Learn about the Presenters/Panelists

The conferences has a wonderful team of professionals with diverse and exciting backgrounds.

We’re fortunate to have a diverse range of presenters & panelists from across the globe. Scientists, Engineers, Artists and Philosophers will discuss evidence-based research, community awareness of rapid technological change, and scenarios for safely navigating our future.

Professor Peter Doherty

Professor Peter Doherty

Nobel Laureate

Doherty‘s research focuses on the immune system. His Nobel work described how the body’s immune cells protect against viruses. He and Rolf Zinkernagel, the co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, discovered how T cells recognize their target antigens in combination with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins.

David Pearce

David Pearce

Utilitarian Philosopher, Founder of WTA

Co-Founder of WTA. David Pearce is a British utilitarian philosopher. He believes and promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life

Marcus Hutter

Marcus Hutter

Professor at ANU, Artificial Intelligence Expert

Hutter‘s notion of universal AI describes the optimal strategy of an agent that wants to maximize its future expected reward in some unknown dynamic environment, up to some fixed future horizon. This is the general reinforcement learning problem. Solomonoff/Hutter’s only assumption is that the reactions of the environment in response to the agent’s actions follow some unknown but computable probability distribution.

Tim van Gelder

Tim van Gelder

Applied Epistemologist

An applied epistemologist, Tim van Gelder works on methods and tools for improving human thinking. He played a key role in the emergence of argument mapping, and is currently developing YourView, a platform for large-scale collective intelligence. He is a Principal with Austhink Consulting, and a Principal Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.

Melanie Thomson

Melanie Thomson

Biomedical researcher in the School of Medicine Deakin University Geelong

Dr Thomson is a biomedical researcher in the School of Medicine Research at Deakin University Waurn Ponds. She has a Masters in functional genomics and PhD on genetic regulation in a large genus of bacteria, both from the University of York. Dr Thomson has more recently become interested in the consequences of Helicobacter infections for host iron metabolism. She is a prolific Tweeter and recently became the first Australian researcher to Crowdfund a translational medical project to test maggots as a treatment option for Bairnsdale Ulcer.

Scott Watkins

Scott Watkins

Team Lead Organic Photovoltaics @ CSIRO

In the area of OPVs, CSIRO is a key member of the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) which includes researchers from the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and industry partners Securency, BlueScope Steel, Innovia Films and Robert Bosch SEA. VICOSC draws together the resources of Australia’s leading research institutions and companies to develop technologies to enable the production of low-cost, printable, organic solar cells. The aim of the consortia is to replace high-cost silicon based solar cells with low-cost, environmentally friendly, printable, thin-film, plastic solar cells.

Peter Ellerton

Peter Ellerton

PhD Candidate in Educational Philosophy

director of the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project. His research focusses on the nature and teaching of critical thinking. He has worked for many years as a curriculum head of science, mathematics and philosophy in high schools and is a consultant to the International Baccalaureate Organisation in the design and implementation of science curriclua. He won the 2008 Australian Skeptics $10 000 prize for Critical Thinking for his work in developing educational resources, and he was not improved by being faith-healed on national television.

Lloyd Hollenberg

Lloyd Hollenberg

Professor of Physics (Uni Melb), Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow

Lloyd is a Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne and completed his PhD in theoretical particle physics at the University in 1989 when he was awarded a JSPS Fellowship at the KEK accelerator laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan. After his postdoctoral period he returned to the School of Physics where he is now Professor. Lloyd’s early work in mathematical physics, non-perturbative many body systems and lattice gauge theory was a natural starting point for his interest in quantum computing.

In 2001 created and began directing the Device Modelling and Algorithms Program and has been a major driving force for and architect of the silicon quantum computer vision. He has published over 155 papers in refereed journals, including prestigious journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Nanotechnology and Physical Review Letters. He is an internationally known proponent of quantum technology in the wider context, having also worked on quantum communication systems as a Technical Director of the Quantum Communications Victoria initiative (2005 -2008), and recently developing quantum applications for ultra-sensitive imaging techniques crossing over to the nano-bio realm. He has served on the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts and was Chair of the Physics, Chemistry and Geosciences panel in 2008. From 2007-2011 he was an ARC Australian Professorial Fellow and in 2013 was granted an ARC Laureate Fellowship.

Drew Berry

Drew Berry

3D Digital Biomedical Animator

Drew creates complex biomedical visualisations for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI). Berry‘s animations have been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the National Museum of Australia and, most recently, as part of SIGGRAPH 2003 in San Diego, USA. His animations have also been included in numerous documentaries for Channel 4, PBS and ABC. Focusing primarily on visualisations of cells, DNA and proteins, Berry’s work has enabled a large audience to understand the microscopic workings of the human body while illuminating the mysterious landscape of the body at cellular level.

Andrew Dun

Andrew Dun

Philosopher, Musician

Andrew Dun, philosophy graduate student at the University of Melbourne. He writes and produces electronic music under several aliases. Alongside music production he retains an ongoing interest in the philosophy of mind and has a particular interest in the social and cultural impacts of emerging technologies.

