Australia’s leading scientists welcome new ministers

May 31, 2022

The Australian Academy of Science has welcomed the new Albanese ministry, in particular the appointments of Ed Husic (Industry and Science), Chris Bowen (Climate Change and Energy), Mark Butler (Health and Aged Care), Jason Clare (Education), Tanya Plibersek (Environment and Water), and Murray Watt (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry).

Professor Chennupati Jagadish, who last week began his four-year term as President of Academy, congratulated the new ministers on their appointments.

“The Academy looks forward to working with the newly elected Albanese government to assist in securing Australia’s future economic and social prosperity through a stronger focus on and investment in science,” said Professor Jagadish.

“Bringing science to the service of the nation was critical to Australia’s response to the pandemic and will be critical to Australia’s economic recovery too. 

“Turbo-charging productivity growth will be needed for economic recovery and we know that stimulating R&D is the most promising source of future productivity growth.

“Given the decline in immigration during the pandemic and the uncertain outlook for international mobility, Australia will be even more reliant on sovereign R&D to drive productivity growth.

“The Academy stands ready to assist with that task and will provide independent and authoritative scientific advice to the new government and the parliament,” Professor Jagadish said.  

Bringing science to the service of the nation was critical to Australia’s response to the pandemic and will be critical to Australia’s economic recovery too. 

“As Australia looks for solutions to decarbonise our economy and transform traditional industries, science will play a vital role in developing the ideas, technologies, systems and processes needed,” he said.

“This government can also look to science to deal with future risks – like national security threats, major health challenges such as anti-microbial resistance, climate adaptation, advanced digital technologies like AI and quantum computing, and future pandemics.

“The Academy looks forward to working with the newly elected Albanese government and with the whole of the Australian parliament as we continue to bring science to the service of the nation,” Professor Jagadish said.

The Academy’s recommendations for the new government to secure Australia’s future are securing the scientific base through a long-term investment strategy for science; establishing a Parliamentary Science Office; undertaking a national, whole-of-government review of the science and research system; and advancing a cohesive, national approach to secure jobs through the translation of science to industry.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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