HARRY HARRIS ORATION

2018 Orator – Professor Peter Doherty AC

A graduate of the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Peter Doherty shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine 1996 for his immunology research and was the 1997 Australian of the Year. Since then, he has gone in to bat for evidence based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change.  So far he has published 5 “lay’ books on science with the latest, “The Knowledge Wars”, suggesting how those who don’t know much (or anything) about science can “interrogate” both the scientific evidence and those who claim to be scientists for themselves.

 

About the Harry Harris Oration

This is the most prestigious Oration of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand.

The Harry Harris Oration was established in honour of the Society’s founder, Samuel Henry Harris (1881 – 1936), and is usually, but not necessarily, made by a non-urologist. Harry Harris was born and educated in Sydney and after graduation as Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery in 1906 he spent a year as resident medical officer at Sydney Hospital. Harris then went into general practice in the Sydney suburb of Enmore. In 1914 Harry Harris was appointed Honorary Urologist to the new department of urology at Lewisham Hospital, Sydney.

Harris came to urology via gynaecology and he was the first full-time specialist urologist in Australasia and he was also the first Australasian urologist to achieve an international reputation for his work.

In 1928, he first published results of his suprapubic prostatectomy with complete closure. Harris’ mortality rate for his own operation was 2.8 per cent, the lowest at the time, and for many years afterwards, for any method of open prostatectomy. Harris was a pioneer in the speciality of urology and a vital figure in the events leading to the formation of the Urological Society of Australasia. He published thirty-seven papers on urology and was on the editorial boards of not only the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Surgery but also the British Journal of Surgery. He was a foundation fellow of the RACS, a member of the International Society of Urology and would have been foundation president of the Urological Society of Australasia if he had not died in December 1936. The inaugural meeting of the Society took place the following month.

The inaugural Harry Harris Oration was delivered in 1969 by Professor M Ewing, the then Professor of Surgery of Melbourne, and was titled “A Place in Prosperity”.