Nature, Nurture and Chance: The Lives of Frank and Charles Fenner

Table of Contents

1. The Life of Frank Fenner
1. Childhood, 1914 to 1932
Birth and Housing
Family Life
Finding a Home in Adelaide
The Fenner Children
Charles Lyell Fenner
Winifred Joyce Fenner
Thomas Richard Fenner
William Greenock Fenner
Family Life
Primary School
Secondary Schools
2. The University Years, 1933 to 1940
Selection of Course
Medicine, 1934 to 1938
Activities in Student Affairs
Studies in Physical Anthropology
Resident Medical Officer, Adelaide Hospital
3. The War Years, May 1940 to February 1946
Enlistment in the Australian Army Medical Corps
Military Training at Woodside
Service in Palestine
2/1 Casualty Clearing Station
Australia, April 1942 to March 1943
Pathologist, 2/2 Australian General Hospital
Malariologist in New Guinea
Award, Member of the British Empire
Other Research in New Guinea
Wartime Work at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Service in Morotai and Borneo
Appointment as Francis Haley Research Fellow
Leave Prior to Discharge
Discharge from the Army
4. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, 1946 to 1948; Rockefeller Institute, 1948 to 1949
Research on Ectromelia, February 1946 to August 1948
Helping Burnet Write a Review Article and a Book
Overseas Study at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, August 1948 to July 1949
Accommodation in New York
My Research at the Rockefeller Institute
Dubos as a Mentor
Other Personal Experiences While at the Rockefeller Institute
Other Meetings in the United States
5. Professor of Microbiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, 1949 to 1967: Administrative and Domestic Arrangements
Europe, July 1949 to February 1950
Accommodation in Melbourne
Our Children
Staff in Melbourne
The Move to Canberra, November 1952
Our Permanent House, 8 Monaro Crescent, Red Hill
Vicki Fenner's Death
Development of the Department in the Temporary Laboratories, 1953 to 1957
Other Activities, 1953 to 1957
Planning the Permanent Building
Study Leave, 1953
Study Leave, 1957
Travel to Indonesia, 26 July to 17 August 1956
Travel to China, 8 April to 7 May 1957
Travel to Japan, 8–19 May, 1957
Occupation of the Permanent Building, November 1957
Development of the School in the Permanent Building, 1958 to 1967
Expansion of the Department of Microbiology, 1958 to 1967
School Governance
Other Activities, 1958 to 1967
Travel to India, 2 December 1960 to 17 January 1961
Overseas Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge, 3 November 1961 to 30 October 1962
Visiting Fellow, Moscow State University, 27 February to 28 March 1964
Prehistorians’ Pilgrimage, 15–30 January 1971
Papua New Guinea, 1962 to 1973
Honours and Awards, 1954 to 1967
6. Professor of Microbiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, 1949 to 1967: Research
Research in Melbourne, February 1950 to November 1952
Studies on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium ulcerans
The History of Myxomatosis
Research on Myxomatosis, February 1951 to November 1952
Research on Myxomatosis, 1953 to 1967
The production of my second book, Myxomatosis
Genetic Studies of Poxviruses
The Reactivation of Animal Viruses
Book: The Biology of Animal Viruses
7. Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, 1967 to 1973
My Appointment as Director
Changes in Existing Departments and Units
Department of Genetics
Department of Medical Chemistry
Electron Microscope Unit
Establishment of New Departments
Department of Clinical Science
Department of Human Biology
Department of Immunology
Department of Pharmacology
Developments in Older Departments
Building Activities
Specific-Pathogen-Free Animal House
Wing F Animal House
The Library and the Space Beneath It
Accommodation for the Department of Human Biology
Overseas Trips, 1967 to 1973
18 November to 10 December 1967
6–23 November 1968
23 March to 30 April 1969
3 June to 3 July 1970
3 September to 7 November 1970
12 June to 6 July 1971
14 December 1971 to 24 March 1972
Lectures in Australia
Writing Textbooks
A Textbook on Medical Virology
The Biology of Animal Viruses, Second Edition.
