Making time to educate the community on scientific issues will be the key to having a successful career as a scientist in the future.

That is the message leading world expert Dr B. Mario Pinto will convey when he speaks at a free public lecture hosted by Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics during Glycomics Week (October 12-15).

Dr Pinto believes that unless more knowledge of science is understood by the general population we will never combat important global issues such as climate change and health concerns.

“It is going to take a global effort to address these issues and until that is generally felt by the public it is going to be difficult,” he said, speaking from his home in Canada.

”It’s about education and understanding the fundamentals of scientific methods, experiments and helping the public make their own conclusions about the many myths out there in respect to science such as myths around vaccination on a global scale.”

Dr Pinto is the President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

He will be presenting a Public Lecture, ‘A Scientist’s Career- From Research to Administration,’ on Tuesday, 13 October at 5.30pm, as part of the Institute’s annual Peter Gallagher Memorial Glycomics Lecture Series held during Glycomics Week.

Dr Pinto has had an esteemed career, first as an active researcher, then as an administrator, to r restructure a chemistry department, help build a research-intensive University and today working with Government ministries in Canada to support scientific research.

He believes it is up to scientists to show a sense of responsibility to their community to raise awareness of science from children in kindergarten through to the university population, as well as to parliamentarians.

“That is what I have always tried to do and I believe this adds credibility to both spheres,” he said.

“Everyone can make a difference on raising awareness and you can combine a scientific research career with such community activities.

Dr Pinto’s lecture will also explore why fundamental research and discovery research is paramount.

“We have to invest in this to allow researchers the freedom to explore,” he said.

It’s through exploration that you may discover something ground-breaking as inventions aren’t generally planned.

“Invention can come about from one of three areas; conception, misconception or accident. But it is recognising the invention in each of these scenarios that is the key.”

Prof Mark von Itzstein, Director of the Institute for Glycomics, said he welcomed Dr Mario Pinto, a distinguished researcher to the Glycomics Week events and encourages the local community to attend the Public Lecture to help raise awareness of the benefits of science.


Glycomics Week

The Institute for Glycomics established its annual Glycomics Week during the Institute’s 10th anniversary in 2010.

The week aims to celebrate the Institute’s growing significant research successes, and the impact this research has in the world of infectious disease, cancer and vaccine and drug discovery. As well as acknowledge the invaluable assistance from the Institute’s local, national and international friends, donors and supporters.

The Glycomics Student Forum will also be held on Wednesday, 14 October with lectures from Dr Pinto and Dr Chun-Hung Lin from the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. See the full Forum Program here.

The week will culminate with the Glycomics Gala dinner on 15 October at 6.30pm at the RACV Royal Pines.