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Articles related to Science Policy

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Feature: New Defence Act Handcuffs Science
Australian scientists risk huge fines and even imprisonment under new laws that will give Defence bureaucrats extraordinary powers over their research.
Browse: Medical Research Grant Success Slides to 14.9%
Browse: Grant Funding Should Be a Lottery Browse: US Shutdown Freezes Antarctic Research
The US government’s shutdown has had drastic effects on Antarctic research, including collaborations with Australian and New Zealand teams. The timing of the shutdown at the start of the summer research period meant that many projects could not be restarted even after funding resumed.
Feature: PM Takes a Stalinist Stance on Science
By pandering to anti-science, Australia’s Prime Minister is repeating the mistakes of Socialist Russia.
Browse: CSIRO Names New Chief
conSCIENCE: Engineering Australia’s New Wealth
It’s time to connect the dots between invention, innovation and the role of engineering.
iStockphoto/Vikiss
Feature: Larry and the Science Factory
After meeting with new CEO Larry Marshall, Ian Maxwell looks at CSIRO’s place among public and private interests, and the options from here.
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Feature: Climate Change according to Australia Post
Postage stamps are time capsules representing the events and issues of their time. Why, then, have Australia’s many stamp issues steered clear of climate change?
Credit: Bahudhara / CC by 4.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emma_Johns
Feature: Women in Science: A New Frontier in Australia
The role of women in Australian science has been a contested arena, a place of major contributions yet of cultural disparity. The recent adoption of the SAGE initiative offers a route to greater gender equity in an innovative nation.
Browse: Scientists Love Work but Fear Cuts
A survey by Nature has found that scientists are satisfied with their work but are disturbed by the way the global financial crisis (GFC) has affected research budgets.
Browse: Federal Budget 2014: a snapshot for science
A list of some key science-related Budget announcements
conSCIENCE: Science Is Sinking in the Murray–Darling Basin
Applied research suffers cuts while science loses farmers’ trust.
conSCIENCE: Shifting the Watermarks
The draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan is confused at best and deceptive at worst.
Climate change protest
conSCIENCE: Rise Up, Citizen Scientists
What passes for debate over technological priorities to decarbonise energy production needs to be better informed – and scientists need to lead the discussion.
conSCIENCE: Super-Seeded Science
The increase in compulsory superannuation contributions provides an opportunity to commercialise our research efforts.
conSCIENCE: View from the Top
The new head of the ARC looks ahead at changes to funding programs and an open access regime.
conSCIENCE: Best Practice Science Is Open and Transparent
Geoscience Australia’s Chief Scientist outlines the philosophy behind the organisation’s newly stated science principles.
conSCIENCE: A “Better Than Ever” R&D Tax Incentive?
Some advice for the government as it sets its sights on revamping support for innovation.
conSCIENCE: Is Tony Abbott Following Canada’s “War on Science”?
Canada’s Prime Minister could be a role model for Australia’s new leader when it comes to science policy.
conSCIENCE: Banking Living Brain Tissue
Australia needs a repository of living brain tissue to explore the next frontier of medical research.
conSCIENCE: Science Diplomacy, Italian Style
Scientists should be working with diplomats in matters of foreign policy to resolve present-day global problems.
conSCIENCE: Shaping Climate Attitudes
People are more likely to support climate change mitigation when they are first confronted with the local adaptations that will be required.
conSCIENCE: Defence Takes Control over Australian Research
A new law comes into force this month that puts scientists at risk of imprisonment and businesses at risk of losing their intellectual property.
conSCIENCE: Chemistry: 21st Century Science for the Global Economy
It’s time for public recognition of the fact that, in a country where almost all of the 92 natural elements can be found, chemistry offers Australia sustainable economic prosperity.
conSCIENCE: Reinventing the Lucky Country
The challenges facing Australia in the 1960s have not been addressed, and a new challenge will need to be overcome before we can really become a lucky country.
conSCIENCE: Career Concerns Could Bust the Ideas Boom
A survey of professional scientists has uncovered worker fatigue and broad dissatisfaction with remuneration and reduced scientific capability as a result of cost-cutting.
Directions: Focus on Education to Feed the Future
Agricultural science education is a national priority for the nation’s food security.
Directions: Enhancing Women’s Career Prospects
Women need better career options and more control over their professional lives.