Other Activities, 1967 to 1973
Chairman, Committee to Examine the Possibility of Establishing An Undergraduate Medical School in the ANU
Committee to Examine the Possibility of Establishing A Centre for Natural Resources (see Fenner, 1973a, 1979)
CSIRO and Medical Research
International Committee on the Nomenclature (Taxonomy) of Viruses
Honours and Awards
Overview: the Role of the Director
8. Activities Associated with the Australian Academy of Science
Secretary, Biological Sciences, 1958 to 1961
Committees on Environment and Conservation
Standing Committee on the Environment
The Botany Bay Project
Histories of the Australian Academy of Science
Fenner Conferences on the Environment
Video Histories of Australian Scientists
Fenner Medal for Plant and Animal Sciences
9. Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, 1973 to 1979
Establishment of CRES
My Appointment as Director of CRES
Activities as Director
The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)
Overseas Travel 1973 to 1979
27 September to 15 October 1973
19 November 1973 to 15 May 1974
14–20 October 1974
15–29 November 1974
6–22 March 1975
7 August to 11 October 1975
27 November to 6 December 1975
15–22 May 1976
1–24 October 1976
1 April to 6 May 1977
26 September 1977 to 3 November 1977
3–20 May 1978
6 November to 14 December 1978
7 June to 1 August 1979
18 November to 14 December 1979
Lectures in Australia (excluding Lectures on Smallpox)
Honours and Awards
Overview, the Activities of CRES, 1973 to 1979
10. Smallpox and its Eradication, 1969 to 1980
Smallpox: the Disease
Clinical Features
The History of Smallpox
Early Attempts to Eradicate Smallpox
The Intensified Smallpox Eradication Program, 1967 to 1977
The Extent of the Problem
The Vaccine
Strategies for Eradication
Certification of Eradication
Informal Consultations on Monkeypox and Related Viruses
First Meeting, Moscow, 26–31 March 1969
Fourth Meeting, Geneva, 10–13 February 1976
Fifth Meeting, Geneva, 9–10 November 1978
Study Group on Orthopoxviruses
First Meeting, Atlanta, USA, 26–28 June 1979.
Certification of Smallpox Eradication
India, 4–23 April 1977
Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, 6–29 March 1978
South Africa, 23 January to 18 February 1978
South Africa, Second Visit, 11–12 October 1978
People's Republic of China, 14–31 July 1979
Eradication from Africa, 16 October to 6 November 1979
Consultation on the Worldwide Certification of Smallpox Eradication, 11–13 October 1977
First Meeting of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication, 4–7 December 1978.
Second and Final Meeting of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication, 6–9 December 1979.
Smallpox Eradication Program, Meeting of the World Health Assembly, May 8, 1980
11. Visiting Fellow, John Curtin School of Medical Research, From 1980
The Committee on Orthopoxvirus Infections
First Meeting, 3–5 March 1982
Second Meeting, 15–17 March 1983
Third Meeting, 28–30 March 1984
Fourth Meeting, 24–26 March 1986
Ad Hoc Committee on Orthopoxvirus Infections
First Meeting, 11–13 December 1990
Second Meeting, 9 September 1994
Destruction of Variola Virus, the Final Outcome
First Meeting of the WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research, 6–9 December 1999
The Book: Smallpox and its Eradication
Archiving WHO Records
Early Plans
Final Approval
Reports of the Editorial Board
Personal Experiences in the Production
The Problem of the 'Whitepox' Viruses
Book Launch
Two Other Books Related to the Smallpox Program
The Orthopoxviruses
Human Monkeypox
Award of the Japan Prize to Henderson, Arita and Fenner
The Threat of Smallpox Virus as a Bioterrorism Weapon
More Books
Portraits of Viruses. A History of Virology
White and Fenner, Medical Virology, Third Edition
White and Fenner, Medical Virology, Fourth Edition
Fenner et al., Veterinary Virology
Fenner et al., Veterinary Virology, Second Edition
Murphy et al., Veterinary Virology, Third Edition
History of Microbiology in Australia
The Australian Academy of Science: the First Forty Years
The Australian Academy of Science: the First Fifty Years
