Friday, January 14, 2011

The flood at UQ

The flood waters are beginning to subside in Brisbane. Above is a picture of the northside of the UQ campus. Fortunately, no major buildings were affected; mostly sporting facilities and car parks were inundated.
Thanks again to colleagues from around the world who enquired about my well being. My house was fine. Mind you, the water got to within 100 metres. The route I normally walk with my son to school was underwater.

It is disturbing to read in the Australian, Alarming report on Brisbane River risks covered up, about how a 1999 report to the city council was kept secret until it was leaked years later. Why the secrecy? Too many developers and real estate agents wanted to make money by building and selling on low-lying land.....

Any lessons for scientists? Yes. I believe that when there are large amounts of money (funding) and power (prizes and careers) at stake it is hard for the potential beneficiaries to be objective about the truth. They will also be reluctant to want all the uncertainties about what is known or not known to come to light.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ross,
    Having lived through a similar event resulting from a hurricane--albeit the scale and duration were considerably less--I fully appreciate the position you're in and what you all must be going through. Fortunately, disaster often open the opportunity to improve and correct problems...unfortunately, hind sight is 20/20.