Research options for Australia

ACT Division

Event details

Wednesday 29 May 2019

5.30pm – 6.15pm


Free for the talk  (no registration required).

Fellows and their Guests may wish to stay on for House Dinner and interact further with the speaker and the Master of University House.

No registration is required for the talk but if you wish to go to dinner ($40/person for a two-course, sit-down dinner with wine) please book a ticket through
events.unihouse@anu.edu.au  with a CC to danny.llewellyn@csiro.au by COB on 24 May.

Please pay University House directly before the dinner by credit card through the University House Events staff, Shruti Bhatnagar (02 6125 4692) or Julianne Strache (02 6125 5269) or in person at the reception desk (tell them you wish to be at the Academy table to get the members’ discounted rate above).

If convenient your booked dinner ticket can be collected and paid for on the night just before the talk.


Common Room University House, ANU
1 Balmain Crescent, Acton
See map >>


Danny Llewellyn
Academy Secretary, ACT Division

Amelia Dean
The Academy Events Coordinator
03 9864 0919

In Australia we have talked for a long time about the need to build our capacity for basic and translational research – both – together. And still we talk.

In the meantime, our expenditure on research and development is down to roughly 1.8 per cent of GDP. Only a few years ago it was 2.2 per cent. And still we talk.

If all we do is have a fascinating conversation with ourselves, what are our chances of building a better Australia than the one that just happens along? When we don’t ask about our nation and what we want it to be? Ask the hard questions.

The requirement for quality research, for knowledge, is essential but not sufficient. Balancing basic and translational research within our broader economy is a challenge that cannot be met without more clearly identifying organisational aspects of our national research capability.

We have to know what we want and work to build it. And if our notional leaders won’t do it, we must. We have to work out what we want and then how to engage with all the partners – the researchers, the politicians, the bureaucrats, the business world but above all the community – it is they who pay for most of it one way or another and who will get the benefits when they flow – and who will carry the bulk of the consequences if they don’t.

We have to avoid drifting around hoping something will come along to sustain a privileged lifestyle.

Building a coherent, purposeful if careful approach to the full spectrum of research is at the heart of Professor Ian Chubb’s talk.

Ian Chubb has been a strong and effective advocate for government and industry support of innovation and research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) over several decades.

Throughout his career, including as Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (2001 to 2011) and as Chief Scientist of Australia (2011 to 2016), he made significant contributions to improving the infrastructure for scientific research and training and was conspicuous in raising the public profile of science in the media.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999 and then a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2006 for his service to higher education, including research and development policy in the pursuit of advancing the national interest socially, economically, culturally and environmentally, and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy.

He was the ACT Australian of the Year in 2011 and has received six honorary doctorates. In 2016 he was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Medal for his outstanding contributions by sustained efforts in the public domain which have significantly advanced the cause of science and technology in Australia.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Photo of Ian Chubb