Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG
11 July 2021
NOOSA – Adjunct Professor Lance Hill, who dedicated 38 years to his scientific career in Papua New Guinea, died in Cairns on 1 July aged 76. The cause of his death is unknown.
Dr Hill arrived in PNG in 1970, soon after the establishment of the University of PNG, as a senior tutor in biology.
His PNG service encompassed 36 years at the university, where he rose to become Professor of Biological Sciences, and two years at the Department of Environment and Conservation as a resource management specialist.
He was also a long-standing supporter of Papua New Guinean literature and PNG Attitude, being a generous donor to the Crocodile Prize literary awards and to other fund-raising projects for PNG.
Dr Hill’s research interests were in ecology, the environment and resource management.
He published extensively and was also respected as an efficient and energetic university administrator.
“Adjunct Professor Lance Hill worked tirelessly and contributed greatly to education and capacity building at UPNG and in the Pacific,” said Dr Peter Petsul, the university registrar,
“He had a long and outstanding academic career.”
Economist and development specialist John Conroy wrote on Twitter (@informaleconomy) that Dr Hill had “an extraordinary career at UPNG over almost four decades and it must have been very tough at times.
“Goodwill, combined with diplomacy and devotion to the PNG environment, saw him through.”
In recent days we have lost three dedicated educationists, each of whom served Papua New Guinea for four decades and made a significant contribution to the country's development: educational administrator Peter Bridger, Emeritus Professor Maev O’Collins and Adjunct Professor Lance Hill.
It has been a privilege to work with the late professor Lance Hill between 2004 and 2010 at UPNG.
Lance was a simple and a humble person. Can’t forget the call on a January morning offering me the position of project coordinator, a project on which we worked together to strengthen biodiversity conservation efforts in PNG.
My heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Professor Lance Hill. May his soul rest in peace.
Posted by: Tom Pringel | 16 July 2021 at 11:40 PM
Dr Hill had a great impact on PNG biology in his 40 years of university service. I salute him.
I had the privilege to participate in his Biology tutorial and lecture sessions back in 1999. May he rest in peace.
Posted by: Kenneth Kachau | 14 July 2021 at 05:03 PM
Great men have lived in PNG and contributed immensely in serving humanity.
One of those dedicated fallen angels is the late Lance Hill. May His Soul Rest in Peace.
Posted by: Gilson Rex | 12 July 2021 at 11:26 PM
My soul grieves to encompassed a loss of a great and valiant man who has tirelessly and with such a passion stood up for decades to inspire hundreds of Papua New Guineans on their quest for a scientific education.
I still recall vividly the nomenclature of cell biology from his lectures as though it was just yesterday although it was 20 years ago.
Unfortunately we do not have a pathway to acknowledge such great individuals especially expatriates in higher institutions across PNG, who have committed their life to distinguished service, with Queen's awards or honorary citizenship awards.
Thank you Professor Lance Hill. May your soul rest in external peace.
The PNG government can and does offer national awards in the Order of Logohu to non-citizens - KJ
Posted by: Dr Gilbert Kamae | 12 July 2021 at 10:31 PM
Those of us who walked along the corridors of their time will recall the fine example of those who not only taught the text books but also brought the values of educated men and women.
Without them, we wouldn't be where we are today. You pointed us in a direction with a purpose. Rest in Eternal Peace.
Posted by: Joseph Pahau | 11 July 2021 at 05:53 PM
Under Prof Hill the first UPNG cell biology lecture of every Foundation Year Science cohort was always the most memorable 101 of research and academic excellence.
Sitting in that Main Lecture Theatre, even during the days when it was dingy and dank, was as thrilling an adventure as a blockbuster movie, intellectually.
Lance Hil's lectures always reminded us how much we loved science and why.
When he and Prof John Kola met me at Labu Station in 2007, they were both thrilled to know that I was working in the organization that they had created together, NARI.
It was a family affair.
In a small way, it was like handing over of the reigns of responsibility.
We live beneath the shadow of great men and women and we don't even need to know it.
Posted by: Michael Dom | 11 July 2021 at 08:41 AM