Peter Doherty is an Australian immunologist and pathologist who, with Rolf Zinkernagel of Switzerland, received the Nobel Prize for Physiology of Medicine in 1996 for their discovery of how the body’s immune system distinguishes virus-infected cells from normal cells. After leading a research group at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1975–82), Peter headed the Department of Experimental athology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra (1982–88) and served as Chairman (1988–2001) of the Department of Immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he still holds the Michael F Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research. In 2002, he joined the faculty of medicine at the University of Melbourne, and from 2014, has been at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the university and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Peter is the author of many books, including The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science (2005), Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us About Our Health and the World (2012), The Knowledge Wars (2015), The Incidental Tourist (2018) and most recently An Insider’s Plague Year (2021).
Whether it’s Covid 19, domestic and international politics, war or fake news, conspiracy theories and rumours have abounded over the past two years. This panel of scientists and journalists examines reportage in times of crisis. Deborah Stone (moderator), Peter Doherty, Margaret Simons, Norman Swan, Zoya Sheftalovich