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News from Science & Technology Australia

10 Sep 2021 1:00 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

One of STA’s greatest strengths is the breadth and diversity of our membership. While other policy and advocacy organisations represent segments of this sector, the STA community’s unique role and reach enables us to bring together a combined STEM sector view. This breadth and our role as the key connector for the STEM sector has been powerfully in evidence in recent months.

One of the issues of greatest concern across the sector is the continuing toll of this pandemic on jobs and job security. Next month, Science & Technology Australia and Professional Scientists Australia will release the 2021 results from our annual workplace survey of scientists’ working conditions. In member catch-ups, we’ve heard further examples of closures and cuts in STEM departments and disciplines. We are gathering these examples to highlight these issues further as part of our advocacy around the release of the survey. Please get in touch if you have further examples you can share - especially if they could be referenced in our media pitching for the survey release.

We’re also supporting and coordinating with member organisations providing input to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure roadmap process. And we continue to engage over the Australian Research Council policies on pre-print citations. Yesterday the Audit Office also released its report on the Medical Research Future Fund. We were pleased to see the Department of Health agreed to implement all of the report’s recommendations. STA’s submission on further steps to improve MRFF transparency are here - we will continue to advocate for them.

The diversity and breadth of our membership is also crucial in STA’s governance. Nominations have opened for election for three roles on our Board - covering Aquatic Sciences, Medical and Cognitive Sciences, and General Sciences. Nominations also open today for Executive Committee roles. We strongly encourage candidates from a wide diversity of demographics and disciplines to nominate. In particular, noting our commitments under our Reconciliation Action Plan, we especially encourage nominations from First Nations people in STEM. Here’s how to nominate.

A final call for you to send superb candidates our way for STA’s influential Director of Policy and Engagement. Applications close on Monday at 10am AEST - so please encourage any truly outstanding people in your networks to apply.

Until next time, 

Misha Schubert 
CEO, Science & Technology Australia 

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