Can the Scientific Lessons from the Pandemic be used to Cure Cancer plus Rebuild the Economy?

In Jan 2020, very early in the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the first acts of the incoming US President Joe Biden was to formally write to his newly appointed chief science officer Dr Eric Lander (an eminent globally renowned genomic scientist) and pose several urgent challenges to address. The first challenge on that list, is the title and topic of this session. Without any doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a disaster for humanity. To confront this calamity head on the global scientific community has mobilised in a way never before seen in human history. In the past two years, more scientific papers (and discoveries) have been published in this area than any previous single topic in human history. Stunning new scientific findings and breakthrough new technologies are now poised to usher in an entirely new era of modern medicine that reaches far beyond the Covid-19 challenge and will have profound impacts for all human diseases including cancer. Some emerging examples of these include entirely new nanotechnologies to monitor the human immune system, entirely novel miniaturised manufacturing systems for modern medicines, along with personalised cancer vaccines that are already in human clinical trials.

In this informal and highly interactive session, our panel (a virologist/immunologist, a nanotechnologist and a deputy chief health officer) will highlight some of the major scientific and technological advances that have occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and discuss the ramifications and opportunities that these will have for Australia and modern society in the future.


Director and Founder of the Centre for Independent Studies

Professor of Public Policy and Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University


Sociologist, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney.
Author of The New Authoritarianism

Director, Free Market Foundation, (Hungary)

Health Director, Health and BioSecurity, CSIRO

Director and Founder, Academy of Ideas, London, (UK)

Founder and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative (NZ)

Australian writer and columnist for the News Limited Press

Research Director, CIS

Programme Co-ordinator of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia

Chinese Canadian human rights advocate

Senior Research Fellow, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

CEO and Founding Director, China Matters

Former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives and Cabinet Minister

Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Academic Culture, and Professor of History, Australian Catholic University

Cancer researcher and clinical oncologist, with Genesis Care Newcastle

Founder and President, Middle East Forum, publisher Middle East Quarterly Journal, (US)

Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne

Senior Research Fellow and Director, Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society Program, CIS

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist, (US)

Head of Economic Research, Reserve Bank of Australia

Executive Director, CIS

Professor of Economics at Stanford University; Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Chair of the Working Group on Economic Policy, (US)

UQ-CSIRO Chair in Personalised Nanodiagnostics, Professorial Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Diplomat, American Board of Pathology

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Liberal Party Member for Berowra

Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011, Chairman & CEO of Geoff Raby and Associates Ltd based in Beijing

Director of China and Free Societies program, CIS

Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, (US)