Open letter to Prof. Russell Gruen, the dean of ANU’s College of Health and Medicine and to Prof. Brian Schmidt, vice-chancellor of ANU
Dear Professors Gruen and Schmidt,
We, the undersigned, wish to express our distress regarding the proposed dissolution of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience at the Australian National University. This institute, the legacy of Sir John Eccles who won the Nobel prize for his research on communication between neurons, has a reputation for excellence in research and teaching in a discipline of great economic importance to Australia and the wider world. Neuroscience research informs and drives innovation in many related areas including artificial intelligence and machine learning, sensory and control systems, cell biology, genetics, and the study of behaviour. It serves to reduce the burden of brain disease currently costing the Australian economy over $74 billion every year. With the ageing of Australia’s population, and during the current international health crisis that is exacerbating mental health issues worldwide, the vigour of Australian neuroscience research requires maintenance of a diverse base of neuroscience research centres. As Australia’s flagship, federally-funded university, the ANU must find a way to continue support for the vital work of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience.
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