26 July 2002
I was delighted to join the Victorian Regional Group of Fellows in welcoming the New Fellows for 2002 at a dinner at the University of Melbourne's University House. Earlier in the evening, John McKenzie welcomed Fellows, guests and members of the public to a Symposium, where the six New Fellows (or their AGM videos) did an excellent job in show-casing Australian science. Tony Klein, as Chair of the Victorian Group, was a fine host and I thank him for the opportunity to give the after-dinner address. I gave a report card on the Academy, as I see it (we did not pass in all areas), and spoke of my vision for improving the Academy's engagement with younger researchers, by facilitating stimulating intellectual opportunities for them. The Academy does support international exchanges for about 70 early- to mid-career researchers each year, with the assistance of the federal government's International Scientific and Technology Networks Program and others, and is organising future bilateral workshops with the US National Science Foundation.
We shall continue to welcome 80 young researchers and science teachers to our Annual General Meeting each year, and continue to support the Academy's junior awards and medals. It was pleasing to see the addition of yet another junior award to the Academy's honours in 2002: the Dorothy Hill Award recognises female scientists in the Earth sciences.
As a first step in increasing interaction with mid-career researchers, the Academy will be hosting a workshop on national research priority setting at the Shine Dome on 8 August, to be facilitated by Michael Barber. This will provide an opportunity for younger researchers to state their views on what they see as the stimulating scientific challenges for the nation in the 21st century and to provide input into the Cabinet discussions which will take place later this year.
I had no hesitation, in my report card, in giving the Victorian Group of Fellows a high distinction for their efforts in promoting the importance of science with Victorian policy makers and in the community more generally.
Please feel free to pass this note to any interested colleagues.
With best wishes,
The revised structure of the National Committees arising from discussion by Chairs of the Committees at their meeting on 30 April has been approved by Council. The new structure is as follows:
The National Committees for Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Biophysics be abolished and replaced with a single National Committee for Biomedical Sciences,
The National Committee for Microbiology, which was unrepresented at the meeting be invited to disband and transfer its responsibilities to the National Committee for Biomedical Sciences,
The Animal and Plant Sciences Committees be merged
For the National Committee for Biomedical Sciences and the National Committee for Plant and Animal Sciences:
The Chair and Committee membership to be determined from a list nominated by the Professional Societies
Agenda items to be nominated by Professional Societies, with the aim of identifying discipline trends and preparing submissions for reviews.
One face to face meeting be held each year with virtual meetings by email as required.
The suggested terms of reference to include an annual review by the professional societies concerned, and by the Academy.
The Nutrition, Psychology and Medicine Committees be retained in their present form.
The National Committee for the Environment be abolished, and its responsibilities be transferred to the National Committee for Sustainability.
The National Committee of Atmospheric and Ocean Research and the National Committee for Climate and Global Change be merged into a National Committee for Climate, Atmospheric and Ocean Research and Global Change.
The National Committee for Climate, Atmospheric and Ocean Research and Global Change maintain the co-sponsorship given the present National Committee for Climate and Global Change. NCCGC is currently co-sponsored by the Bureau of Meteorology and Heads of Commonwealth Marine Agencies, with ATSE to be approached to join the co-sponsorship of the new committee.
The National Committees for Geography, Quaternary Science, and Antarctic Research be retained in their present form.
The National Committee for Solid Earth Sciences be retitled the National Committee for Earth Sciences.
No structural changes be made to the Physical Sciences National Committees, viz
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Theory of Machines and Mechanisms
The National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science be retained in its present form.
In general, standing sub-committees should be abolished, and task groups or working parties be established, with a definite termination date, as necessary.
The new National Committee Structure be reviewed by the Academy and the Appropriate Professional Societies after it has been in operation for three years.
The August meeting of EXCOM will reappoint, or appoint where necessary, Chairs of National Committees. Chairs will then be invited to consult with professional societies, and other appropriate organisations, with respect to Committee membership, and to put those names forward to the September meeting of EXCOM.
NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR EARTH SCIENCES
The Academy's National Committee for Earth Sciences is currently undertaking a project to develop a strategic plan for Earth sciences in Australia. Dr Phil McFadden, chairman of the committee, is overseeing this project. I invite the Earth sciences community to provide a submission to the development of this strategic plan (see http://www.science.org.au/submission.doc). A background issues paper, Towards a strategic plan for Earth sciences in Australia, is available at http://www.science.org.au/earth.doc. The deadline for submissions is 30 August 2002.
SUBMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION
The Academy has made a submission to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training's Higher Education Review. The submission is available on the Academy's website at http://www.science.org.au/media/28June02.htm.
JOINT ACADEMIES' COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABILITY (JACS)
JACS is sponsored by the four academies, through the National Academies Forum, and is chaired by Dr Graeme Pearman of CSIRO Atmospheric Research. The committee is currently preparing a 5-year work plan and a major item in this plan is the national conference on sustainability to be held in November 2003. This conference will bring together the wide community of professionals who are working on issues on sustainability.
In planning the program for this conference, JACS is seeking your input and participation. Firstly, Graeme would like you to examine A blueprint: the science needed to underpin Australia's transition to sustainability and to email your comments to him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. The 'blueprint' was drafted for the Academy's symposium, Transition to sustainability, held on 3 May 2002. It is available at http://www.science.org.au/sats2002/blueprint.htm (together with the full proceedings from the symposium). Secondly, JACS will soon be circulating some simple questions concerning the concept of sustainability and the role of science. Again, Graeme would be delighted to have your views on how you perceive these issues and will use your input when planning the conference.
