Professor Holmes "driven by the pursuit of scientific truth"

11 May 2020
University responds to media coverage
Following a report in the Daily Telegraph, the University of Sydney has defended global collaboration on research and the work of renowned scientist Professor Edward Holmes.

We strongly defend the right of our researchers to collaborate with scientists around the world in line with all relevant Australian laws and government guidelines. Global collaboration on research is critical if we are going to improve and save lives and solve the world’s greatest challenges, especially the current pandemic.
Professor Edward Holmes is a world-renowned scientist and part of the team that first decoded the genetic sequence of the virus responsible for COVID-19. He is working around the clock as part of the global effort to save millions of lives.
Professor Holmes’ work is completely independent and driven by the pursuit of scientific truth. He has not received any research or personal funding from the Chinese Government or Chinese companies and institutions. Where he has undertaken research with scientists from China, his work has been funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the University of Sydney.
He is currently working on a range of projects with scientists from Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile and Sweden.
The paper on Malayan Pangolins, which was co-authored by Professor Holmes, was peer reviewed multiple times by Nature, the world’s most prestigious scientific journal.
Professor Holmes was part of an international team that carefully and independently considered the origins of COVID-19 and found absolutely no evidence that it was due to laboratory escape.
All Australian academics must comply with numerous federal laws that govern how we share information with other countries. We support the Government’s work on this and are working closely with them to implement further guidelines around research partnerships and agreements and to strengthen the coverage of the Defence Trade Controls Act. 

Professor Edward Holmes is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a Fellow of the Royal Society in London.
He has published six academic papers this year on the genome and origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
At the University of Sydney he is a member of the Charles Perkins Centre and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity. He holds a joint position with the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Medical School.

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