Jubilee Fellow – 2017
Emeritus Professor Louis Waller AO
LLB (Melbourne), BCL (Oxford), Barrister and Solicitor (Victoria), Hon LLD (Monash)
Year Elected: 1977
When I was elected as a Fellow of the Academy in 1977, I considered that it was a significant mark of recognition by my peers. Forty years later, I haven’t changed my mind.
In the first several decades of my Fellowship, I was privileged to participate in a number of regular and occasional Academy activities, including general and discipline-specific matters. The most significant was in 1987, when the late Professor Sol Encel, Professor of Sociology in the University of New South Wales, and I were invited to deliver the Annual Lecture at the ASSA Symposium, held in Melbourne. Our subject was Scientific and Technological Progress – Who Benefits? We divided the theme, with Sol Encel considering the costs and the benefits of science and technology, and with me considering issues of science and ethics. In his presentation , Sol introduced and cited ‘ a remarkable character called Dr Grant Swinger, director of a mythical research centre called the Institute for the Absorption of Federal Funds’ ( created by Dr Daniel Greenberg). Nothing I said could make our audience respond as it did in recognizing and applauding Dr Swinger’s appearance. Our Lecture was published in pamphlet form in 1988.
I read the regular and Annual Reports and notices which the Academy publishes, mainly today in internet mode. I admire the range of our Academy’s undertakings. In particular, I value our consistent support for young academics who have shown talent and application in one or other of our disciplines. I am pleased that I nominated the first scholar to receive the Academy’s accolade in this connexion.
The Academy will, I believe, continue to elect outstanding scholars to its Fellowship, who will maintain and expand our knowledge and our understanding of the social sciences.