort of USC graduates, is that the people who really change the world are individuals – not prime ministers or CEOs, but individuals – and they too can strive to be one of those people.”
Professor Andrews was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2004 in recognition of his service to scientific research and the development of the Australian research-based pharmaceutical industry.
— Jane Cameron