Science Policy and Diplomacy newsletter—Issue 1 November 2019

The Science Policy and Diplomacy Newsletter of the Australian Academy of Science highlights important science policy discussion and events in Australia and around the globe. We report on the involvement of science in national and international policy and diplomacy, and the Academy’s contributions to these discussions.

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Policy and diplomacy news

International Science Council releases action plan

The International Science Council has released Advancing science as a global public good: Action plan 2019–2021 after months of consultation with the international science community. The action plan provides a practical framework for the work of the Council over the next two and a half years and is intended to be a living document that will respond to opportunities as they arise. It focuses on initiatives in four domains: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Digital Revolution; Science in Policy and Public Discourse; and the Evolution of Science and Science Systems.

The InterAcademy Partnership releases report addressing challenges in Africa

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)—a global network of over 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine, including the Australian Academy of Science—has released the report Harnessing science, engineering and medicine to address Africa's challenges: The role of African national academies. This report makes the case for strengthening the science–policy interface in Africa to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s STI Strategy for Africa. This follows the IAP report Improving Scientific Input to Global Policymaking with a Focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals released in early 2019.

Article: Evolution of science diplomacy and its local–global applications

The International Network on Government Science Advice (INGSA) has distributed Evolution of science diplomacy and its local–global applications (PDF) by Paul Berkman, a Professor of Practice at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Director of the Science Diplomacy Center at Tufts University. The article explores the evolution of science diplomacy in an increasingly globally connected world.

The European Union’s S4D4C publishes Madrid declaration on science diplomacy

In February 2019, S4D4C, a project of the European Union, published the Madrid declaration on science diplomacy following its global meeting on science diplomacy, EU Science Diplomacy Beyond 2020, last December. The declaration aims to strengthen and improve science diplomacy strategies.

Canada hosts 4th international conference on science advice to government

Canada will host, on behalf of INGSA, the fourth International conference on science advice to government on 14–18 September 2020 in Montréal. INGSA will also host a two-day research conference following the main event.

Australian Council of Learned Academies releases a report assessing the impact of artificial intelligence in Australia

The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) has released the report, The effective and ethical development of artificial intelligence: An opportunity to improve our wellbeing, which finds that AI can enhance Australia’s wellbeing, lift the economy, improve environmental sustainability and create a more equitable, inclusive and fair society. The panel of experts authoring the report was co-chaired by Academy Fellow Professor Toby Walsh.


Submissions

Consultation on Data Sharing and Release Legislative Reform

The Academy has made a joint submission with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering to the consultation on Data Sharing and Release Legislative Reform addressing proposed changes to legislation on the sharing of public data collected through Government services. 

Inquiry into the Prerequisites for Nuclear Energy in Australia

The Academy has made a submission to the Inquiry into the Prerequisites for Nuclear Energy in Australia. It identifies key areas of concern for small modular reactors including waste management, public health, and energy affordability and reliability. 

Inquiry into growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030

The Academy’s National Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has made a joint submission with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources. They commend the target but acknowledge it will not be achieved without addressing the threat of climate change.

Square Kilometre Array Observatory Treaty

The Academy’s National Committee for Astronomy has made a submission to parliament in support of the convention establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, a key aspect of the international ‘big science’ project to establish the world’s largest radio telescope.

Space Infrastructure Fund (SIF): Mission Control Centre Consultation Paper

The Academy’s National Committee for Space and Radio Science has made comments on the proposed funding scheme for the SIF: Mission Control Centre to ensure the centre can be regarded as a national facility supporting operational, educational and research opportunities in space and radio science.

Revision of the Australian Antarctic Science Strategic Plan 2011–12 to 2020–21

The Academy has made a submission of 10 recommendations to the Australian Antarctic Science Council for the revised strategic plan, taking into account new scientific developments and changes in national strategy, capability and resourcing.

Consultation on the National Environmental Science Program

The Academy’s National Committee for Geographical Sciences has made a submission to the Department of the Environment and Energy to inform the design and administration of the future program in key areas such as barriers to engagement, translation of knowledge into policy outcomes, and engagement of Indigenous researchers through the program.

Benefits of Australian membership of the International Science Council and international scientific unions

Joint statement with Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences on data in health

Genetic modification Q&A

Nourishing Australia: A decadal plan for the science of nutrition

Preparing for Australia's digital future: A strategic plan for information and communication science, engineering and technology

Australian Academy of Science welcomes Australia–US bilateral science and technology initiatives

Australia cannot afford to compromise the principles underpinning scientific research

Measles: everything you need to know

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