Message from the Chief Executive—November 2017

November 09, 2017
Anna-Maria Arabia delivering the keynote address at the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

Dear Fellows and friends of the Academy

This month we are delighted to share with you news of the Academy’s recently elected incoming President, Professor John Shine AC FAA. Professor Shine will commence in the role in May 2018 and we very much look forward to working with him to continue to advance science in Australia.  Read about Professor Shine’s work, as well as the newly elected Council members who will commence at the same time.

Joint meeting of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Sciences Council (ISSC)

I attended the ICSU–ISSC joint meeting in Taipei at the end of October together with President Andrew Holmes, Foreign Secretary Cheryl Praeger, and colleagues Nancy Pritchard and Imran Ahmad. 

It was a historic occasion as the meeting agreed to merge two international organisations to form the International Science Council (ISC) whose vision will be to advance all sciences as a global public good. The new council brings together some 40 international scientific unions and associations, and more than 140 national and regional organisations such as academies and research councils. 

The newly formed organisation will continue to be involved in safeguarding the rights of scientists to undertake science freely, without discrimination and with integrity. The global organisation will also maintain a research program on global scientific matters. 

ISC will continue to work closely with the Global Young Academy—a global network of early- and mid-career researchers who are genuinely inspirational. The future is in safe hands with young leaders like these!

I believe ISC’s outcomes will be greater by working with social scientists than by working alone and I very much look forward to maintaining and growing the Academy’s engagement with the newly formed body. Read the Academy’s story welcoming the merger

Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

We have celebrated the awarding to Academy Fellow Professor Jenny Graves AO FAA of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Professor Graves is the first woman to win this prize in her own right. Her transformational scientific work in understanding how humans and all vertebrate animals evolved and function has been accompanied by a deep commitment to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists; progressing the science education agenda; and making progress towards gender equity in science. Congratulations Jenny! Learn more about Jenny’s work

Professor Graves has won many international awards including the 2006 L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate Fellowship for Women in Science. Recently I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards. 

This months’ newsletter also includes a snapshot of Australia’s involvement in the neutron star collision detection and lots of information about forthcoming opportunities for scientists and events.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition and please be free to contact me at any time.

Anna-Maria Arabia
Chief Executive

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