Directions: Energy Future Needs a Portfolio Approach
Nuclear options must be part of the low-carbon discussion.
Directions: Technology Underpins Better Water Management
Water policy needs to accelerate the development and uptake of efficient technologies that can adapt rapidly to changing climate and population.
Directions: How to Address the Engineering Shortage
Shaping the future of a thriving Australia means addressing the national opportunity cost by building engineering capacity.
Directions: Four Academies Are Working Together
Australia’s four learned academies are integrating their expertise in science, technology, social science and humanities to form a better evidence base for advice to government.
Directions: Australia Needs an “Assistive Technology” Network
We must address the disconnect between assistive technology research and its translation into commercialisation and practice.
Directions: Moving Our Focus from Innovation to Productivity
Innovative businesses achieve better productivity and profitability.
Directions: Manufacturing 2.0
The motor industry collapse brings urgency to the manufacturing dilemma.
Directions: Chasing the Low Carbon Energy Solution
No single policy will achieve sustainable and affordable energy.
Directions: We Need to Keep Women in Focus as Change Agents
Not because we should, but because we must – for innovation’s sake.
Directions: Australia Needs Integrated Growth in Agriculture
Strategic investment in technology, science and engineering innovation is required.
Directions: Women Face a Thicket of Obstacles
Gender equality in science, technology and engineering will be a long process.
Directions: Time for a New Measure of Research Impact
We need to measure industry engagement as well as publications.
Directions: International Engagement Is an Essential Strategy
Australia must improve its efforts in international collaboration to optimise its research investment.
Directions: “Dr Who” Products Are the Future of Manufacturing
Mass production is dying, opening up manufacturing opportunities for a high-tech bespoke industry.
Directions: We Need Better Collaboration to Optimise Our Research
A proposed metric of industry engagement seeks to reward research impact as well as excellence.
Directions: Water Reform Needs to Be Back on the National Agenda
Our national water research effort is fragmented, non-strategic and lacks leadership.
Directions: Science Gets a Lifeline with the National Science Strategy
A national science strategy can kick-start research–industry linkages.
Directions: Rethinking Australia’s Carbon Abatement Contracts
Australia’s total net CO2 emissions are much lower than are implied by published numbers.
Directions: Changing the Way We Do Things
We need to have a critical mass of women in key roles.
Directions: Are Research Priorities Useful?
Research priorities can place a greater emphasis on inputs than the potential outcomes.
Directions: Steady Budget for Science and Technology
Science and Technology wins and losses in the 2017 Federal Budget.
Expert Opinion: Federal Budget 2013 – experts respond
Experts address how the latest announcements will impact on science, the Murray Darling Basin and the Great Barrier Reef.
Expert Opinion: National Commission of Audit’s recommendations for scientific research
The National Commission of Audit has suggested a major overhaul of the way scientific research is carried out in Australia, including greater government control over the work undertaken by CSIRO and abolishing the Cooperative Research Centre Association.
Expert Opinion: Federal Budget 2014-15
Experts address how the latest announcements will impact on research, health and science.
Expert Opinion: 2015 Federal Budget: Announcements and Expert Responses
Experts comment on how the 2015 federal Budget will impact research, health and science.
Expert Opinion: Nuclear Waste Sites Shortlisted
The Federal government has shortlisted six sites for a permanent National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. The site will contain Australia’s low-level radoactive waste, with the capacity to store some intermediate-level waste.
Expert Opinion: Federal Budget 2016
The Federal Budget announced an additional $100 million for geographical modelling of mineral, petroleum and groundwater resources, and $200 million over 10 years for Antarctic research. However, there were no direct budget measures relating to CSIRO.
Expert Opinion: National Science Statement Released
The Australian government has set out a plan to use science to engage and enrich Australian society. Its objectives are to engage all Australians with science, building scientific skills, produce new research and technology, and improve Australians’ lives through research.
Expert Opinion: Federal Budget 2017-18
Experts comment on how the 2017-18 Federal Budget will impact research, health and science.
Lowe Tech: Some Spice Added to the Uranium Export Debate
Do Australian uranium exports to India set a precedent for exports to other non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?
Lowe Tech: Chubb Reviews the Health of Australian Science
Australia’s Chief Scientist has found that the Australian science system is healthy and robust, but there are some serious challenges – particularly regarding student enrolments.
