Message from the Chief Executive—March 2022

March 31, 2022
Ann-Maria Arabia

This month, the Academy has added its voice to the international science community’s condemnation of Russia’s unacceptable and reprehensible military aggression in Ukraine, and we will continue to work through the umbrella of science and technology to bring peace, harmony and prosperity in the world.

At the time of writing, we are anticipating a response from the NSW Attorney General regarding Kathleen Folbigg’s incarceration, one year after we presented a petition calling for her release in the face of sufficient medical and scientific evidence to provide an alternative explanation for the deaths of her children. The Academy has sustained its efforts in this area to bring justice to this case and to ensure that science informs decision-making in our parliaments, our courts, our classrooms and our society.

I am sure you will be inspired as I was to learn more about the terrific work of the recipients of the Academy’s 2022 Honorific Awards, recognised for their contributions to the advancement of science at the early-career, mid-career and career level. The recipients distinguish the whole of Australian science, and the Academy is proud to support their outstanding contributions. Whilst there is no red carpet or Hollywood gala, you’ll agree that these are the true Academy Award winners to watch out for!

We are so pleased to announce the attendees of the 71st annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, who will travel to Lindau, Germany in June to share their research, inspirations, experiences and ideas with fellow emerging scientists and Nobel Laureates. They will be joined by the chemistry cohort of the 70th Meeting, who attended virtually in 2021. After some difficult years, I’m thrilled that the participants will be able to engage in person with Nobel Laureates and be inspired and supported to advance their science.

Especially for climate change policymakers, this month we hosted the Australian authors of the IPCC Working Group II report who shared with us the observed and projected impacts of climate change, the adaptation capabilities of communities and biosystems, and the vulnerabilities posed to humans and our natural systems.

And as teachers have settled into Term 1, we have launched a new website for our secondary science program, ‘Science by Doing’, which builds on the Academy’s strong educational foundations. The new program uses a revised pedagogical approach, emphasising flexible professional learning and supporting teachers to reach out to all students.

Finally, it has been a month to celebrate diversity. We recognised the contributions of women and girls around the world and calls for climate action for women, by women as part of International Women’s Day, and we proudly welcomed Nokia as the 40th Champion of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan. Nokia have aligned its efforts to achieve gender equity with the directions in the decadal plan, taking us one step closer to achieving our vision for a thriving and diverse STEM-skilled workforce. Harmony Week placed a spotlight on the achievements of multicultural communities within Australia, with a focus on creating inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone, and I strongly encourage you to read the stories we shared from our Fellowship and other organisations.

I hope you enjoy reading the March newsletter.


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