Australia’s future innovation rests on science policy and education

September 18, 2012

Strong science education is the key to ensuring that we have a solid position in the Asian Century, Australian Academy of Science President Professor Suzanne Cory today told a high-level international science gathering in China. Professor Cory was speaking at a forum held during the Academy of Sciences for Developing Countries General Conference in Tianjin, China.

The Australian Academy of Science is one of only 10 national academies invited to speak at the forum on open innovation. “The Academy has consistently advised the Australian Government that long-term investment in science is critical to ensure ongoing innovation, wealth creation and public health,” said Professor Cory.

“To drive innovation, especially in the Asian Century, the quality of our science education is paramount. Sound, inspiring science education programs are vital for training the next generation of scientists, creating a technologically skilled workforce and nurturing a scientifically literate community. “The Academy’s own innovative science education programs are playing an important part in revitalising Australian science education.” Professor Cory said the Academy’s independence and the expertise of its eminent Fellows make it uniquely placed to offer advice to governments on science, research and education. “We are a country with only 0.3% of the world’s population, yet we produce more than three per cent of the world scientific publications. This is because of the investment that Australia has already made in science,” she said. “However, in recent years there has unfortunately been diminished Government and public regard in Australia for science as a primary source of reliable knowledge or as the means to address major challenges. “In response, the Academy has redoubled its efforts in education, policy advice and public engagement.”

View Professor Cory’s speech.

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