Each month The Laborastory brings together five scientists from diverse backgrounds to share the story of their science hero.
Hear the tragedies and triumphs of the men and women who made science their passion and left legacies that inspire the scientists of today.
Nicholas Johnson on Elsie Wright
Nicholas J. Johnson is an author, a magician and collector of scams. He exposes tricks and inspires audiences to think critically and never be swindled again. After two decades entertaining and educating audiences, He’s realised there is much we can learn about persuasion, deception and influence from the world of the professional swindler.
Just don’t trust him with a deck of cards.
Eli Mrkusich on Eugenics
Eli Mrkusich works for Illumina, the world’s leading genomics (DNA information) company. When Illumina entered the DNA sequencing market a genome (compete DNA sequence) cost $10 million dollars in 2014 Illumina launched the $1,000 genome. Illumina’s technology powers 23andMe and AncestryDNA. Illumina’s mission to unlock the power of the genome to improve human health.
Eli joined Illumina in 2015 and is a Senior Applied Genomics Segment Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) and is based on the Mornington Peninsula. Eli is responsible for market development and outbound marketing activities for the Applied Genomics business across APJ. Eli completed his PhD in neuroscience and molecular biology in 2004 and had six years post-doctoral experience at the University of Melbourne. Eli worked for Bio-Rad for five years in an application support role, most recently as a Global Digital Applications Specialist for Bio-Rad supporting Drop-let Digital PCR, based out of Pleasanton, California.
Maria Roitman on Wilhelm Reich
With a background in stress neuroscience and shocking mice in the name of research, Maria is well-placed to speak at the Halloween edition of Laborastory. Although her latest scientific manuscript explores the mechanism of human pain (muahaha), Maria’s interest in psychiatry, crossed with her villainous mind and crass sense of humour, brings a special kind of science villain to the event - not unlike his predecessor, a psychoanalyst gone a bit rogue in his study of orgonomy, aka “the energy of sexual orgasm”.
Dr. Gary Hime on Giovanni Aldini
Gary Hime completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide before working as a research scientist at Stanford University and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. He is currently a professor and acting Head in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne where his work is focused on understanding the genetic regulation of stem cells in development and disease.
Richard MacEwan on The Nature Of Villainy
Richard is recently retired and is now enjoying a life of travel, music, gardening and wine making unfettered by daily obligations to office, government department machinations and fickle funding. His career encompassed estate management in Scotland, educating university aspirants in land rehabilitation and researching soils and land management for the Victorian government. He has now nearly forgotten everything he ever pretended to know about science but has accepted the challenge to explore the nature of science villainy and share his thoughts with you tonight.
Dr Pam Rana on Perfection
Pam is from the eastern shores of icy Canada, is a medical doctor, a comedian and a passionate environmentalist. She's presented her solo show 'Kim Kardashian is bad for the environment' and her duo show 'Meat Bags' at Melbourne International Comedy Festival.