Andrew’s research interest relates to both the ontology and ethics of consciousness. Andrew is interested in the ethical significance of consciousness, including the way in which our understanding of consciousness impacts our treatment of other humans, non-human animals, and artifacts. Andrew defends the view that the relationship between physical and conscious properties is one of symmetrical representation, rather than supervenience. Andrew argues that on this basis we can confidently approach ethical questions about consciousness from the perspective of ‘common-sense’ materialism.

Megan Munsie

Megan Munsie

Policy Outreach Manager - Stem Cells Australia

Associate Professor Megan Munsie is a scientist who has combined her extensive technical expertise in stem cell science with an interest and understanding of the complex ethical, social and regulatory issues associated with stem cells in research and in the clinic. A/Prof Munsie is the Head of the Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, a position jointly funded by the University of Melbourne and Monash University. She is also the Policy and Outreach Manager for the Stem Cells Australia initiative.

A/Prof Munsie regularly provides advice and information to Australian researchers, academics, politicians, media, patient advocacy groups and community members on stem cell science and associated issues. She is a member of an international research team that is exploring community expectation in relation to stem cell science and in particular stem cell tourism and has developed several educational resources for the public and health professionals on stem cells.

Martin Delatycki

Martin Delatycki

Director of the Bruce Lefroy Centre of Genetic Health Research, Austin Health

Professor Martin Delatycki is the Director of Clinical Genetics at Austin Health and is Director of the Bruce Lefroy Centre at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Martin trained in medicine at University of Melbourne before undertaking training in paediatrics and clinical genetics. His PhD in Friedreich ataxia was conducted at the Murdoch Institute. Martin has clinical and research interests in ethics in genetics, genetic screening and neurogenetics.

Martin co-directs a dedicated Friedreich ataxia clinic in Melbourne which has seen over 100 individuals with the condition from around the world. Martin also instigated the Tay Sachs disease prevention program in Melbourne and has set up a community screening program for cystic fibrosis. In addition, he has an interest in genetic screening for haemochromatosis. His team undertakes research into how and when genetic screening is best offered. Martin is a member of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia’s Ethics and Social Issues Committee and is a Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research.

Tim Josling

Tim Josling

Artificial Intelligence Expert, Computer Scientist

Tim Josling studied Law, Anthopology, Philosophy and Mathematics before switching to Computer Science at the dawn of the computer era. He worked on implementing some of the first transactional systems in Australia, later worked on the first ATM networks and was the chief architect for one of the first Internet Banking applications in Australia, and designed an early message switching ("middleware") application in the USA. During his career he specialised in making large scale applications reliable and fast, saving several major projects from being cancelled due to poor performance and excessive running costs. This led to an interest in the progress of computer hardware and in Moore’s Law, which states that the power of computers grows roughly 10-fold every 5 years. In his spare time he contributed to various open source projects such as the GNU Compiler Collection. After attending the first Singularity Summit in Australia, he decided to retire so he could devote himself full-time to researching Artificial Intelligence, the Technological Singularity and Trans-humanism. He is currently working on applying AI techniques to financial and investment applications.

Shane Huntington

Shane Huntington

Science Communicator, Science Writer, Physics

He is currently the Principal Strategy Adviser to the Dean of nthe Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne

In Addition he is a Founder and the Managing Director of The Innovation Group Pty Ltd, a Victorian based company set up in 2000 to assist with the commercialisation of Victorian research and technology. In 2000 and 2001, in collaboration with The City of Melbourne, The State Government of Victoria (OST), and AusIndustry, The Innovation Group ran extensive workshop programs on commercialisation. In 2002, Dr Huntington initiated substantial changes to the business plan of the company, evolving its principle focus towards the supply of scientific and industrial instruments. The Innovation Group currently represents six international technology companies in Australia and New Zealand.

So there we have it! What a wonderful lineup don’t you think? If you have any questions,  don’t be shy, get in touch!

Science, Technology & the Future is supported by:

Humanity+

Humanity+

Principle Supporter

Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association) is an international organization which advocates the ethical use of emerging technologies to enhance human capacities.
The objectives of Humanity+ are:
- to support discussion and public awareness of emerging technologies;
- to defend the right of individuals in free and democratic societies to adopt technologies that expand human capacities;
- to anticipate and propose solutions for the potential consequences of emerging technologies;
- to actively encourage and support the development of emerging technologies judged to have sufficiently probable positive benefit.

Australian Science Communicators

Australian Science Communicators

The Australian Science Communicators (ASC) supports and represents those who make science accessible.

ASC is a diverse national association, with around 500 members including journalists, writers, entertainers, students and other communicators who engage Australians (and people overseas) with science, technology and innovation. The ASC has been running since 1994.

Conference Location

The conference will be held at RMIT – click Here for more details

    “The mobile has spread faster than any other technology in human history – in half a generation being connected and being human have become synonymous.” — Mark Pesce