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Welcome to the Frank Fenner Foundation

  • cakeStephen Boyden’s 90th birthday celebration

    The celebration was held on 11 June in the Drawing Room at ANU's University House. Forty-three of Stephen's friends, many of whom are members of the Frank Fenner Foundation, were able to attend. After the meal Stephen entertained us with a wonderful speech constructed partly around the theme of magic, which was inspired by Richard Dawkin's book, The Magic of Reality. Read the speech.


    slider lake v2Australian network for planetary health / a healthy planet – a discussion paper

    Peter Tait, Ecology and Environment SIG, Public Health Association of Australia


    This paper continues discussion of an idea to set up in Australia a network, alliance or coalition for Planetary Health / a Healthy Planet, comprising major health organisations. Its aim is to focus more broadly on addressing the environmental determinants of health rather than a limited focus on global warming and climate change. Read more.







    slider moss v2Brendan Mackey. Green vision for a brown country

    FFF Board member Brendan Mackey has written an opinion piece, where he talks about a vision and long term goal for biodiversity and nature conservation in Australia. Read more.

  • slider fenner buildingEndowment Fund for Professor Tony McMichael

    An endowment fund has been recently set up for Tony McMichael. The fund will provide support for an
    annual Anthony J McMichael oration at the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology conference.

    Frank Fenner foundation is intending to make an annual contribution and we suggest that readers may consider making their own individual contribution.

    More information including how to make donations.

  • slider lake v1

    The impact of pharmaceutical waste on the environment

    by Helen Gayle

    The impact of the pharmaceutical industry, and particularly of the resultant waste, on the environment is such that it is having an increasing and devastating effect on our planet, and one that is for the main part left to go unabated.[more]



    by Helen Gayle

    The United Nations have negotiated the next set of sustainable development goals, and are setting targets for the post 2015 sustainable development agenda. Whilst it is important and understandable that many of these goals focus on solving the environmental problems that are being created by climate change and overconsumption, it is also important that global goals for public and individual health are set and maintained.[more]

  • slider fenner buildingWest Belconnen development and the first joint FFF - Conservation Council meeting.

    The first joint FFF - Conservation Council ACT Region members event was held Thursday 23rd April.  The meeting was addressed by the project managers (Riverview Group) leading the development of  West Belconnen development. Riverview Group have stated their intention to create an innovative, diverse and sustainable community  and have consulted a number of community and expert groups to assist them with implementation of this intention. More on this meeting and two associated documents including a proposal for a Life Centre to be part of the development.

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    Academy warns of climate risks to Australia

    excerpt from the ANU Climate Change Institute notice:

    'The Australian Academy of Science has released its latest update on the state of climate science.....

    The science of climate change: Questions and Answers aims to counter confusion and misinformation on this important scientific topic. It examines nine key questions, including what the science says about options to address climate change.'

    The Academy update can be found at:

  • slider reflections

    Do we need carbon for transport?

    by Bryan Furnass, ANU Emeritus Faculty, 6 August 2014

    One largely unexplored energy solution
    for transport, and ultimately for base load power generation is to use nitrogen as a
    hydrogen carrier (i.e. anhydrous ammonia, NH3), which can be synthesised using clean
    renewable energy currency, atmospheric nitrogen and hydrolysis of water for hydrogen,
    with oxygen as a by-product.

    [more: download PDF]

  • slider sea

    China's coal use for electricity to peak by 2015: Ross Garnaut

    China's new model of economic growth, together with increased energy efficiency and growth in low-carbon electricity sources, indicate that China's use of coal for electricity generation could peak as soon as next year. Ross Garnaut made this suggestion in a lecture to the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne on 25 August, and projected a decline in coal use for power production until 2020, with a corresponding reduction in emissions. See the report on The Conversation website, which contains a link to Ross Garnaut's lecture China’s energy transition: effects on global climate and sustainable development.

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    Species losses: Not a mere scorecard, but the unravelling of Life

    Tony McMichael

    A crisis of species loss is building up around the world  [ ].

    Biodiversity is under increasing pressure. What does this signify; what does it foreshadow?

    Read more

For healthy people on a healthy planet
From around the world

A child born today may live to see humanity’s end, unless…


The late Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner said humans will be extinct in 100 years. Read the Reuters report.

From around the world

The Pope's Encyclical

The 2015 encyclical of Pope Francis is not only about the need to address climate change, but also about wider issues such as the limits of technology, and the downside  of economic growth.

From around the world

Abbott Government continues war on renewables

For details, see the report by Giles Parkinson.

more from around the world