Thinker, politician, writer, teacher, broadcaster and quiz-game champion Barry Jones will bring his wit and wisdom to Footscray next month as part of Victoria University’s ‘Game Changer’ conversation series.
Jones will discuss how the public debate on issues such as climate change, taxation, refugees, and vaccinations has been dumbed down in recent years in a dangerous case of intellectual cringe.
An Australian Labor Party stalwart from the 1950s, Jones represented both the Victorian and Australian Parliaments. He preceded Julia Gillard in the federal seat of Lalor in Melbourne’s west from 1977 until his retirement in 1998.
In his address, Jones will detail how science and research are given disturbingly low priority in contemporary public life in Australia, and why scientists and the scientific method have come under unprecedented attack, especially by a media looking for simple slogan-bearing solutions.
Jones became a household name as an Australian quiz champion in the 1960s, then a leading intellectual in Australian public life, making many contributions to scientific, heritage, musical, medical, political and public health organisations.
As Minister for Science in the Hawke government, Jones presided over the growth of organisations such as the CSIRO, the creation of the Knowledge Nation education concept, Questacon and the Commission for the Future.
As a member of the Victorian parliament in the 1970s, Jones was the first politician to talk about the information age and how it would reshape Australia’s economy.
Today he is listed as one of the National Trust’s Australian Living Treasures.
What: Free public lecture – Evidence, opinion, interest: the attack on scientific method – Barry Jones AC
When: Monday 2 March 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: VU at MetroWest - 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray