Message from the Chief Executive

February 27, 2019

Sixty-five years ago, on 16 February 1954, the Australian Academy of Science was founded by 23 distinguished scientists. Today, the Academy’s Fellowship is rich and diverse, boasting 530 of Australia’s most distinguished scientists who contribute their expertise for the betterment of our nation and our globe. Throughout 2019, the Academy will celebrate the many successes of science and the Academy. This year we also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic Shine Dome. Look out for celebratory events in this newsletter and throughout the year.

One of the Academy’s objectives is to provide independent and authoritative scientific advice to the parliament and to other decision makers. Therefore, we were very proud to be able to assemble a multidisciplinary team of scientists to examine the causes of the mass fish deaths that have impacted the Darling River in and around Menindee in NSW. I commend the final report, its recommendations and the accompanying summary video to you. I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary work undertaken by the expert panel in bringing together this document. Scenes of the deaths of so many fish in the iconic Murray-Darling Basin captured the attention and concerned many Australians. It is unsurprising then that this body of work undertaken by the Academy has received more media coverage than any other issue we have ever explored in our 65-year history.

It is time to nominate inspiring scientists, innovators, or science, maths or technology teachers for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, Australia’s most prestigious awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation, and excellence in science teaching. Prize recipients share $750,000 in prize money and have the opportunity to showcase important work undertaken in their field. Further detail is available in the February newsletter.

And finally, save the date! 28–30 May is the Academy’s annual signature event Science at the Shine Dome. Registration is now open for this unique and inspiring celebration of science.

I hope you enjoy reading the February newsletter.


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