A Nobel Laureate wows students and the public at Sunway

AUSMAT (Western Australian Year 12) at Sunway University College (Sunway) and the University of Western Australia hosted a luncheon recently for a group of top science students from its Pre-University programmes, with Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall from the University of Western Australia.

Professor Barry Marshall was joined by two other UWA academics, Professor Carmen Lawrence, former Western Australia Premier and former Australia Federal Health Minister and Professor Kadambot Siddique, Chair in Agriculture and Director UWA Institute of Agriculture. They were at Sunway to make their presentations during the Science for the Future Festival which was held after the lunch.

In 2005, Professor Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in recognition of their 1982 discovery that Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium causes one of the most common ailments to mankind: peptic ulcers.

The students from the AUSMAT were joined by other students from MUFY (Monash University Foundation Year), A-Levels and CIMP (Canadian International Matriculation Programme) and they spent an eventful afternoon of stimulating dialogue with Professor Barry Marshall. “The questions from the students were deep and insightful and we really wanted the students to be inspired from their meeting with a Nobel Laureate and I think Professor Marshall was able to connect well with the students and he certainly was an inspiration” said Mrs Ruma Lopes, Director of AUSMAT at Sunway.

AUSMAT at Sunway and Western Australian Universities have been working closely to find ways to create interesting platforms for intellectual development of students. The Science for the Future Festival’s aim was to engage and involve young people to think of solutions for the future.

The Science for our Future Festival had a format that was an exciting and engaging mix of talk show, audio visual and science experiments, hosted by Science Communicator, Sarah Lau and Director, Siemens Science Experience, Dr. Joanne Castelli. The Festival was open to the public.

After the Festival, Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall spoke in the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series on “Helicobacter Before and After the Nobel Prize”. The talk was open to the public. One of the comments from Kau Siew Yoon, a member of the audience was “Professor Marshall was an excellent speaker. In spite of the nature of the topic, the talk was interesting as Prof Marshall injected it with humour and made it very interesting and educational”. The Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series which started in 1997 is a series of free talks that are held as a platform for lifelong learning and intellectual discourse for the benefit of the community.