Professor Marshall visisted Kingsway Christian College in Darch last week to speak to students about his Nobel Prize journey.
Some questions for Professor Barry Marshall after his visit at Kingsway Christian College:
What did you enjoy about visiting the school and students?
My role as the WA Ambassador for Life Sciences funded by the WA State Government allows me the great privilege of engaging with students and the broader community to inspire the next generation of scientists. While it’s been a decade since I won the Nobel Prize with Dr Warren, there is an increasing appetite from schools, community groups, academics, industry and others to hear my Nobel story. I enjoyed presenting at Kingsway College. The new facilities were very impressive and I liked the leadership of the audio visual team (run by students) that helped me set up on the day. While presenting guest lectures always energizes me, I really like the one on one conversations I get to have afterwards. I shared a great conversation with College Captain Jesse Chester-Brown (who had prepared for my visit by reading my seminal paper on helicobacter) and I enjoyed chatting with the Year 12 chemistry students. Flicking through their chem textbook in the lab afterwards bought back lots of memories.
What do you hope they got out of the visit?
I hope the students found my visit engaging and inspirational.
What lessons or advice did you have for them?
The loudest giggles during the presentation and question time seemed to come as a result of me telling stories about my childhood. I wasn’t always a good role model to my siblings and still feel guilty about the time I advised my younger brother to jump out of a tree and he broke his arm. I think it’s good for the students to know that I was an ordinary kid, with a normal upbringing and that making a medical breakthrough is not beyond their reach. Sometimes the high school curriculum can be so content heavy, that there’s a danger that students fall out of love with science. So my advice to students was to remain curious, to read widely and to think wildly. It might not improve your ATAR, but it will set you up to be a great scientist.