Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

New books

By Stephen Luntz

Your guide to new science books this month.

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

Icon in Crisis: The Reinvention of CSIRO

Ron Sandland and Graham Thompson, UNSW Press, $49.99

After decades as Australia’s scientific champion, the future of CSIRO came into question around the millennium. After cutbacks in the late 1990s, the 2001 federal Budget saw an increase in money for science, but none of it for the CSIRO. Ron Sandland led CSIRO’s response, the National Flagships Initiative, which he describes as both the biggest shake-up in CSIRO’s history and a huge success. In Icon in Crisis Sandland looks at the benefits CSIRO has gained from the restructure, and the price paid.

Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific

Tim Flannery, Text, $24.99

When Tim Flannery was a curator of mammals at the Australian Museum he surveyed the most remote islands of Melanesia for native fauna. The small bats he found there turned out to be much less interesting than the path he needed to take to discover them and the people he encountered on his journey. Among the Islands explains the scientific groundwork that shaped Flannery, eventually leading him to his position at the forefront of the climate change debate.

Sentinel Chickens

Peter Doherty, Melbourne University Press, $29.99

Legend has it that geese saved Rome by warning of invaders, but Nobel Prize winner...

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