The Conversation Maggie Hardy 24 April 2015
An old academic joke you start to hear around federal budget time goes something like this: “Researchers could strike but no one would care, because no one would know we’ve gone until 10 or 15 years later.”
Most of us working on the coal face of science probably won’t see any outcomes in our lifetime – although with the rapid developments in technology that may be changing.
It takes a large degree of foresight to continue funding research when we know the result is decades away, and it says a lot for Australians that we’ve been so successful on a global stage.
But already this year researchers have battled with threats of funding cuts for critical infrastructure, through a scheme called NCRIS. With an outpouring of public support, from researchers and our supporters, the decision was reversed and 1,700 jobs in Australia were saved, but only for another year.
Gold Coast Bulletin Stephanie Bedo April 24, 2015
A Griffith University research team wants to infect people with malaria — a disease that kills at least half a million people every year.
The team, headed by Gold Coast professor Michael Good, is planning human trials of a potential vaccine it hopes will help wipe out the killer illness.
ABC News | April 22, 2015 | Andrew O’Connor
A focused effort on promoting scientific research in Western Australia is expected to build on the state’s strengths in mining and energy and help broaden the economy in the longer term.
Premier Colin Barnett unveiled the state’s first science statement at a conference today, mapping out the five key priority areas for scientific research. Continue reading…
The Conversation Rod Lamberts 16 April 2015
Reports about the worthy contributions of science to national economies pop up regularly all around the world – from the UK to the US and even the developing world.
In Australia, the Office of the Chief Scientist recently released an analysis of science and its contribution to the economy down under, finding it’s worth around A$145 billion a year.
It’s perfectly sensible and understandable that science (and related sectors) would feel the need to account for themselves in financial or economic terms. But in doing this we need to be wary of getting lulled into believing that this is the only – or worse, the best – way of attributing value to science.
Office of the Chief Scientist report link
The Conversation Tanya Monro 16 April 2015
This week saw the welcome news that the federal government has committed to pursuing a national science strategy.
Following a meeting on Monday with the Commonwealth Science Council, of which I am a member, the Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, has indicated he will consult with the science sector to agree on a number of research priorities that will help direct funding.
This is good news not only for scientists and research institutions, but also for the nation as a whole, and especially for the interaction between science and industry.
Australia has some amazing strengths in science. The Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report shows us that our research in physics, astronomy, agriculture – to pick a few – is at the forefront of world activities in terms of citations and academic impact. Our best research is indeed internationally leading.
The Conversation Warwick Anderson 15 April 2015
It’s been a great privilege to have been the head of NHMRC for going on a decade. That’s four governments, six health ministers, a funding increase from A$437 million in 2006 to A$859 million today and tens of thousands of applications for funding. And when I finished in March, I was the longest-serving head of a major public medical research funder internationally!