Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Academic Awards Evening.

The year 7 song was epic. Parts were good. It was heaps of fun. My band was great (considering that they were 12 year old boys.) One of them will be a rock star.

But I think that the evening will be remembered because of our guest speaker. He was a student at the school 70+ years ago. Here's a blurb about him:

Professor Graham Cooksley is Professorial Research Fellow in the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane Hospital and is a herpetologist in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. His major research interests are in pathogenesis and treatment of chronic hepatitis. He specialised in internal medicine and completed a research doctorate on protein metabolism in the liver. He did post-doctoral work in the UK. He was Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Queensland with his research interests centred on hepatitis. In 1981 he worked at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. He was appointed Director of the Clinical Research Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital Research Foundation and was the inaugural Secretary of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver. Professor Cooksley was Convenor of several International Meetings on Hepatitis C and Hepatitis D. He has more than 200 publications in international literature, has given numerous presentations at scientific meetings and has given over 180 invited lectures at national and international meetings. He is still working today.

Yep. Just the kind of old boy you want speaking at your awards night. His speech was incredible - incredible in that he managed to offend just about everyone in the room! After he had said all the stuff you'd expect him to say, he offered everyone some advice. We should understand science. If we understand science we won't believe in stupid things like horoscopes, alternative medicine, acupuncture or chinese medicines. He went through each of these, one by one, poking fun at them and showing how if you understand science, then you won't believe in any of them. The highlight came when he gave the example of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs had cancer and needed an operation. But instead of having the op he chose to try natural therapies. He talked to his cancer and ordered it out of his body! Steve Jobs paid the ultimate price for his stupidity. By the time he asked for an operation, it was too late and he died. Let that be a lesson to us all. Science, kiddies, science!


  1. Guest speakers are like a box of chocolates. You never know.... Sounds like a fun night. I went to our awards night last week. I sat with students in front of a parent who made a number of racist remarks about Asian students and then some sneering comments about two of the senior teaching staff. Wanted desperately to give her an extended piece of my mind but knew the heads of school would not thank me for it. Glad that parent's child will not be in my class in the future.

  2. While I agree that there are some wacky alternative therapies out there....there are ways to say it that perhaps cause less offence? And to say that science has the answers to everything is just wrong...

  3. Sounds like he would be a big fan of Michael Shermer. http://paintingfakes.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-people-believe-weird-things.html

    Glad the songs went well, despite tuning down to drop D and all that - it's such a great feeling when it comes off!

  4. Ow! Never mind the people (like various members of my family) who are able to function because of 'alternative' therapies. Western medicine does not have all the answers as shown by the fact that it still has NOT cured cancer or cystic fibrosis (and we've known the genetics of that one for over 20 years).