See reports on Scientifiques Sans Frontieres Australia in:
Chemistry International: Volume 30, No 2, March-April 2008 p8-10
Chemistry in Australia: Volume 75, No 8, September 2008 p26-28
The University of Melbourne Voice Vol 2. No1 4-18 Feb 2008: Reprinted here
A science-based charity to help alleviate imbalances in education, resources, and health in developing countries has been set up by postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Melbourne.
The initiative, Scientifiques Sans Frontières Australia (SSFA), will focus on community-identified scientific problems with the aim of providing a perceived missing scientific link in the chain of NGOs supplying humanitarian aid.
“Our drive is to partner science expertise with communities in need, to address the underlying issues, and in a not-for-profit capacity,” say SSFA members Colin Scholes (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Glenna Drisko (Chemistry) – pictured right.
“Bright minds exist all over the world, but those in the developing world as yet have a minimal voice in the international science community.
“We want to enable scientific knowledge and expertise to influence people’s lives in a relatively short time frame, drawing on the skills of SSFA members in many areas where their skills could be applied.”
Dr Scholes and Ms Drisko report that SSFA works with schools and community groups on the issue of water management and tutors students from disadvantaged backgrounds at a local level.
“SSFA also promotes greater transfer of scientific resources throughout education and research institutions within the Pacific region. And we would like scientists in the first world to be proud of their achievements not only on a cerebral level, but because their work satisfies their consciousness.”
They describe SSFA as a scientific community “where the transfer of knowledge and technology is at the forefront of every scientist’s mind”.
“Fundamental to this vision,” they say, “is the conviction that each individual has the ability and the responsibility to make a positive impact”. For information about SSFA email email@example.com.