Ten Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Australians: nine for science or medicine and one for literature:
William and Lawrence Bragg in Physics in 1915 for analysis of crystal structure by X’rays.
Howard Florey in Medicine in 1945 for developing penicillin, the first antibiotic.
Sir MacFarlane Burnet in Medicine in 1960 for the discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.
Sir John Carew Eccles in Medicine in 1963 for the discovery of the chemical nature of nerve synaptic transmission.
Patrick White in Literature in 1973 for epic and psychological narrative art.
Sir John Warcup Comforth in Chemistry in 1975, for stereo-chemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions, and the biosynthesis of cholesterol from acetic acid
Professor Peter Doherty in Medicine in 1996 for work in cell mediated immunity. He showed how killer T cells recognize and destroy viruses.
of the causative agent of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
Elizabeth Blackburn in Medicine in 2009 for showing how chromosomes and the genome are protected from damaged by telomere sequences at the end of chromosomes, and by the enzyme telomerase.
Brian Schmidt in Physics in 2011 for discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe.
Two other Australians have won Nobel Prizes but conducted their work overseas, Alesksandr Prokhorov, and Bernard Katz.
We can be justly proud of the standard of Australian scholarship and research, and of the men and women who achieved so much. I have added a photograph of Dr Robin Warren an Adelaide medical graduate who was in my year.
Most blogs are presented by the young for the young. Posts are vibrant and attractive. But the perspectives are those of the young.
Too rarely do we read articles slanted to an older audience. It is not that the old are all that much different.
We do have more time on our hands. Time to read, to write, to contemplate and enjoy.
We are likely to be free of work related worries but we are more likely to have health issues to contend with.
The young are prone to be condescending towards their older friends and relatives. They may indeed be more focused on exploiting them, and sadly this can be true within families.
The elderly want to be useful, to feel needed, to give freely of their time and expertise, but they do not wish to feel imposed upon, nor do they wish to be bossed around by their children, even although this is likely to be just a reversal of roles. They value and wish to keep their independence for as long as possible.
In common with the more youthful, we still wish to enjoy life, our family, our friends, and our home. We may be old in our bodies, but we are still young at heart.