“To export solar and wind energy from one continent to another, the sunshine and the wind energy will have to be packaged as a liquid.

Alan Finkel

"In the search for practical and effective solutions to bushfire and natural hazards, science and translational research are critically important."

Dr Finkel delivered the 2020 Laurie Hammond Oration for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC on Wednesday 19 August 2020. Titled "Fire, flood, storm and cyclone: applying science to the challenge", the speech addresses the role of science in both adaptation and mitigation of Australia's natural disasters.


"Your answers are only as good as your questions. Determining the questions can be difficult."

Dr Finkel delivered the keynote address to an Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) event on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Australia on Tuesday 18 August 2020.

Titled 'AI: Can we get it right, please?", the speech muses on the key issues for the future of AI, and summarises his advocacy in the AI space across his tenure as Chief Scientist.

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"Today, we find ourselves in a moment of great challenge; a moment that is re-shaping the way we live, the way we work, and the way we teach and learn.
And yet, it's important to recognise that this situation is not somehow unique or hopeless."

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"We must always remember this basic truth: no matter how fast the pace of AI innovation, it must never surpass the primacy of human rights."

"The only way to meet the energy needs of the future without sacrificing standards of living, or undermining the economy, is by planning for an orderly transition that embraces science and technology as the stepping stones to the future we want.

A future where we supply the vast majority of our energy requirements by electricity. Clean electricity. A future I like to call the “Electric Planet”."

Last year, Dr Finkel was invited to speak at the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne in November 2019.

Dr Finkel was honoured by Australia’s biomedical engineers in November, when he was presented with the 2019 David Dewhurst Award for Biomedical Engineering Excellence. First presented in 1996 by the Biomedical College of Engineers Australia, the award honours leaders in biomedical device development in Australia.

“…the development of A.I. provides us with an opportunity not only for intellectual growth, but for moral leadership.

"Science often moves faster than our ability to fully grasp all of its implications, leaving a trail of moral and ethical dilemmas in its wake.