National Committees for Science


Chair: Professor Stuart Wyithe

The committee has begun the community engagement phase of decadal planning, with a series of consultative meetings to be held from February to May 2014 across Australia. The input gained will form the basis of a national workshop to discuss outcomes and shape the first draft of the plan. Information can be found at the decadal plan website. A demographic census survey will be used to compare previous demographic data, allowing the community to assess its strengths and more effectively plan for the future.

Brain and Mind

Chair: Emeritus Professor Pat Michie

The committee’s membership is being determined in view of the expanded coverage of disciplines to include psychology, cognitive science, systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and bionics. New links are being established with relevant national scientific societies, facilitated by establishment of an interactive website. The website will also allow exchange of information between brain imaging centres in Australasia, raise public awareness about brain and cognitive science nationally and internationally, and act as a centralised directory of centres of expertise and facilities in brain and cognitive science.

Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

Chair: Professor Mark Westoby FAA

The most urgent business for this new committee is the proposed National Long-Term Plan for Science of Ecosystems, a joint project between the Academy, the Ecological Society of Australia, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network. In January 2014 a broad online survey of the research community was completed, and a phase of consultative meetings around Australia is underway. It is hoped the plan will be completed by mid-2014. More information can be found here

Information and Communication Sciences

Chair: Professor Rod Tucker FAA

The new National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences (NCICS) is focusing on the recommendations of a 2013 Academy foresight study ‘Future science – computer science, meeting the scale challenge’. The Committee met for the first time on February 13, 2014 and is tasked with connecting the Academy to ICS practitioners, researchers, educators, and scientists in Australia and ensuring that Australia has a voice and role in the global development of the discipline. For more information contact Rod Tucker, the Committee Chair.


Chair: Professor Frank Dunshea

At the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) General Assembly in September the IUNS executive decided Australia and New Zealand should form a new ‘group’ known as Oceania. IUNS Oceania brings the number of groups to seven and it is envisaged that Oceania will tackle nutrition issues pertinent to the region, including chronic metabolic diseases such as Type II diabetes. Representatives of the National Committee included Professors Andrew Sinclair (previous Chair), Caryl Nowson and Frank Dunshea (current Chair) with Dr Angela Rowan representing the New Zealand Royal Society.

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