ACU hosts Humboldt huddle on scientific research

Friday, 7 September 2007

Melbourne, 7 September 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) will host the 12th Biennial Meeting of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows (AAvHF) at its Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s) from today until Sunday.

Members of the AAvHF, all of whom are previous holders of the prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowships awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany, will meet to share research findings and to discuss ways of promoting cooperation between Australian researchers and their international counterparts.

ACU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Professor Gabrielle McMullen said the AAvHF, its parent foundation and the fellowships were named in honour of Alexander von Humboldt, a 19th Century Prussian naturalist, explorer and author of the influential scientific tome Kosmos.

“Alexander von Humboldt is a model and inspiration for the international fellows who are funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to undertake research in Germany. The AAvHF seeks to continue ‘down under’ the scientific discourse that each of the Fellows enjoyed during their research stay in Germany,” Professor McMullen, a Victorian regional representative of the AAvHF, said.

“Importantly, our 2007 meeting is titled ‘In the Spirit of Alexander von Humboldt’ and the breadth of discourse reflects Humboldt’s world view.”

Topics to be discussed at the three-day meeting range from ‘Combatting Terrorism Using Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Identify Bacteria’ and ‘HIV and Malaria: Implications for Co-Infection’, to ‘At Last! How Evolution Works is Clarified!’.

During the meeting, a reception will be hosted by the German Embassy in Melbourne in recognition of the strong ongoing links between the former Humboldt Research Fellowships and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.