Message from the Chief Executive—November 2020

November 26, 2020
Anna-Maria Arabia

The Academy is delighted that our Fellow Dr Cathy Foley has been appointed Australia’s Chief Scientist. Currently CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Foley will take up the position in January and we look forward to supporting her role as a scientific advisor to the government, including pandemic-related advice, and as a driver of collaboration between industry and the research sector. As the Prime Minister said, the role of the Chief Scientist has never been more important. Congratulations Cathy!

We warmly thank Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, for his tireless work and achievements that have advanced science in Australia. Also an Academy Fellow, Dr Finkel has provided evidence-based support to the government while working to address many big challenges Australia is facing—bringing them to broad attention, generating discussion, and providing options for future directions. Thank you Alan—we look forward to your continuing contributions in Australia and internationally.

The Academy celebrated and supported NAIDOC Week with two online events that generated much interest and continue to be shared and watched widely. ‘The science of a continuous culture’ was the theme, with the Indigenous panellists speaking passionately and openly about their knowledge, experiences and challenges. Their messages are thought-provoking and compelling and I encourage you to watch the recordings.

Known as the home of science in Australia, the Academy’s iconic Shine Dome is undergoing two significant transformations. The first is now clearly visible and is the restoration of the dome’s copper roof following the devastating hailstorm in January. The roof will, for a relatively short time, be a shiny copper colour, softening to a dark brown over the next 12 months. We are also working with the University of Canberra and others to make the Shine Dome represent the best in science and technology with an innovative sustainability plan for a net-zero emissions future. Supported by a government grant, the plan will guide future decisions while protecting the Shine Dome’s national heritage values.

Finally, congratulations to those Fellows who achieved recognition this month, including receiving Eureka Awards and election to international science bodies, and to the recipients of Academy award funding.

Enjoy this month's newsletter and stay safe and well,


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