Trish Nicholls has retired as the Academy's National Relations Officer. Nancy Pritchard, the Academy's International Programs Officer, now has the overview of ICSU and adhering organisations. Nancy can be contacted on (02) 6247 3966 or mailto:email@example.com.
We welcome two new staff members to the Academy. Kathryn Lawry is our new Fellowship and Elections Manager and can be contacted on (02) 6247 5777 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Judy Richmond has been appointed to look after the National Committees and can be contacted on (02) 6247 3966 or mailto:email@example.com.
TRAVELLING FELLOWSHIPS AND RESEARCH CONFERENCES
The Academy is calling for nominations for the 2003 Selby Fellowship and the Max Jacobs Fund. Further details are at http://www.science.org.au/awards/selby.htm and http://www.science.org.au/awards/jacobs.htm.
Expressions of intent to hold a research conference are also being called for. Information about the Boden Conferences is at http://www.science.org.au/awards/boden.htm, the Elizabeth and Frederick White Conferences at http://www.science.org.au/awards/e&fwhite.htm and the Fenner Conferences at http://www.science.org.au/awards/fenner.htm.
The closing date for nominations and expressions of intent is 30 September.
2002 LLOYD REES LECTURE
The 2002 Lloyd Rees Lecturer is Professor David Cockayne FRS, Department of Materials, University of Oxford. Dr Cockayne will present a lecture on Exploring the nanoworld - adventure or investment at 2.30 pm on Thursday 26 September at the Wark Laboratory Lecture Theatre, CSIRO Molecular Science and Forestry and Forest Products, Clayton. For further information email Peter Hannaford at mailto:Phannaford@swin.edu.au.
2002 SELBY FELLOW
The 2002 Selby Fellow is Dr Leonard Smith, the Northville Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics at Pembroke College, Oxford and Co-director of the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series at the London School of Economics. He will be visiting Australia from 29 July to 27 August 2002 and giving public lectures and university seminars in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney and Perth. Itinerary details and further information are available at http://www.maths.uq.edu.au/~rcw/Selby/.
2002 FENNER CONFERENCE
The 2002 Fenner Conference on the Environment is on Agriculture for the Australian Environment and will be held at Canberra's Rydges Lakeside from 30 July to 1 August. Information and registration details are available at http://life.csu.edu.au/fenner.
Other Academy news is in the online version of our latest newsletter (http://www.science.org.au/newsletters).
26 July. Deadline for nominations for the Clunies Ross National Science & Technology Award.
28 July. Deadline for applications to the Academy's exchange programs with Europe (http://www.science.org.au/internat/exchange/eurovis.htm).
29 July-27 August. Selby Fellow visiting Australia (see item above).
30 July to 1 August. Fenner Conference (see item above).
31 July. Deadline for receipt of Certificates of a Candidate for Election. For further information contact the Academy's election manager on 02 6247 5777 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 August. ATSE Crawford Fund Conference, Canberra - Food for the future: Opportunities for a crowded planet (http://www.crawfordfund.org).
9 August. Deadline for written submissions to nominate national research priorities (http://www.dest.gov.au/priorities).
18-24 August. Photonic Crystals Down Under. Inaugural Oliphant International Frontiers Conference. (http://www.rsphysse.anu.edu.au/nonlinear/meeting).
23 August. Deadline for applications to the Academy's exchange programs with Asia (http://www.science.org.au/internat).
23 August. Deadline for applications to the Academy's JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships program (http://www.science.org.au/internat/exchange/jspspd.htm).
26 August. Deadline for applications to Pharmacia Foundation Australia's Inaugural Fellowships for 2003 (http://www.pharmacia.com.au/foundation).
30 August. Deadline for nominations for the Academy's Awards for Scientific Excellence (http://www.science.org.au/awards/index.htm).
30 August. Deadline for submissions to National Committee for Earth Sciences' strategic plan (see item above).
5-7 September. Australian Universities International Alumni Convention, Melbourne (http://www.auiac2002.com).
25-27 September. Climate and Culture in Australia (National Academies Forum Conference). For registration information see http://ozhistory.info/weather or mailto:email@example.com.
26 September. Lloyd Rees lecture, Melbourne (see item above).
27 September. Deadline for applications to the Academy's exchange program to North America (http://www.science.org.au/internat/exchange/usavis.htm).
30 September. Deadline for nominations and expressions of intent for the Academy's Travelling Fellowships and Research Conferences (see item above).
1-4 October. BioMalaysia 2002 Conference, Kuala Lumpur (http://www.biomalaysia2002.com).
31 October. Deadline for nominations for the Fondation Fyssen's International Prize (http://www.fondation-fyssen.org).
COUNCIL MEMBERS (http://www.science.org.au/academy/council/officers.htm)
President, Jim Peacock
phone (02) 6246 5250, fax (02) 6246 5530
Secretary (Physical Sciences), Bruce McKellar
phone (03) 9344 5122, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary (Biological Sciences), John Shine
phone (02) 9295 8120, mailto:email@example.com
Secretary (Science Policy), Michael Barber
phone (08) 9380 2460, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary (Education and Public Awareness), John McKenzie
phone (03) 8344 6407, mailto:email@example.com
Foreign Secretary, Kurt Lambeck
phone (02) 6125 5161, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer, Ian McDougall
phone (02) 6125 4136, mailto:Ian.McDougall@anu.edu.au