Lowe Tech: A Great Leap Backwards
Queensland’s new government has reduced support for solar energy and resolved to ban the teaching of climate science in schools.
Lowe Tech: Tasmania’s Logging Industry Cut Down to Size
A study has found that Tasmania’s forestry industry “is not economically viable”.
Lowe Tech: Wind Energy Blows Strong
South Australia’s wind farms are generating almost one-quarter of the state’s energy needs.
Lowe Tech: Researchers Frustrated by Career Prospects
A new survey finds that researchers like their work but are frustrated by limited career paths.
Lowe Tech: The Numbers Don’t Add Up
Researchers spent a combined 550 years writing grant applications last year, yet 80% missed out.
Lowe Tech: Science Literacy Falling
It’s little wonder that climate change science is misunderstood when nearly one-third of Australians believe that the Earth takes only a day to orbit the Sun.
Lowe Tech: Common Concerns in Mother England
Population, nuclear energy and marine conservation are issues in common for Australia and the UK.
Lowe Tech: Canberra Lowers the Flag on Science
Science has already disappeared from sight in the new Abbott government.
Lowe Tech: CSG Regulation Is “Frackmented”
The coal seam gas industry in NSW is arguing against the need for buffer zones, while it’s “open slather” in Queensland.
Lowe Tech: PM Freezes Out Science
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s road map for Australia is not being guided by science.
Lowe Tech: Australia Remains Two-Faced in Climate Negotiations
Australia is adopting double-speak as UN climate negotiations become more urgent.
Lowe Tech: Back to the Future
Light rail systems are finding favour more than half a century since Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide scrapped their tram networks.
Lowe Tech: Climate Policy in Limbo
The abolition of the carbon tax has stifled investment in renewable energy.
Lowe Tech: Sensitivity to Smart Meters and Water Bills
The Victorian state election will feature a new party opposed to smart electricity meters on health grounds, while others are campaigning against wifi in schools.
Lowe Tech: University’s Share Portfolio Makes Coal Industry Dirty
Selling shares in fossil fuel companies may seem an ethical choice but it may equally be sound investment practice.
Lowe Tech: The Lucky Country – 50 Years Later
How much has changed since Donald Horne labelled Australia “the lucky country” as a warning about its “second-rate leaders”?
Lowe Tech: Nuclear Naïvity
Political posturing over the nuclear industry and higher education reveal scant regard for science.
Lowe Tech: Budget Delivers Austerity Measures for Science
Science agencies were delivered substantial funding cuts in the 2015 Budget.
Lowe Tech: CSIRO Cools on Climate Science
The science of climate change might now be accepted by world governments, but it’s short-sighted of CSIRO to short-change its research capabilities in this area.
Lowe Tech: Is Nuclear Waste More Valuable than Scientific Research?
The federal Budget treated science as an expense while the Royal Commission identified nuclear waste as a potential money-spinner.
Lowe Tech: What We Learned in the Election Campaign
The election revealed a bipartisan lack of understanding of the role of science in innovation and of the coal industry in the fate of the Great Barrier Reef.
Lowe Tech: An Energy Wolf in Greens’ Clothing?
Is the creation of a single government portfolio encompassing energy and the environment a fatal conflict of interest?
Lowe Tech: Bombs Away!
Australia has been obstructing international efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear war.
Lowe Tech: Learned Academies Put Economics Ahead of Sustainability
Australia’s learned academies have set income increases as the nation’s major priority.
Lowe Tech: The Eye of the Renewable Energy Storm
Political foes have united in their condemnation of fear-mongering about renewable energy.
Lowe Tech: Yes, Science Minister
The merry-go-round of science ministers raises concerns about instability.
Simon Says: Solar Blockout
Governments have won big headlines for big money allocated to big solar projects – but kept the money.
Simon Says: Healthy, But Needs Leadership
The Chief Scientist has established a role at the centre of science policy formulation, and flagged his intentions.
Simon Says: Scientists Told to Get Dirty
Science Minister Chris Evans is a no-nonsense, tough-talking coach who has given Team Science a reality check.
Simon Says: Science After the Election
Who is likely to be responsible for science after the Federal election, and are they qualified to represent it?
