Craig Venter delivers the Graeme Clark Oration

On Wednesday, I dragged a jet-lagged Other Half along to the Convention Centre to see Craig Venter give the annual Graeme Clark Oration. Venter is the first speaker to give the oration other than Clark himself, inventor of the cochlear implant.

Venter is best known for his role in the Human Genome Project. He recognised that the publicly-funded mission was sluggish and inefficient and started a private company funded by industry, to complete the sequencing of the human genome. As a result of these efforts led by Venter, the genome was sequenced 3 years ahead of schedule.

Venter is one of the ‘big ideas’ scientists. His research is multidisciplinary and really inspiring to people from a wide range of backgrounds. His publication record in the highest impact factor journals is impressive, if not intimidating. and he’s also one of the worlds most cited authors. The J. Craig Venter Institute carries out research based in genomics, but spanning other fields including medicine, energy, computer science, chemistry, ethics and commerce. Check out their excellent website if you are interested in finding out more.

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