Academy reports achievements of 2021

May 31, 2022
2021 Australian Academy of Science Annual Report, with butterfly and Shine Dome graphic

Improving Australians’ understanding of the benefits of immunisation is one of the many achievements highlighted in the Academy’s recently published annual report for 2021.

To support vaccination and other COVID-related health messages, in partnership with the Australian Government, the Academy created information for broad audiences via print, videos, online articles and infographics across websites, media and social media, and supported the international collaboration of experts through a series of webinars. It also called for an RNA manufacturing capability in Australia and convened a national RNA roundtable of experts.

The Academy’s strong focus on climate change included calling attention to the risks to Australia of a warmer world and the publication of a hub of resources ahead of international climate change meetings in October.

It also focused on improving diversity and inclusion in science, remained very active in international and bilateral science activities, and prepared a decadal plan for space science ready for release in early 2022.

Its three innovative school education programs were awarded multi-year funding from the Australian Government to develop and extend education resources and program reach.  

“Every major issue affecting our society today relies on scientific input. We are a community that promotes international and national engagement in science, supports and celebrates scientific excellence, and we are an increasingly prominent voice for Australian science,” said Academy President Professor John Shine in his introduction to the report.

We are an increasingly prominent voice for Australian science.

Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia said the annual report demonstrates “how the Academy strives to have science valued and strategically positioned to drive our economy, and inform decision-making in and between government, in our parliaments, our courts, our classrooms, in boardrooms and in the public square”.

Both leaders thanked the Academy’s Fellows for contributions to science and support for the Academy.

“In November, Academy Fellow Professor Eddie Holmes received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his outstanding contributions to virology, not in the least his impacts on our understanding of COVID-19. Congratulations to Professor Holmes for this award and for his tireless commitment to research during the pandemic, and to all our Fellows who received external awards and honours,” Professor Shine said.


Other achievements featured in the annual report include:

  • hosting an expert roundtable on the World Heritage Convention and climate change
  • a call for the pardon of Kathleen Folbigg based on recent strong scientific evidence
  • the launch of a champions program to support the implementation of the decadal plan for nutrition
  • a call on the NSW Government to remove all feral horses from Kosciuszko National Park
  • the launch of the STEM Women database to raise the profile of women in STEM
  • holding or participating in 37 events across many scientific fields
  • welcoming more than 4.4 million visitors to Academy websites and publishing more than 70 videos, many of which were embedded in mainstream media stories
  • making major improvements to the Academy’s heritage-listed buildings.

In 2021 Academy published:

  • a climate report on the risks to Australia of a warming world
  • an updated booklet on immunisation for a broad audience
  • a 10-year strategy for sustainable oceans and coasts
  • a report identifying opportunities to advance data-intensive research in Australia
  • a summary for policymakers on Australia’s digital future
  • outcomes of two expert roundtables
  • a report on gender inequity in the STEM workforce across the Asia-Pacific
  • a report by Deloitte Access Economics supporting the acceleration of the discovery and documentation of Australia’s remaining biodiversity.

“The work of the Academy continues to be an immense source of pride for me, made possible by the guidance and support of our Fellows and the generosity of our donors,” Ms Arabia said.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science