Monday, 22 November 2010

Vale, Frank Fenner. May Australia produce more like you.


The Australian sector of the Twitterverse is buzzing this afternoon with the announcement of the death of Frank Fenner, one of Australia's greatest sons.  Frank Fenner, among his family and friends, will be remembered for many things.  For the rest of us there are some major stand-outs:

  1. The eradication of small pox
  2. The introduction of the myxoma virus to control Australia's rabbit plague.
  3. The Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, Canberra.
  4. An interview earlier this year, published in The Australian, in which he said in relation to global warming - "We're going to become extinct," the eminent scientist says. "Whatever we do now is too late."
Frank Fenner came to prominence in a period where so many brilliant men - and some women - contributed to Australia's health and wealth.  These days, increasing numbers of parents plan and save to send their children to private schools so that their children can have brilliant careers. In Frank Fenner's time, so many of Australia's brilliant people came through the public school system to careers which distinguished themselves internationally and are still well regarded and remembered in 21st century Australia.  

Money can not buy a real education or a good brain.  However, paucity of money can destroy public education and put limits on human beings every bit as much as tethers limit horses.  What brilliant minds are our politicians short-circuiting to-day?
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