Update from the National Committees for Science

Major international Antarctic conference to be held in Tasmania in 2020

Tasmania is to host an international conference on the Antarctic in 2020. Photo: MemoryCatcher/Pixabay

The National Committee for Antarctic Research led the successful bid for the 2020 Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and the Australian Antarctic Division. More than 700 Antarctic scientists and academics from over 40 countries are expected to attend the SCAR events, providing a significant boost to the Tasmanian economy and showcasing the state as a key Antarctic hub. As a result of the successful bid, Council Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) will also host its annual general meeting in Hobart, with more than 100 Antarctic program managers and operational experts to attend.   

Australian elected President of SCAR

In addition to the successful bid for the 2020 SCAR conference, the Chair of the National Committee for Antarctic Research, Professor Steven Chown of Monash University, has been elected President of SCAR. Professor Chown is the first Australian President of SCAR, and his tenure will conclude with the 2020 meeting.

National Committee to raise profile of history and philosophy of science

The National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science is the Academy’s link to the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. The committee is chaired by Professor Joan Leach. 

The committee seeks to shape the future directions for science and innovation in Australia by learning from history and philosophy. It is actively involved with the Academy’s journal, Historical Records of Australian Science, and assists with the Mike Smith Student Essay Prize of $3000, which this year received a record number of applications.

The committee is also planning several public events for next year. ‘Emerging issues in science and society’ will pair early-career history and philosophy of science researchers with scientists for a series of public presentations or debates.

Committee driving strategy for information and communication sciences, engineering and technology

Woman holding tablet in city street at night, looking at street map on screen
The Academy is supporting the development of a National Strategy for Information and Communication Sciences, Engineering and Technology. Photo: FirmBee/Pixabay

The National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences is chaired by Professor Rod Tucker FAA. The committee is currently working towards creating a National Strategy for Information and Communication Sciences, Engineering and Technology. This planning process has been initiated by the Academy along with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) to address an urgent need for a high-level national strategy to guide the development of information and communication sciences, engineering and technology capabilities into the future. 

The committee held a roundtable discussion in October, bringing together stakeholders from relevant fields including education and technology. The two academies will now work with selected partners to consult broadly with industry, community and academic stakeholders in the development of this strategy, then with government and relevant sector stakeholders to ensure a process for implementation and periodic review of progress into the early 2020s. 

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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