The UWA Fogarty Scholars Leaders Series Breakfast took place on August 19th 2015. The guest list of 150 included UWA Fogarty Scholars, UWA Staff, partners of the Fogarty Foundation, business and community leaders, a Google Executive and the US Consul General to Perth.
The topic of the breakfast was the ‘Educating for the Future’ – where we looked at how the digital world is accelerating and how we, as a State and a group of future leaders, can ensure we maximize our potential.
Michelle Guthrie from Google Asia-Pacific spoke about the ‘Digital Disruption’. Michelle explored how constant online / cloud access on mobile devices is fundamentally changing everything. Michelle spoke to her experience from living in Asia for the last decade and highlighted the unique position that we are in, in Western Australia, in terms of our proximity to Asia. She also emphasised how we are all players in a global market place now – traditional boundaries no longer exist and increasingly, we need to ‘get comfortable with being uncomfortable’.
Professor Peter Quinn, head of the International Centre for the Radio Astronomy Research, gave a fascinating presentation on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed. The amount of data that will be downloaded by the SKA in one day will be the same amount of data that will be downloaded by the entire planet in one year! He highlighted how this remarkable project is unfolding in our own backyard and discussed how we need to mobilise everyone in our community to get involved in the curation of the data that will be generated from the SKA – there are boundless opportunities that will come from this development, however to be able to make the most of these opportunities, we need to ensure that we train our students in data intensive research methods, science and technologies.
Professor Quinn left us with the premise that we are entering in the fourth paradigm. The first three being observation, theory and computation/simulation and the new fourth paradigm being data.
The breakfast was a thought provoking morning and a great opportunity for Scholars to meet with interesting and engaged members of the community.
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