Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Young Visionaries

Image of child wearing cataract goggles

Truen Ibbotson experiences what it’s like to have restricted vision using special goggles designed by the Young Visionaries. Photo: Sharyn Wragg

By Mandy Thoo

Early-career scientists are using goggles that mimic common eye diseases to teach primary school children about their vision research and the importance of eye care.

Mandy Thoo is a Masters student in science communication at the Australian National University.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

In a school classroom in Canberra, a group of keen young scientists is giving primary school children a unique chance to literally see the world through the eyes of their grandparents and experience firsthand what it feels like to be going blind.

Vision Day at Kaleen Primary School in Canberra is just one of a series of public outreach events run by a group of scientists who call themselves the Young Visionaries – all early-career doctoral and post-doc researchers in The ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science (The Vision Centre).

Formed in 2007, these young researchers all have a passion for sharing science and its benefits with ordinary Australians. Their daily investigations of the miracle of sight and how it works may range from lizards to robotics and eye diseases to the very secrets of sight itself. Although they differ in their location and research interests, the Young Visionaries are inspired by a common goal – to produce and communicate good science that helps people.

One reason for their enthusiasm in sharing their science is to give back to the community that pays for it. “We’re grateful for the various opportunities given to us to perform our research, and I believe in giving back to society. This is one way we have chosen to do it,” says Faran Sabeti, one of the Young Visionaries. When he’s not enthralling primary schoolers, Faran,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.