HERDSA conference 2006 home page
  Keynote speakers: Professor Ian Frazer
  Photo of Ian Frazer

Professor Ian Frazer founded and leads the University of Queensland's Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research. For 20 years he has been researching the link between papilloma viruses and cancer, seeking ways to treat these viruses in order to reduce the incidence of cancer. Ian has now developed vaccines to prevent and to treat cervical cancer, which affects 500,000 women each year. A vaccine based on his research has shown in worldwide trials to prevent papilloma virus infection and reduce Pap smear abnormalities by 90%. It has the potential to virtually eradicate cervical cancer within a generation. Expected to be on the market within a year, this vaccine will revolutionise women's health across the globe. Ian embodies Australian know-how, determination and innovation.


Abstract - How can a scientist survive in academia in the current economic climate?

Universities were conceived as places of scholarly learing and research, catering to an elite few with the ability and the inclination to pursue an academic lifestyle. In the post Dawkins era, the pressures of economic rationalism and of commercialisation of research, an apparent goal of near-universal higher education , and a need for increasingly competitive and complex team based research in the sciences have eroded the independence and the performance capacity of the traditional "teaching and research" academic. The default outcome will be that universities will become devalued as insitututes of higher learning in the sciences, and will house within their walls quasi-independent research institutes staffed by researchers, who will occasionally teach to an increasingly didactic curriculum designed to maximise university income at the expense of quality learning. This will to the ultimate detriment of all. My paper will examine some alternative ways forward which retain the needed public accountability and allow satisfying, less stressful career paths for productive and enthusiastic scientists