Biological Control of Vertebrate Pests: the History of Myxomatosis—an Experiment in Evolution
The John Curtin School of Medical Research: the First Fifty Years, 1948–98
Overseas Trips Other than Those Concerned with Smallpox
China, 1980, Australian Development Assistance Bureau
Washington, 1982 to 1983, Fogarty Scholar
Japan, 4–11 April 1988, Japan Prize Award Ceremony
China, 18–25 September 1988, review of an ACIAR Project
Japan, 1991 to 1996, Agency for Cooperation in International Health
Meeting on Global Vaccine Supply, 23–26 May 1991
Second Meeting on Global Vaccine Supply, 3–5 August 1992
Third Meeting of the Consultative Group, Children's Vaccine Initiative, Kyoto, 7–9 November 1993
Children's Vaccine Initiative and Jenner Commemoration, Kumamoto, 25–26 November 1996
Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, 11–25 July 1997
Home Life and Bobbie's Death
Celebrations of the Lives of My Mentors
Howard Florey
Florey Centenary Celebrations
Celebrations in Australia
Celebrations in England
Frank Macfarlane Burnet
Burnet Centenary Celebrations
Prizes and Awards
National Awards
Fellowships and the Like
Named Lectures
Marks of Recognition other than Prizes and Awards
Lectures and Newspaper Interviews
Donations to the John Curtin School of Medical Research
Donations to the Australian Academy of Science
Other Donations to The Australian National University
Donations to an NGO, the Nature and Society Forum
Two Personal Celebrations
1994, The Sixth Frank and Bobbie Fenner Conference
1999, Fifty Years in the ANU
2. The Life of Charles Fenner
12. The Fenner Lineage
Extracts from Charles Fenner's 1931 and 1937 Diaries
27 October 1931, Niedergrenzebach
16 July 1937, Rotenburg and Niedergrenzebach
17 July 1937, Rotenburg/Fulda
Hirt Family History
Extracts from Charles Fenner's 1931 Diary
29 October 1931, Drehsa
The Fenner Coat-of-Arms
13. Childhood, University, Marriage and Family
Primary School, 1888 to 1895
Melbourne Teachers' College and the University of Melbourne
Marriage to Emma Louise Hirt, 4 January 1911
Later Teaching Positions in Victoria
Appointment as Superintendent of Technical Education
Retirement and Death
14. Charles Fenner, the Educational Administrator
Extracts from the Australian Dictionary of Biography
Essay by Hyams (1990): ‘Superintendent of Technical Education, 1916 to 1939’
Director of Education, 1939 to 1946
Other Aspects of Charles Fenner's Career in the Education Department
Comments on Secondary Education on Return from Europe, 1932
The South Australian School of Arts and Crafts
Appreciation by Australian Broadcasting Commission (S.A. Division)
An Appreciation by J. S. Walker, Director-General of Education, 1967
Tribute from the Hon S. W. Jeffries, S.A. Hansard, July 1947
Comments by Thiele and Gibbs (1975)
Bibliography of Charles Fenner's other Publications on Education
15. Overseas Trips, Diary Extracts on Education
Some Emotional Reactions to Travel
5 August 1931, the First Day at Sea
19 August 1931, Colombo
12–13 September, 1931, London
13 May 1937, London
24 July 1937, Geneva to London
Edited Extracts of Some of the Comments on Education
24 March 1937, San Francisco
2 April 1937, Los Angeles
3 April 1937, Pasadena
9 April 1937, Santa Fé, New Mexico
14 April 1937, Chicago, Illinois
16 April 1937, Detroit, Michigan
26 April 1937, New York
28 April 1937, New York
29 April 1937, New York
3 May 1937, New York
26 May 1937, London
27 May 1937, London
4 June 1937, London
2 July 1937, Hannover
3 July 1937, Hannover
5 July 1937, Hannover
8 July 1937, Berlin
9 July 1937, Berlin
16 July 1937, Rotenburg
19–21 July 1937, Geneva, International Education Conference
27 July 1937, London
28 July 1937, London
25 August 1937. London, Broadcasting
2–6 September 1937, Nottingham, BAAS
9 September 1937, London, Cinema in Schools
25 September 1937, Cape Town
16. The Scientist and Science Communicator
Studies of Physiography in Victoria, 1913 to 1916
Science Notes, by Tellurian
Books of Essays
Bunyips and Billabongs
Mostly Australian
Gathered Moss
Royal Society of South Australia
Field Naturalists' Society
Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch)
