“Rather than retreating into isolation, our researchers and research institutions know global collaboration is essential. We must always remain open to the world – and engage deeply in the world.”Professor Deborah Terry AO – National Press Club Address, 26 February 2020
What role do universities play in our communities, in business and in the wider world? What future is there for researchers, scientists and experts in a world of ‘alternative facts’?
On Wednesday 26th February, Professor Deborah Terry, Chair of Universities Australia, addressed the National Press Club of Australia. Her speech journeyed through topics including academic freedom, managing the risk of foreign interference and of course the current plight of students and families dealing with the Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis. She also reminded the audience of the many ways universities contributed in the recent bushfire emergencies, from social scientists advising on mental health, to fire experts, conservation and water scientists.
Below are some of the themes I picked up whilst listening to the address, highlighting in particular the role of universities in communities, in business and in the world:
Towards the end of the address, Professor Terry brought the focus back to the international students who are now such an established part of our university communities. She acknowledged the impact of international education on our society and the economy, but even more so, the importance of cultural exchange and human interaction. As she notes, “You can’t put a price tag on friendship, understanding and goodwill.”
By the way, here’s the first draft mindmap I made whilst listening to the address, for those of you who like to see the ‘making of’. Not quite so pretty first time around!