3 April 2003
Yet again we find ourselves at war. I’m reminded of an address by John F Kennedy almost 40 years ago, on what he called the most important topic on earth: world peace. Addressing the American University in Washington DC in June, 1963, President Kennedy said: 'I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.'
The Academy, in a small way, will be working towards a more practical, attainable peace when it brings together this week some mid-career scientists and social scientists from across the nation for a High Flyers’ Think Tank on Safeguarding Australia, one of the Federal government’s research priorities.
The purpose of this think tank is to encourage researchers from a broad range of disciplines to engage in thinking about novel applications of existing science and technology and in identifying gaps in knowledge that might be addressed when applying science (including social science) and technology to safeguarding the nation. Some Fellows of the Academy will be present to facilitate discussion.
It is my hope that think tanks such as this, focused on particular challenging and contemporary issues, will encourage young researchers to think creatively about the applications of their research and may spark enduring new collaborations and multidisciplinary problem solving. The report from this week's think tank will be posted on the Academy’s website.
With best wishes,
ACADEMY ELECTS 16 NEW FELLOWS
My warmest congratulations to the following scientists who were elected to Fellowship on 27 March:
Professor Perry Bartlett
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland
Professor Robert Bilger
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, School of Aerospace and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Sydney
Professor Rossiter Crozier
Professor (Personal Chair), School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Queensland
Professor Peter Drummond
Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Queensland
Professor David Groves
Professor (Personal Chair) of Geology and Director, Centre for Global Metallogeny, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Western Australia
Professor Michael Hynes
Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Melbourne
Professor Frederick Mendelsohn
Director, Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Physiology and Medicine, University of Melbourne
Professor Maria Orlowska
Professor of Information Systems, Head of Information Systems Division and Deputy Head of School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland
Professor Hyam Rubinstein
Professor and Head of Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne
Professor Richard Shine
Professor in Evolutionary Biology (Personal Chair), University of Sydney
Dr Andreas Strasser
Principal Research Fellow, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne
Professor Stephen Tyerman
Professor and Head of Discipline of Viticulture, Department of Horticulture, Viticulture and Oenology, University of Adelaide
Dr David Vaux
Principal Research Fellow, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne
Professor Mark von Itzstein
Professor and Director, Centre for Biomolecular Science and Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Queensland
Dr S Bruce Wild
Senior Fellow, Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Canberra
Professor James S Williams
Professor and Director, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra
SCIENCE AT THE SHINE DOME, 30 April-2 May 2003
I look forward to welcoming our new Fellows to one of the most significant events on the Academy's calendar, Science at the Shine Dome, which also incorporates our AGM. Many of them will be giving brief talks on their research at the New Fellows Seminar on Wednesday, 30 April, an event we all look forward to.
This year's symposium, Nanoscience - where physics, chemistry and biology collide, to be held on Friday 2 May, has attracted a fine range of speakers.
Program and registration details for the three-day event are being added to the Academy's website as they are finalised (http://www.science.org.au/sats2003).
AWARDS TO FELLOWS
Congratulations are also due to the following Academy Fellows:
Perry Bartlett, Bruce Kemp, Richard Manchester, Gerard Milburn and Marilyn Renfree, who were honoured in the recent round of the Commonwealth government's highly prestigious Federation Fellowships.
David Boger and David Doddrell, who have been awarded Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Medals. Extended citations are available at the Foundation's website (http://www.cluniesross.org.au/cr2003/index.htm).
I have congratulated Dr Jeff Harmer, formerly of the Health Insurance Commission, on his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Education, Science and Training. In the past year or so, the Department has been broadly consultative, as we saw during the national research priority setting exercise in 2002. I am pleased to say that the practice of consulting with the research community, in the process of formulating advice to government, is continuing. The current science and innovation mapping exercise is another example of this. The study will take stock of Australian science, technology and innovation.
On Monday this week the Federal Science Minister, Peter McGauran, brought together more than 100 scientists and others for a Science and Innovation Mapping Experts Forum in Canberra. Two of the six break-out sessions were facilitated by Academy staff, Mark Matthews and Sue Serjeantson. As I mentioned in my most recent Note, the chair of the reference group is Fellow and Chief Scientist Robin Batterham. Members of the reference group include Fellows Suzanne Cory, Graham Farqhuar, Bruce Hobbs and me. Information about the study can be found at http://www.dest.gov.au/mapping.
At our AGM on 1 May, I’ll be bringing to the Fellowship some propositions from Council regarding our anniversary year in 2004. We want to make the 50th year a celebration of Australian science. One way to do that is to pay tribute to those who have made special contributions to science in Australia in various ways. These contributions might be recognised appropriately by Special Election, Ordinary Election or by award of the Academy medal. We need the agreement of the Fellowship to change the Bye-Laws to permit up to three Special Elections, the award of up to three Academy medals and up to four additional Ordinary Elections in our special anniversary year.
Council will also be proposing to the AGM that, given the globalisation of science, it is time to recognise the contributions of some outstanding Australian scientists who are resident abroad. The proposition will be put that, from the year 2005, up to two expatriates on the Physical Sciences side and up to two on the Biological Sciences side might be elected by Ordinary Election to the Fellowship, in addition to the existing quota of 16 permanent residents. There are some persuasive arguments for the Academy to forge closer links with the expatriate scientific community.
Collection of Fellows' publications and papers
After careful consideration of archival and collections policies of other collecting organisations at a national level, Council wishes to advise Fellows that, in future, the appropriate curator of Fellows' publications and papers in the first instance is their current or former institutional employer.
30 April. Deadline for applications for the Cambridge Australia Trust Scholarships (http://www.anu.edu.au/cabs/scholarships/cambridge/cambridge-apply.html).
30 April-2 May. Science at the Shine Dome (http://www.science.org.au/sats2003).
16 May. Deadline for applications for Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowship (http://www.science.org.au/awards/nuffield.htm).
16 May. Deadline for entries for the Australian Museum's Eureka Prizes (http://www.amonline.net.au/eureka).
18-21 May. The Hydrogen Economy - Challenges and Strategies for Australia. International Hydrogen Conference, sponsored by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (http://www.hartleymgt.com.au/hydrogenbroome).
21-27 May. First Beijing International Science Popularization Products Exhibition and Workshop (http://www.bjkp.gov.cn/kjzpyth/english/index.htm).
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 (02) 6276 6388, 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