Simon Says: Resetting Research Priorities
Our latest strategic research agenda reveals marginal changes and a faster pace of renewal.
Simon Says: Democracy vs Science
The people have spoken – and given science a backhander.
Simon Says: What Would Pockers Think?
Abolishing the Science portfolio would not have pleased Dr Peter Pockley, but all is not lost.
Simon Says: Science Gets a Voice in Canberra
The alternative Prime Minister, Bill Shorten, can use science to win votes by creating a clever and clean energy country.
Simon Says: Two Drought Policies
How you cope with long dry spells depends a lot on your place in the evolutionary tree.
Simon Says: Chief Scientist’s Bid to Fill the Void
The Chief Scientist could take on greater responsibilities if the government accepts his plan.
Simon Says: Driving with Clive
Science could be promoted to the front row of the political agenda by advising the under-resourced Senators who hold the balance of power.
Simon Says: Weird Scenes Outside the Coal Mine
The MH17 disaster and the carbon price debate tossed up some surreal juxtapositions.
Simon Says: On Feeling Precious
The Minister responsible for Science has described scientists as “precious petals”. Crunch the numbers and he may be right.
Simon Says: No, Prime Minister
Almost three decades of high-level engagement between the government and the research sector has reached a dead end.
Simon Says: Science Council’s Renovation Rescue
Remodelling the edifice that delivers science advice to the highest level of government seems to be an interactive work in progress.
Simon Says: Engineer in Charge
Redefining pepper and implanting STEM cells are on the agenda of the new Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science.
Simon Says: Tim, Meet Wayne
Frustrated climate change activist Tim Flannery could benefit from the counsel of a rugby league mentor.
Simon Says: Of Science and Snake Oil
Marking this year’s Budget speech and the responses it provoked for their “science” content turns up a rare spread of results.
Simon Says: The Abbot Experiment
A political career is different to any other in the highs and lows it offers, and it almost always ends badly.
Up Front: An open letter to the Australian Government and CSIRO
Almost 3000 of the world's scientists have signed an open letter to the Australian government and the CSIRO in response to the cuts to CSIRO's climate research.
Up Front: CSIRO Weathers a New Storm
CSIRO’s climate scientists are used to being gagged and bound, but now they have also been thrown overboard.
Up Front: Defence Act Casts a Long Shadow
The battle now shifts from public good to commercial research, as new Defence powers threaten a broad range of “dual-use” technologies.
Up Front: Jobs, Growth and... Science
Early next month Australians will head to the election polls, and for once scientific issues have bubbled to the surface.
Up Front: Too Many Science Graduates
A new report finds that the increasing number of science graduates are having difficulty finding relevant employment.
Up Front: Gender Bias Extends to Peer Review
Gender bias in science is found not only in pay and seniority but also in the peer review process.
Up Front: Lost in Space
Australia’s space industry has been adrift in a vacuum of national neglect for more than 20 years, but that is about to change.
The Funneled Web: The Wonderful World of CSIRO
To lose one outstanding researcher, Dr Clark, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, but to lose THREE?
The Funneled Web: To be an Effective Chief Scientific Advisor You've Got to be Lucky: Robert May
Despite the hype about Prof Ian Chubb's appointment last year, the Chief Scientist doesn't have the influence afforded to his UK counterpart.
The Funneled Web: Do Chief Scientific Advisors Speak Only to the Hand?
Does the Chief Scientist have any influence on the government or Opposition?
Pockley's Point: Budget Analysis
Chief Scientist Ian Chubb scores for science education.
CSIRO in bed with big tobacco
Pockley's Point: How a Communications Saga Rocked CSIRO
A "warts and all" account of CSIRO has sidestepped some of its most embarrassing failures. The first blog in a series published online this month outlines the documentary evidence behind CSIRO's appointment of a tobacco lobbyist as its Director of Communications, which led to a public black ban of Australasian Science.
Pockley's Point: How a Tobacco Lobbyist Won over CSIRO
In part 2 of this exclusive series, Freedom of Information requests of CSIRO internal correspondence reveal the machinations behind the eventual appointment of a former senior tobacco executive and lobbyist as the science organisation's Director of Communications.
Pockley's Point: Science Lost in CSIRO's Matrix
Part 3 of this series documents some of the glaring omissions from a “warts and all” account of CSIRO.
