Peter Doherty In conversation with

21 Sep 2021

Peter Doherty will be in conversation with Tracy Smart on Peter’s new book, An Insider’s Plague Year, an illuminating glimpse into the scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic from Australia’s most prominent ‘insider’.

Nobel laureate and prominent COVID-19 authority Professor Peter Doherty knows infectious diseases like no other. As citizens and governments around the world became acutely dependent on the capacity of scientists to understand and recommend appropriate public health policy responses to the disease, Doherty and his team have been at the forefront of Australia’s scientific response to the pandemic.

In his always conversational style, Doherty systematically provides a deep understanding of the virus and of the numerous areas of knowledge that have been brought together in the fight against it. Rendering complex medical and scientific issues accessible and providing a fascinating glimpse into how health experts have worked with governments to control and manage the challenge, Doherty also turns his mind to what we can hope for in the months and years ahead, considering even larger questions about the pivotal role of science in our lives.

Laureate Professor Peter Doherty is one of the most well placed individuals to write a walk-through of the past year and a half of pandemic life … Doherty is calm, extremely well informed and passionate about the history of efforts to fight infectious disease.” Books + Publishing

Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with Dr Rolf Zinkernagel, for discovering the nature of the cellular immune defence, research undertaken at the Australian National University, He was Australian of the Year in 1997 and is listed as an Australian National Treasure. Based at the University of Melbourne, Peter continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. Peter explores all things infection and immunity in a weekly column, Setting it Straight, exclusive to the Doherty Institute website.

Peter is a Fellow, or Foreign Associate, of the Australian, UK, US, and Russian Academies of Science, and the French, US, UK and Australian Academies of Medicine. He is also a Fellow of numerous professional societies, has been awarded more than 20 Honorary Doctorates and has published some 500 research papers and reviews. He has published six books for general readers, including the bestselling The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize.

Retired Air Vice Marshal Tracy Lee Smart, AO is a Professor of Military and Aerospace Medicine and Public Health Lead of the COVID Response Office at the Australian National University. She is a physician, aerospace medicine specialist, health leader, and retired Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) senior officer. She was the third woman to reach the rank of air vice marshal in the RAAF. Professor Smart’s ANU roles include provision of public health guidance on COVID-19 and contributing to the development of its Space Medicine program. She is also President of the Australasian College of Aerospace Medicine, a Fellow of the Aerospace Medicine Association (US) and an Academician of the International Academy of Air and Space Medicine.

The vote of thanks will be given by Jane Dahlstrom OAM , Chair and Professor of Pathology at the ANU Medical School, College of Health and Medicine and a Senior Staff Specialist at ACT Pathology, Canberra Health Services.

In accordance to the current COVID-19 guidelines in the ACT, attendees may have to wear masks to attend the event. Attendees are requested to review and follow ACT Health guidelines before attending the event.

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event until 7.30pm.

A bar will be open from 5.30pm in the Kambri Cultural Centre lobby for drinks preceding the conversation.

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