Annual Report 2021

Report cover

The Australian Academy of Science 2021 Annual Report covers 1 January to 31 December 2021.

The Academy’s responses to COVID-19 and climate change are among the many achievements highlighted in the report.

Major achievements included collaborating with government departments to communicate pandemic-related information; calling for an RNA manufacturing capability in Australia and convening a national RNA roundtable of experts; calling attention to the risks to Australia of a warmer world; and the publication of a hub of climate change resources.

Read the 2021 Annual Report (PDF 8.7MB)

Read the media release

2021 highlights

Green cover of the Science of immunisation booklet


This year, on the topic of COVID-19 the Academy:

  • developed and distributed a new version of our popular booklet, ‘The science of immunisation’
  • created 8 videos, 6 articles and two infographics explaining the science of COVID-19, sharing them widely with Australians and internationally
  • delivered 5 webinars to encourage international collaboration during COVID-19.

We thank the Australian Government Department of Health and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources for supporting these activities.

See our COVID-19 Resources Hub

The risks to Australia of a 3 degrees warmer world

Climate change

On climate change science, the Academy:

  • released a landmark climate change report on the risks to Australia of a 3°C warmer world
  • created a digital hub featuring all its articles, reports and videos on climate change science and solutions
  • published 6 media releases, including 3 statements on COP26 and climate change
  • released a national 10-year strategy for sustainable oceans and coasts.

See our Climate Change Hub

New copper tiles being installed on the Shine Dome

Advancement and celebration of science

To advance and celebrate science in Australia and internationally, we:

  • published a report identifying opportunities to advance data-intensive research in Australia
  • supported the call for Kathleen Folbigg’s pardon and release from prison based on recent strong scientific evidence
  • launched a Champions of the Decadal Plan program to support the implementation of the 2019 Nourishing Australia: A decadal plan for the science of nutrition by the National Committee for Nutrition
  • hosted a national RNA roundtable that supported Australia becoming a leader in RNA science and technology
  • called on the NSW Government to remove all feral horses from Kosciuszko National Park
  • provided advice and submissions to government inquiries and consultations, including appearing at parliamentary hearings
  • re-roofed and improved the sustainability of our heritage-listed building, the Shine Dome, following severe hail damage in 2020.
Uluru with stars above

Support for scientists and diversity in science

We supported scientists and encouraged diversity in science by:

  • recognising 24 leading scientists with honorific awards, and announcing support for more than 40 scientists with grants, fellowships and conference funding
  • welcoming 22 new Fellows for 2021, the cohort made up of 41% women and 59% men
  • publishing a report about gender inequity in the STEM workforce across the Asia-Pacific
  • launching the STEM Women Asia database to raise the profile of women in STEM
  • hosting the finale of Falling Walls Lab Australia for early career researchers
  • participating in NAIDOC Week, and shining light on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists
  • joining with Australia’s other learned academies to respond to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
18 million impressions on social media

Science for a broad audience

We brought science to a broad audience by:

  • recording more than 18 million impressions on social media
  • welcoming more than 4.4 million visitors to our websites
  • publishing over 70 videos, many of which were embedded in online mainstream media stories 615 times, and articles that were mentioned or quoted 122 times (across all media syndications)
  • delivering 37 online and hybrid events for audiences across Australia and around the world, including the Academy’s annual flagship event ‘Science at the Shine Dome’
  • holding ‘scienceXart’, a photo competition about food and nutrition for school students across Australia.


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