Academy statement

Academy welcomes commitments to science and technology

November 29 2018

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering has welcomed strong commitments to science and technology by the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition.

The Government has announced the formation of a National Science and Technology Council to take the place of the former Commonwealth Science Council as the peak advisory body to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on science and technology.

The Opposition has committed, if it forms Government, to develop a charter with the Australian science and research community to establish the reciprocal roles, responsibilities and expectations of government and researchers.

Academy President, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, said the two announcements – both of which include plans for increased funding – reflected a welcome emphasis on the role that science and technology could play in building a more prosperous and sustainable Australia.

“The Academy brings together Australia’s leading experts in technology, engineering and science to provide impartial, practical and evidence-based advice on how to achieve sustainable solutions and advance prosperity.

“My predecessor as President, Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE, will continue as Executive Officer of the National Science and Technology Council.

“The Academy stands ready to work with him to propose research challenges and science and technology policy initiatives and develop insightful evidence bases for broader policy development.

“We particularly welcome regular meetings of the Council and opportunities for the Council to engage with learned academies via the Chief Scientist. We look forward to proposing topics and their evidence base for consideration.

“These announcements this week bode well for Australia, as a strong research and science sector is the foundation for knowledge creation, technology and innovation that can be harnessed to drive commercialisation and economic and social benefit.”