Informit article: Brave foresight in hindsight

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When sorting through some old papers recently, I came across an article in the March 1970 issue of the then popular magazine Walkabout (1934-74) that was entitled ‘Australia in 2030’. It was brave attempt to look sixty years ahead and paint a picture of the kind of Australia we will have eleven years from now. It was a very thoughtful and well-written article, authored by two well-known biologists, F. H. Talbot and H. F. Recher. Frank Talbot was director of the Australian Museum for many years, and was founding chair of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Harry Recher is a distinguished marine biologist who led the Lord Howe Island Survey Group, which made a major contribution to the biodiversity conservation of that island. Frank and Harry are now in their eighties. Harry received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Marine Research Institute in August 2017. (A rather amusing fault with the 1970 paper is that the editors reproduced fine photos of Frank and Harry but erroneously transposed the descriptive and biographical captions! I was able to detect this when most others wouldn’t because in the 1970s Frank and I met several times as vice-presidents of the Australian Conservation Foundation.)

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