PLEASE don’t freak out when you discover our cover this month features a non-Australian animal! We haven’t suddenly expanded our editorial focus to encompass the rest of the world.This peculiar animal, the pangolin, is the first non-native creature to grace our unashamedly Australian magazine, and there’s a good reason for that.
As we promote Australian Science Week in this edition, we’re proud to publish the story of an inspiring multidisciplinary team of young Australian women scientists whose trailblazing research has the potential to disrupt the growing scourge of the global illegal wildlife trade (see page 38).The research, which was supported by you, our subscribers, through an Australian Geographic Society grant, has pioneered scientific methods to help identify the true source of animals, like the pangolin and many of our own unique native species, as they are unlawfully shipped around the world.The technology offers a simple and affordable solution to a growing crisis.We are always keen to shine a light on this kind of achievement in the hope it will encourage more young people, especially women, to consider a career in the sciences.
Australian science can trace its roots back to August 1768, when Endeavour set sail for the Pacific region carrying a group of naturalists led by wealthy botanist Joseph Banks under the steady and sure command of James Cook. Cook’s compass forms the logo of the AG Society because it symbolises that fateful fusion of exploration and science that ultimately led to the founding of modern Australia.We mark this milestone 250th anniversary with a feature about that early attempt to make sense of the world through detailed scientific enquiry (see page 50).
We will be honouring our modern heroes of science, conservation and adventure at the annual AG Society awards, in October.This year, however, we are ringing the changes with a different kind of event.We will hold a theatre-style evening rather than the seated gala dinner occasion of recent years. It’s been a stellar year for big adventures and we have received many wonderful nominations for the various awards. I do hope you can join us on 25 October in Sydney (see page 32). Even if you can’t get there, we’re hatching plans to take the awards on the road throughout 2019 with a series of talks to be held around the nation, so we hope to catch up with you in your neighbourhood! Watch this space for more news on that front.
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