At the cutting edge of international research and development, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, has been at the forefront of some of the most extraordinary technological and scientific advances in the world during the second half of the twentieth century.
Based on hundreds of interviews and meticulous research, Fields of Discovery
tells the many stories of achievements and successes of the CSIRO and the people who contributed to them. Brad Collis follows their triumphs and frustrations, opening a rare window into the laboratories of knowledge-making and problem-solving, and the fruitful tussle between ideas, personalities and politics.
From the development of advanced agricultural systems to science underpinning the protection of wildlife and the environment, to new metallurgy processes, the discovery of galaxies, the development of the lifesaving anti-influenza drug and even the creation of the iconic Aerogard insect repellent, Fields of Discovery
celebrates the inspiring and often dramatic journey of one of the world's most enduring scientific bodies.
This is a book for everyone with a fascination for 'hows' and 'whys' and, above all, for the people who created a research organisation that has itself become an Australian icon.
Fields of Discovery is a stimulating account of the achievements of CSIRO and its scientists in the last 50 years. No one interested in the past performance and the future direction of science in Australia should fail to read this book.
-Neville Wran A.C. Q.C.
Australia is lucky indeed to have CSIRO, its science and technology icon, drawing strength from its status as a unified, single multidisciplinary entity. Now, as CSIR/CSIRO celebrates its 75th year and the nation its hundredth, we welcome Brad Collis's remarkable history, Fields of Discovery. Authoritative across the broad sweep of sciences covered by CSIRO; eminently readable and accessible; brought to life by many quotations and rich human stories, the book fairly hums with tales of high achievement. Brad Collis's daring in tackling such a monumental task has well and truly paid off.
-Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE