Professor Elizabeth Blackburn – Australian or American?

Its a case of much ado about nationality. According to Andrew Darby in The Age, joint Nobel Prize winner Professor Elizabeth Blackburn is unequivocally Australian. On the flip side of the coin, the Chinese state media have Blackburn down as a bonafide American, as does United Press International, although the latter admits Blackburn holds dual citizenship. Bernard Lane in the The Australian elects to start off on the right foot by noting that Blackburn is an Australian expatriate.

I don’t want to be a killjoy, but let’s celebrate all three of the Nobel winners (including Carol Greider and Jack Szostak) for medicine this year, regardless of nationality. Is there any reason why we can’t all tell it like it is – namely that Professor Blackburn’s recent residential history suggests that while she still might call Australia home, she calls the United States home first?

4 thoughts on “Professor Elizabeth Blackburn – Australian or American?

  1. Guy I think you are right let’s celebrate the achievements of all three Nobel prize winners in medicine. In regards to the debate about her national identity if we presume she is Australian, does that necessarily mean that professionals of multi-ethnic backgrounds who have achieved under Australian colours are actually Indian, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Irish and so on.

    I suppose when truck loads of talented citizens migrate overseas because the mother country lacks the industry, enterprise or will to foster a productive environment, our media and political establishment does resort to a punitive nation pride building exercise. I feel they aim to compensate for the underlying cold realities that cause many colourful and talented individuals to depart these picturesque shores and embark on more fruitful journeys elsewhere. I guess even Goebbels would be proud of the Australian Nation Culture Building Project.

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