The Academy was delighted to support Science meets Parliament in March. Run by Science & Technology Australia, Science meets Parliament is a two-day gathering that fosters relationships and understanding between researchers, political leaders, policy-makers and the media.
The Academy's Chief Executive, Ms Anna-Maria Arabia, led a panel discussion on ‘How to convince a parliamentarian: hear from the experts’ for the 200 scientists in attendance. A number of Academy staff attended SmP and helped facilitate discussion between scientists, MPs and Senators. Academy staff played a vital role in taking the conversation out to much broader audience by live-tweeting and stimulating discussion throughout the event. As a result of this effort, SmP trended nationally for two full days.
The Academy welcomed the Government’s National Science Statement released during Science meets Parliament by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos. The Academy contributed significantly to the development of the statement.
Importantly, the comprehensive statement recognises the:
In particular, the Academy acknowledges the Government’s leadership to address inequality in science education, participation and employment, particularly through support of the Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot.
The statement recognises the role of science in our society and economy. It highlights that new knowledge is the fuel that drives innovation and that support is required from basic to applied research.
It provides much needed long-term direction and purpose for government activities in regards to science and shows an understanding of the needs and realities of the sector.
The Academy is ready to work with government to shape an investment strategy that supports this plan. It offers a comprehensive framework and a guide to decision-making and investment.
The focus areas point to a solid foundation for science, including infrastructure, education, engagement, and collaboration mechanisms—all important elements to create a strong science and innovation sector.
The document builds on the National Innovation and Science Agenda and recognises science’s role in driving Australia’s economic and social wellbeing.
© 2020 Australian Academy of Science