Historical Memorials Committee
Peter Nuyts
Colonel William Light
Captain Charles Sturt
Application for Chair in Geography, University of Sydney
Lecturer in Geography, University of Adelaide
Books on Geography
Prizes for Scientific Work
The Wongana Circle
Activities after Retirement
Bibliography of Charles Fenner's Publications on Science
Geology, Geography and Physiography
Historical Papers
Popular Articles
17. Overseas Trips, Diary Extracts on Science
1931 Trip
Travelling over in the Balranald
27 August 1931, Aden
6 September 1931, the Coast of Spain
Great Britain
23–30 September 1931, London, BAAS Centenary Meeting
Australian History, Memories of Charles Sturt
1937 Trip
United States of America
28 March 1937, Yosemite
29 March 1937, Monterey
30 March 1937, Monterey to Los Angeles
5 to 7 April 1937, Grand Canyon
5 April, 1937
6 April 1937
7 April 1937
8 April 1937, Santa Fé
10 April 1937, Santa Fé to Kansas City
28 April 1937 to 4 May, New York
28 April 1937, New York
30 April 1937, New York
4 May 1937, New York
20 April 1937, Ottawa
Continental Europe
10 June 1937, Danube Valley
12 June 1937, Vienna, Natural History Museum
14 June 1937, Kecskemét, Hungary
17 to 20 June 1937, Italy
17 June 1937
18 June 1937
20 June 1937, Milan
22 June 1937, Grande Corniche
24 to 30 June 1937, France
24 June 1937, Nice to Grenoble
25 June 1937, Dijon
30 June 1937, Paris
11-12 July 1937, Prague, Czechoslovakia
31 July to 20 August 1937, Holiday Trip to Spitzbergen
2 August 1937
4 August 1937
5 August 1937
6 August 1937, Hammerfest, Norway
16 August 1937. Gerainger Fiord, Norway.
17 August 1937
2 to 7 September 1937, Great Britain
2 to 3 September 1937, Nottingham, BAAS Meeting
3 September 1937
7 September 1937, London
South Africa
24 September 1937, Cape Town
25 September 1937, Cape Town
26 September 1937
27 September 1937, Cape Town to Johannesburg
28 September 1937
29 September 1937, Johannesburg
1 October 1937, Johannesburg
8 October 1937, Cape Town
18. Reflections, Frank Fenner
Special Friends
School Days
University Days
Army Days
Melbourne Days
Canberra Days
Local Friends
Gordon Ada
Rod Andrew
Stephen Boyden
Ruth Conley
Jack Crawford
Walter Crocker
David Curtis
Max Day
Jack Eccles
Marcus Faunce
Bryan Furnass
Adrian Gibbs
Alfred Gottschalk
Alan Jackson
E.V. (Bill) Keogh
Kevin Lafferty
Jim McCauley and Doris; Cam Webber and Joanna
George Mackaness
Barrie Marmion
Cedric Mims
Geoff and Margaret Rossiter
Richard Smallwood
Michael Studdert
Bob Walsh
Hugh Ward
Wendy Whatson
David White
Overseas Friends
Derrick Baxby
Joel Breman
Bob and Beth Chanock
Alan Downie
Keith Dumbell
D. A. Henderson
Zdeno Jezek
Edgar Mercer
Fred Murphy
Nature, Nurture and Chance
Index of Names
Subject Index, Part I, Frank Fenner, Chapters 111, 18
Subject Index, Part II, Charles Fenner, Chapters 12-17, 18

List of Figures

1.1. Iramoo, the house at 42 Alexander Avenue, Rose Park in 1931, after adding the second storey as the boys' shared bedroom
1.2. The family in 1937
2.1. Adelaide University Hockey Club, Inter-varsity team, Brisbane 1937
3.1. Officers' Mess, 2/6 Field Ambulance, Woodside, September 1940
3.2. Frank Fenner at the site of the 2/2 Australian General Hospital at Hughenden a day after the cyclone
3.3. Photograph of Bobbie Roberts in 1942, by Julian Smith
5.1. The temporary buildings of the John Curtin School of Medical Research
5.2. The Fenner house at 8 Monaro Crescent
5.3. Viewing the Canberra Meritorious Award for Architecture, 1956
5.4. Staff of Department of Microbiology in the temporary laboratories, June 1955
5.5. Team assembled in Indonesia at request of Ambassador Walter Crocker to investigate the establishment of a medical school in Sumatra, July–August 1956
5.6. Academic staff, visiting fellows and students of the Department of Microbiology in 1962, on the roof of Infected Animal House, with Black Mountain in the background
6.1. European and Brazilian Rabbit
6.2. Frank Fenner at the bench, inoculating chick-developing embryos with a virus suspension
10.1. The Smallpox Recognition Card, showing a child with smallpox at the pustular stage
10.2. Map showing my travel by air and road around South Africa and Namibia in 1978
10.3. Frank Fenner addressing the World Health Assembly on 8 May 1980
11.1. Frank Fenner receiving the Prime Minister's Prize for Science, from Prime Minister John Howard, August 2002
12.1. Map of Hesse and the Schwalm valley
12.2. Schwälmer men's and women's attire
12.3. The Fenner coat-of-arms
12.4. Fenner Hall, The Australian National University, Canberra
13.1. Students and teachers at Dunach School in 1890
13.2. Charles Fenner with his father Johannes Fenner, in 1903, when Charles was ‘principal’ of two one-teacher schools
13.3. Photograph of Miss Emma L. Hirt
13.4. Photograph of the married couple
14.1. Cartoons of Charles Fenner published in The Bulletin, 1929, 1930 and 1935
14.2. Charles Fenner, Director of Education, at his desk
16.1. Charles Fenner with Sir Edgeworth David, examining a piece of fossil wood
16.2. Map of Australia showing the ‘strewnfield’ of australites
16.3. Australites
16.4. Medals