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  • 18 Sep 2023 2:32 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Australia’s new Draft National Science and Research Priorities are out for review. Released by Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, the draft draws on national consultations by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO - including Science & Technology Australia’s submissions.

    Strategies shape science funding and policy. So it’s crucial they reflect the big challenges and capabilities we need Australian science to solve. If key elements are missing or underplayed in this draft key policy lever, please let us know swiftly so STA can propose amendments, as well as making your own direct submission. Feedback is due by 29 September.

    STA advocates a resounding ‘Yes’ vote in the October 14 referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Please share our social media posts, wear a ‘Yes’ t-shirt, share why you back a ‘Yes’ vote, and read our blog on how you can support an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. It includes easy, practical ways to show your support and help the country deliver a unifying moment in history and answer the calls of generations of Indigenous leaders. 

    Inspiration alert! What a powerful influx of diverse stellar science and research leaders joining STA’s sector-leading governance structures. STA’s influential STEM Sector Policy Committee welcomes four new members: Superstar of STEM and Associate Professor Dr Kalinda Griffiths; Superstar of STEM and statistician Dr Melissa Humphries; Professor of Astrophysics Richard de Grijs, Associate Professor and Superstar of STEM Dr Parwinder Kaur. Three skilled diversity and inclusion champions will join or rejoin STA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee - Dr Katrina Wruck, a proud Mabuigilaig and Goemulgal woman and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Morley Muse co-founder and director of iSTEM Co. We’re also pleased to welcome for a second term Superstar of STEM and scientist and diversity and inclusion strategist Dr Erin McGillick. 

    A huge thanks to outgoing committee members Dr Susanna Cramb, Dr Tara Roberson, Professor Adrian Barnett, Dr Andrew Black, Dr Maggie Evans-Galea and Dr Bek Christensen. We’re deeply grateful for the time, expertise and skill they have invested in the STEM sector, Science & Technology Australia and our members.

    As the key connector of people and ideas in Australia's STEM sector, STA runs a suite of great programs. This week, STA’s STEM Ambassadors had high-quality training in media engagement. This program pairs sector experts with Federal MPs and Senators to share expertise in STEM - and its hugely appreciated by Parliamentarians right across the political spectrum. 

    And our current Superstars of STEM seem to be everywhere at the moment - doing high-profile media interviews, public speaking, doing schools visits, winning awards and securing promotions - all accelerated by this world-leading STA program. The Superstars of STEM program is a remarkable Australian success story. It is transforming the idea of what scientists and people in STEM careers look like, and powerfully shifting the dial on diversity in media representation. It’s also fast-tracking careers. We were thrilled this week to see Superstar of STEM Dr Jiawen Li named as one of MIT’s prestigious list of 35 top global innovators under 35. What a Superstar!

    Finally, we want to hear from you about how STA can best support your work! Please take our quick member survey. This will shape the sector’s next advocacy priorities.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 22 Aug 2023 11:02 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Comment from Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert on the Australian Government’s acceptance or acceptance in principle of all ten recommendations of a major review of the Australian Research Council Act.

    “These changes will strengthen Australia’s research system - on which our country’s health, wealth and safety rely - and put in place guardrails to prevent political interference in awarding research grants.”

    “Curbing the temptation for Ministers to meddle in complex research is a powerful positive reform.”

    “These thoughtful changes will also safeguard discovery research funding, start a transformative shift to a two-stage application process, and foster deeper partnerships with Indigenous researchers and communities.”

    “A two-stage application process will be a win for productivity, wellbeing and morale in Australia’s brilliant research workforce. It can free up researchers who spend hundreds of hours writing full funding applications – when only around one in five of those applications gets funded.”

    “These legislative and regulatory changes will strengthen the ARC’s operations and independence - a powerful legacy to help secure our country’s future prosperity.”

    We thank Education Minister Jason Clare and the Australian Government for adopting the comprehensive thoughtful blueprint for ARC modernisation developed by Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Professor Susan Dodds and Professor Mark Hutchinson.

    Read the full Review of the Australian Research Council Act report.

    Read the full Australian Government response here

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.  

    To arrange interviews: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828

  • 18 Aug 2023 1:07 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    We hope you’ve had a terrific National Science Week! Science & Technology Australia hosted the official launch last week with our partners at Questacon. We generated strong media coverage of new data from the 3M State of Science Index which shows 9 in 10 Australians want to see more people and businesses stand up for and defend science. The survey also found the Australian public has very high levels of trust in and respect for science and scientists. 

    Around the world, we see science being attacked and undermined, and closer to home we see businesses being told to ‘stay in their lane’ when they speak out on social issues. But this social research - conducted by Ipsos for 3M - shows clearly that the Australian public values science and expects the nation’s business community to be active and vocal supporters of science.

