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News from Science & Technology Australia

31 Jan 2022 11:06 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

The year is in full swing already. As we navigate the Omicron wave of the pandemic, the nation is preparing for a Budget and an election. 

In our pre-Budget submission, Science & Technology Australia makes a powerful case that science has shielded Australia’s economy from the pandemic – and science should be at the centre of this Budget. This is an urgent moment to secure the strategic science capabilities Australia will need to face the next set of complex challenges ahead. As STA President Mark Hutchinson and I see it: “We should fund science like our lives and our economy depend on it, because they do.”
Meanwhile the research community has come out strongly over the Ministerial veto of six ARC grants late last year. There’s an important principle at stake here. The independence of research is key in a liberal democracy. That independence is enshrined in the Haldane Principle dating back to 1918. STA’s statement is on our website. We are also concerned about fresh delays in two more grant rounds - the ARC LIEF and Discovery Projects 2023. We need an end to these delays once and for all, by shifting to fixed timetables for grant applications and announcements. We will continue to seek progress on this.

It was uplifting to see this week’s Australian honours recognise so many scientists. Former STA Vice-President Sue Barrell is now an AO, Superstar of STEM Kate Cole an OAM, and Australia’s former Chief Scientist Alan Finkel an AC. Our warmest congratulations to every scientist honoured.

The PM’s Prizes for Science nominations close soon - on 10 February. Diversity and representation matter. Please take time to nominate brilliant scientists of all backgrounds for these prestigious awards - and especially Indigenous scientists, women and people of colour. 

The STA staff team is expanding to help support our strong membership growth. We are delighted to welcome Emma Hibbert from 1 February in the new role of Membership Engagement Officer. She’ll work to our Director of Membership and Events Lucy Guest and with our Membership Officer Shannon Wong. Emma is a science student at ANU and is passionate about diversity in STEM. You’ll be able to reach her at

Finally, it’s now just a month until Science Meets Parliament! If you haven’t already, register your delegates now and encourage your members to apply for one of our coveted scholarships.

Until next time, 

Misha Schubert 
CEO, Science & Technology Australia 

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