Throughout scientific history, Australian researchers have demonstrated their worth to the field. Whether it be the creation of penicillin or the prototype of the bionic ear, Australian scientists can and will continue to have a seminal role in specific scientific circles. While there have been hundreds of ground-breaking advancements and discoveries coordinated by Australian scientists and groups, we have decided to outline the following several as the most significant impactful.
Alexander Fleming is often unfairly credited with discovering penicillin; however, the vital work by Australian scientist Howard Walter Florey ensured that such discoveries could be made. Florey’s efforts were so influential that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945 for his efforts. Florey was also the first scientist to carry out clinical trials, showing how the substance to fight off bacterial infections. It continues to save millions of lives across the world every year.
During the 1950s, a concerning trend emerged that X-rays were having a pejorative impact on the health of pregnant women and their unborn children. Thankfully, Australian researchers, George Kossoff and David Robinson built the first commercially successful ultrasound scanner in the early 1960s. Indeed, ultrasound technology has irrevocably changed the way physicians can diagnose medical problems and monitor the development of foetuses.
#3 The black box
As the commercial airline industry began to take off during the early 20th century (particularly following World War II), concern arose as to how to identify problems should a plan crash. In 1958, this mystery was solved by Australian chemist and scientist, David Warren, who invented “the black box”, which is a device responsible for recording cockpit conversations and flight data.
Should a plane crash or encounter some malfunction, the black box could subsequently be used to figure out what happened and provide additional preventative measures for future flights. The device is installed on every single commercial plane today.