Online Feature: Science advice and policy making
Lord May examines the challenges facing tomorrow’s world: anthropogenic climate change; feeding more people; and designing a financial system that allocates capital in a responsible and effective way.
Online Feature: Bill to stop misuse of dangerous technology could hit uni research
The Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011, which restricts the use of materials that could be used in weapons, will inhibit a wide range of scientific research.
Online Feature: Scientific research spending lags behind smaller countries
Nations half the size of Australia spend more on scientific research, have higher employment levels for scientists, and greater appeal to foreign investors, according to a report on Australia’s global standing in science.
Online Feature: Don't bury the benefits of research to improve the health system
The McKeon review sets out a ten-year strategy to better integrate health and medical research into the public health system.
Online Feature: On academic efficiency and the 2013 federal budget
One of the casualties of the 2013 federal budget is the university sector.
Online Feature: Budget defers renewable energy development when it's needed most
The decision to link the Australia’s carbon price to the European Union emissions trading scheme has wiped A$6 billion from the federal budget.
Online Feature: National Press Club address: Suzanne Cory
The full text of a speech by Suzanne Cory, President of the Australian Academy of Science.
Online Feature: Chief Scientist Calls for a National Strategy for Science
A transcript of the Chief Scientist's launch of the position paper: ‘STEM in the national interest: A strategic approach’
Online Feature: Australian Antarctic science is being frozen out by budget cuts
Despite rising costs, the government this year handed an 8% budget cut to the Australian Antarctic Division.
Online Feature: Guess who defines 'waste' in ARC-funded research
A Coalition government would reign in wasteful spending on research, but are their decisions based on evidence of waste or merely the Coalition’s funding priorities?
Online Feature: Futile Research or Stealthy Censorship?
It's hard to see the Coalition's plans to weed out "futile" research as anything other than a cynical attempt to defund topics the Coalition doesn’t like.
Online Feature: Take science brief across government, science chief urges
In this podcast and article, Michelle Grattan speaks to Chief Scientist Ian Chub about the absence of a Science Minister in the new government's structure.
Online Feature: Axing the Climate Commission Splits Australians from Science
Australians need people of this calibre to explain the science and economics of climate change, especially when the debate has become so politically polarised.
Online Feature: David Suzuki: Australian scientists should be up on the ramparts
The Abbott government's abolition of the Climate Commission places Australia on the same path as Canada, where climate research has been abandoned and scientific papers need to be approved by the PM's office prior to submission for publication.
Online Feature: Australia needs fundamental research to build a great country
It's taken only 2 months for misgivings about the Abbott government's approach to science policy to be confirmed.
Online Feature: 'Censored' IPCC summary reveals jockeying for key UN climate talks
Was the IPCC's latest report on climate change censored to suit the agendas of different countries?
Online Feature: What about science in the Commission of Audit report?
The federal government’s Commission of Audit treats science, research and education as expenses to be trimmed rather than investments to be nurtured.
Online Feature: The state of Australia: science innovation and research
In the lead up to the federal budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home. How is Australia's science and innovation faring?
Online Feature: Budget 2014: there's more to science than medical research
Apart from the medical research fund, almost all other news for research and education is bleak.
Online Feature: Judgement day for Abbott on science and research funding
This Budget lacks any overall long-term strategy for science.
Online Feature: CSIRO risks backing the wrong horse as it reacts to budget cuts
What happens to CSIRO when the federal government decides to strip away A$111 million over four years from its A$733 million annual contribution to the organisation’s budget? We are beginning to find out.
Online Feature: There are no free rides to the future: Australia's Chief Scientist
A transcript of the 2014 Jack Beale Lecture on the Global Environment hosted at the University of New South Wales.
Online Feature: Science and the Coalition: two big policies, one year and no minister
On science and technology, the Abbott government is somewhat of a paradox.
Online Feature: Australia's outgoing Chief Scientist says we're good but we can be better Online Feature: Individuals not the priority in the Cyber Security Strategy
conSCIENCE: From Prickly Pears to Quantum Computing: Enjoying the Fruits of Australian Science
The government’s blueprint for scientific research will create a more innovative and entrepreneurial Australia.
conSCIENCE: Future Research Stars Are Born in Every Town
Labor believes that “Australia cannot be an innovation nation unless we are an education nation – and a science and research nation”.