Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Rare Stability for Science in Government

By Ian Lowe

The return of the Coalition government has paused the merry-go-round of Science Ministers.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The unexpected return of the Morrison government saw the reappointment of The Hon. Karen Andrews to Cabinet as the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Andrews has a degree in mechanical engineering and worked in the energy industry before becoming a politician.

The technical academies welcomed this unusual experience: a minister who is responsible for science and technology and has a technical qualification. President of the Australian Academy of Science, Prof John Shine, noted Andrews’ strong and ongoing commitment and advocacy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “We look forward to working with Minister Andrews to implement the STEM measures announced in the Federal Budget in April, including $3.4 million in new funding to support women in STEM,” he said.

Shine was referring to the Budget announcement of new funding for the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative, which is led jointly by the Academy of Science and the Academy of Technology and Engineering. He said that his Academy “will work across the ministry to encourage an evidence-informed approach to policy development”.

In principle, they should get a warm reception from the Minister. I went back to the Hansard record of Andrews’ maiden speech. As an engineer, she said she understood “the need to maintain a sound theoretical approach… and to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.