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Completed project reports

2015

This document presents the strategic vision for Australian astronomy for the next decade, and is the culmination of over one year’s effort by the Australian astronomical community. The plan is based on the reports of eleven Working Groups, comprising over 150 astronomers, engineers and educators from over 30 Australian institutions across all states and the ACT.

2015

By the end of the century, global temperatures are likely to have risen by at least 2°C compared with pre-industrial times. No nation will be immune to the resulting changes in the world’s weather patterns and as international negotiations aimed at reducing future carbon emissions continue to have limited success, it would be rash for any country to fail to plan to meet the consequent challenges to their infrastructure and citizens. For Australia, one of the most important concerns is the health of its people.

2015

The advanced physical and mathematical sciences (the APM sciences)—physics, chemistry, maths and the earth sciences—underpin Australian economic activity worth more than $290 billion each year and support around 7% of Australian jobs. For the first time, this research uses economic statistics and modelling to calculate their direct, indirect and total contributions to our economy.

2015

Decisions on how to respond to climate change should be made by society as a whole. This publication aims to contribute to the public understanding of the state of the science, to improve understanding and address confusion created by contradictory information. It explains the current situation in climate science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist. This publication is an update of the Academy’s 2010 booklet of the same name.

2013

A critical issue facing neuroscience is the integration of many exciting fields of research that interact with each other, but presently are separate. While some problems require single disciplinary research, areas with major societal implications such as intellectual disability or ageing call for interdisciplinary approaches. Integrated efforts are needed to develop methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and to understand the basic mechanisms of the brain.

2013

This report presents the results of a survey among Australians to determine their level of science literacy and how it has changed over the past three years.

2013

The Computer Science project is the first topic in the Academy's initiative to conduct science foresighting studies. These studies will consider the scientific potential for specific areas of study over the next few decades. Future science – computer science scopes future capacities and applications of high performance computing over the next 10-20 years. The project culminated with the production of a report in 2013. Planning is underway for further foresighting studies.

2015

Australia 2050 is the start of a landmark process to plan for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable future for all members of Australian society. The publications seek to emphasise how science can inform the future which is uncertain, contested but ultimately shared by the choices we make and in which all Australians have a stake. They are intended to be a resource to groups around the country who want to discuss what they and others can do to influence Australia’s course in constructive and useful ways.

2012

Population is a central issue of our time. Without recent population growth, issues such as water security and climate change would not have the social importance they have today. Population is by definition crucial to our future, in South Australia as elsewhere. It is also a particularly relevant issue for a nation composed mainly of recent immigrants and with immigration providing two-thirds of our current growth. The 2012 Think Tank Australia’s population: shaping a vision for our future will examine questions whose answers will inform how we and our descendants live in the future.

2012

Nanotechnology presents amazing opportunities for Australia. When we consider materials at the nanoscale we can detect novel properties, and it is this novelty that makes nanotechnology research so exciting to researchers and is driving new technology and manufacturing opportunities in all areas of science.

2012

The Physics decadal plan 2012-2021: building on excellence in physics, underpinning Australia’s future was launched at the Shine Dome on 6 December 2012. It presents the Australian physics community’s strategic vision for the 10 years, from 2012–2021.

2012

The science of immunisation: questions and answers was prepared by a working group and oversight committee made up of Academy Fellows and other Australian scientists with internationally recognised expertise in immunology.

2012

Australia’s resources industry is based on large, high-quality deposits discovered in the late 19th Century and the 20th Century - an exploration endeavour that was supported by high-quality pre-competitive research that mapped the surface of Australia. While demand for Australian minerals remains strong, it is of serious concern that discovery of new deposits has not kept pace with depletion, despite ongoing competitive exploration efforts.

2012

Enrolment information in this report is based on data supplied by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and WorkplaceRelations (DEEWR). It was updated in January 2012 based on public statements made by DEEWR.

2011

Many human activities including mining, agriculture, urbanisation, invasive species, tourism, as well as natural events, impact upon Australia’s diverse ecosystems. The devastating flooding and cyclone in Queensland earlier this year are a case in point. For this reason Brisbane was selected as a particularly appropriate location for the 2011 Think Tank on Stressed ecosystems: better decisions for Australia’s future.

2011

Driven by science, the world is changing fast. More than a decade into the ‘Asian Century’, Australia increasingly seeks to improve its links with its Asian neighbors, while maintaining and strengthening links with North America and Europe. Since the beginning of the 21st century, global investment on R&D has almost doubled, speeding up the pace of change itself.

2011

Australian astronomy is riding a wave of discovery powered by new technology. This technology has increased the sensitivity of existing telescopes and enabled the construction of new telescopes that can see wider and further than ever before.

2010

This was the Academy's climate change booklet released in 2010. It has been superceded by the 2015 booklet of the same name.

2010

Effective minerals exploration has been central to previous and current Australian mining booms. Those mineral deposits that were easy to discover have been found and it has become increasingly difficult to find new, large, economically-viable ore deposits. To ensure Australia’s ongoing successes in mining requires identifying and resolving the key issues impeding effective minerals exploration in Australia.

2010

The benefits of integrating Australia’s scientific endeavour with the efforts of the international scientific community are clear to Australian scientists. International collaboration invariably improves the quality and breadth of research. Increasingly, quality science is undertaken and underpinned by formal and informal international collaboration and networks.

2010

This precious and beautiful blue planet on which we live is complex beyond measure, so complex, we argue here, that a whole new science – an integrative science of the Earth system (Earth System Science or ESS) – is needed to understand it.

2010

As a contribution to exploring these challenges for Australia, Australia’s Renewable Energy Future presents a collation of the substance and conclusions of the 2008–09 lectures. It is our hope that this will inform a greater understanding of the state of renewable energy science and technology.