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Frank Fenner - Emeritus Professor, microbiologist and environmentalist

Open Access

The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.

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CollectionsANU Emeritus Faculty Oral History Project
Title: Frank Fenner - Emeritus Professor, microbiologist and environmentalist
Author(s): Fenner, Frank
Stewart, Peter
Keywords: Frank Fenner
Emeritus Faculty
oral history
Publisher: The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.
This interview, with Emeritus Professor Frank Fenner, is part of the Emeritus Faculty's Oral History Program, involving retired staff members of ANU who were part of the university in the early decades of its life. The program was initiated and developed by ANU Emeritus Faculty as a contribution to university and community understanding of the origins and development of ANU over the past sixty years. Emeritus Faculty has a special interest in this era, since the Faculty's membership includes many of the people who helped shape ANU in its early days, to make it the pre-eminent university it is today. Frank Fenner is Emeritus Professor of Microbiology in ANU. He was born in Adelaide in 1914, educated at the University of Adelaide, and served in the Australian Army Medical Corps in the Second World War. In 1949 Frank was appointed founding professor of microbiology in the newly established John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. In 1967 he became director of that research school. In 1973 he was appointed founding director of ANU's Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. After retiring as Director of CRES in 1979, Frank became a Visiting Fellow in JCSMR, from where he has written many of his books - on myxomatosis; smallpox and its eradication; viruses and immunology; and histories of Australian microbiology, the Australian Academy of Science, and JCSMR. He has also written a joint biography with his father, Charles Fenner, an eminent geological scientist and educationalist in his own right. Frank has been widely honoured internationally for his work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Australian Academy of Science, and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.


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