The Academy engages in a range of different projects across a broad scope of sectors and stakeholder groups. Browse through this list of published reports to track down a particular document or to discover other projects of interest.
These reports summarise the benefits returned to Australia throughs its membership of global science organisation, the International Science Council, and the Australian Academy of Science’s strategy to enhance these benefits.
This report investigates the causes of three major fish kills in the Darling River near Menindee in December 2018 and January 2019.
This report characterises Australia’s current climate science capability and identifies how well the climate science sector is positioned to meet current and future demands for weather and climate knowledge.
Gene drive mechanisms (or gene drives) cause a gene to spread throughout a population at a rate higher than would normally occur. Scientists have been observing examples of biased inheritance generated by natural gene drive mechanisms for many years. However, significant advances in genetic and molecular tools for genome editing have brought synthetic gene drive technology within the reach of many more researchers, and research has accelerated greatly in recent years.
‘Discovery machines: Accelerators for science, technology, health and innovation’ is the third in a series of Future Science reports supported by the Defence Science and Technology Group. The report explores the science of particle accelerators, the machines that supercharge our ability to discover the secrets of nature and have opened up new tools in medicine, energy, manufacturing, and the environment as well as in pure research.
Energy for Australia in the 21st Century: The central role of electricity is the second in a series of Future Science reports supported by the Defence Science and Technology Group. The report outlines the challenges posed by Australia’s aging infrastructure when trying to respond to rapidly evolving technologies.
This synthesis report presents combined results for the advanced core sciences—physical, mathematical and biological—which together underpin 26% of Australian economic activity, or around $330 billion per year and provide 10% of total Australian employment (about 1.2 million jobs). If advances in the past 20 to 30 years in these core sciences had not occurred, our economy would be 20% to 30% smaller than it is today. Further, health and environmental values that are not measured in economic transactions are found to be substantial.
The advanced biological sciences underpin 5% of Australian economic activity, or around $65 billion per year and provide 4% of total Australian employment (about 464,000 jobs). Australians also place considerable value on their health, and on potential improvements in the environment, even though these values are not measured using economic transactions. This report follows and complements a 2015 report that quantified the contribution of the advanced physical and mathematical sciences to the Australian economy.
In November 2014, the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Forum consulted with leaders from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector to address equity. This document, published in 2015, contains the program and outcomes from this workshop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This plan, launched by the National Marine Science Committee, identifies seven critical challenges facing Australia and provides recommendations about how, in a coordinated way, marine science can support Australia in meeting those challenges.
This document defines the vision, key directions and priorities for a national ecosystem science capability that will enable Australia to understand and effectively manage its ecosystems for decades to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enrolment information in this report is based on data supplied by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). It was updated in January 2012 based on public statements made by DEEWR.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the great innovations that have changed the way people live over the past two centuries were enabled by mathematics. Without mathematics, there would be no cars, no planes, no mobile phone networks, no electric lights, and certainly no computers.
This report was prepared by a working group of 16 Academy Fellows and other space science and Earth observation experts in response to the terms of reference assigned to the working group by the Presidents of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) on 23 December 2008.
Nanotechnology is already having a profound impact upon major industries worldwide, including at the very least electronics, computers, communications, defence, energy, biomedical, transport and manufacturing. Nanoscale science and technology is multidisciplinary, involving physicists, chemists, biologists, materials scientists, chemical, mechanical and electronics engineers and medical scientists.
The Decadal Plan for Australian Space Science was launched in 2009. It presents the Australian space science community’s vision for a long-term, productive presence in space via world-leading innovative space science and technology, strong education and outreach and international collaborations.
The supply of future clean energy supplies to meet ever-increasing requirements is one of the global challenges for the present generation. Worldwide energy needs are estimated by the International Energy Agency to increase by over 50% from 2004 to 2030 as populations increase and economies expand.
In a world where information is only a click away, the competitiveness of nations such as Australia will be tested increasingly by a new world order. Developing nations including China and India understand with unquestioned certainty that inventive international science and technology are the keys to socioeconomic well-being and prosperity.
Through Geography’s holistic approach, bringing together the natural and social sciences, students better understand important challenges facing our world.
Our modern world is undergoing change at a much greater rate than ever before. In a single lifetime a person might experience many technological changes that alter their life dramatically. Most of these changes are beneficial, but some are not — whether through accident or by deliberate intent. The level of risk in modern life is thus also greatly increased, and new patterns and parameters of risk require new strategies to address them.
The mathematical sciences are fundamental to the well-being of all nations. If Australia is to maintain its place in the technological world, it needs greater investment in its fundamental mathematical sciences infrastructure.
Science by nature is an international enterprise. Contributing to progress in science, developing excellence in Australian science, and maximising the benefits of science requires that Australia participates fully in this enterprise.
A benchmarking methodology for assessing emerging areas of science and technology in Australia has been piloted by assessing Australia's capability in nanotechnology.
Constituted under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science, the National Committee for Earth Sciences (NCES) presents this plan as a framework within which geoscience can develop its contribution to, and role in, major national and global issues and ensure the maintenance of research excellence.
Beyond 2000: The Way Ahead is the mid-term review of the 1996-2005 astronomy decadal plan, Australian Astronomy: Beyond 2000. The review was published in June 2001.
© 2020 Australian Academy of Science