Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Budget Analysis

By Peter Pockley

Chief Scientist Ian Chubb scores for science education.

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

The despair that many scientists feel about their relations with society might, at last, need to be modified in a crucial testing ground. Becoming Australia’s Chief Scientist last year, Professor Ian Chubb’s influence on science policy has become evident in the 2012/13 Budget delivered on 8 May. You wouldn’t have known this, though, from listening to Treasurer Wayne Swan’s speech which didn’t pay even passing mention to key areas like science, technology, research, innovation, engineering and mathematics.

Chubb’s substantial moral and physical presence in the corridors of power was evident in his persuading the guardians of Budget papers to release, simultaneously, a separate report over his name and gain a joint media statement from two ministers; viz Senator Chris Evans (Tertiary Education, Skills, Science & Research) and Peter Garrett (School Education).

The broad scientific community had been on tenterhooks about the Budget, fearing the dreaded razor gang which was playing hard for cuts across the board. Only the week before, Professor Suzanne Cory, President of the Australian Academy of Science, was pressing the minority Labor government to restore the funding (which had been cut in last year’s Budget) for the Academy’s ground-breaking programs of support for teaching science at primary and secondary levels.

The Budget recognised Chubb’s...

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