    A huge thanks to STA members for the strong turnout of inspiring grassroots science leaders and Parliamentary champions of science. We thank Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Shadow Science Minister Paul Fletcher, Greens science spokesperson Senator David Shoebridge, Questacon Director Jo White, STA’s Governance Chair Jas Chambers, Australian Space Agency Head Enrico Palermo, STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance Chair Professor Chris Matthews and Ngunnawal Elder Uncle Warren Daley. #ScienceWeek #ThanksScience!

    This week, the newly-released Draft Recommendations of the Pathway to Diversity in STEM review are a powerful call to “stay the course” and double-down on proven diversity-driving initiatives with new long-term investments to forge systemic and cultural change. The draft recommendations include calls to create a new Diversity in STEM Council, strengthen STEM teaching in schools, tackle job insecurity in STEM research careers and secure proven women and diversity in STEM initiatives with “significant and sustained funding” over longer time frames to help drive long-term systemic and cultural change.

    It’s crucial the country builds on the strong evidence-based success of initiatives that are already working powerfully to deepen diversity in STEM, like STA’s Superstars of STEM. Superstars of STEM sits at the very heart of diversity in Australia’s STEM ecosystem as a central resource and talent source that powers a wide array of other diversity in STEM programs and initiatives. If proven successes like the Superstars of STEM program had Government funding scaled up and secured for a whole decade, it would dramatically turbo-charge all of the other efforts and proposals to drive systemic and cultural change in STEM workplaces.

    In its coverage, InnovationAus reported that “the STA-run Superstars of STEM program was recommended in the report as a way for media to help influence diverse representation beyond women to non-binary people and people from other diverse cohorts”. It is a powerful program that embeds diversity strongly in every aspect of its work.

    We congratulate the DISTEM review panel – Sally-Ann Williams, Mikaela Jade, and Dr Parwinder Kaur – on their work so far, and look forward to continuing to work productively with the government and the sector to drive the next waves of change. Have your say on the draft recommendations here.

    The Universities Accord review is also progressing - final submissions are due by 1 September. The next two weeks will be a crucial window for STA members to ask the panel to recommend a bold uplift in Australia’s research investments. We encourage all of you to make a submission and write to the panel in your own powerful words to make clear how important it is that the final report recommends a bold scale-up on research funding. This is the moment for all of us to make the case for research, highlight the powerful research breakthroughs Australia could make with deeper research investment - and offer evidence on the strong economic returns from a bold boost to research funding. Two news stories in major media outlets this week also help to make this case. The Australian reported that the Academic Ranking of World Universities shows Australia’s top universities have started to slide downwards in a fierce era of escalating global competition as other countries scale up their investments in publicly-funded research. Rankings are renowned as a lag indicator - and this slide is cause for significant concern. The AFR reported the new research commercialisation fund - Australia’s Economic Accelerator - has been overwhelmed by the volume of applications in its opening round. This shows Australia is brimming with research innovators and research ready for commercialisation - but there simply isn’t enough money in the research system to unleash that innovation. 

    Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic has announced the Board for the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. The Chair will be Martijn Wilder AM - who has previously chaired the Board of Australian Renewable Energy Agency and was Founding Director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - two proven models for using investor capital to accelerate technological innovation. We congratulate the incoming Board and look forward to working with them.

    Finally, how good was Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley on ABC’s Q&A program this week? Her calm, compelling clarity on what the science tells us about the scale of Australia’s transition task on climate change was compelling. If you missed it, it’s worth taking a look.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 10 Aug 2023 4:29 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    Nine in ten Australians want more people and businesses to stand up for and defend science - and think scientists are crucial to solving Australia’s biggest future challenges, the latest 3M State of Science Index finds.

    Released to launch National Science Week 2023, the new data from the major study detects very strong levels of public support for science in Australia.

    This year, 93% of Australians say positive outcomes can be achieved if more people stand up and defend science and 92% of Australians want to see business take action to defend science.

    The Minister for Industry & Science Ed Husic MP will officially launch National Science Week 2023 at an event today delivered by Science & Technology Australia for Questacon and the Australian Government.

    The theme for this year’s National Science Week schools program is Innovation: powering future industries.

    The 3M State of Science Index measures public attitudes to science in 17 countries. More than 1000 Australians were surveyed for the large-scale global poll conducted by Ipsos.

    Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the new data showed Australians overwhelmingly grasp how important science is to our lives, our safety, our economy and our ability to tackle complex threats.

    “The very strong message out of this survey data is that Australians really want people to stand up for and defend science, and that includes wanting to see business stand up for science,” she said.

    The survey highlighted how strongly Australians grasp the importance of science innovation to help tackle the impact of climate change - and that STEM professionals are key to solving the problems of tomorrow.

    “In the last few years, from the Black Summer bushfires to the northern New South Wales floods, we’ve seen stark reminders of the threat that climate change poses to our nation and the world,” Ms Schubert said.

    “This survey shows Australians back science and scientists to come up with climate solutions - including clever new ways to reduce waste, solar panels, eco-friendly building materials and more affordable electric vehicles.”

    Eleni Sideridis, Managing Director of 3M Australia and New Zealand, said the survey showed the deep respect Australians have and their trust in science to tackle global and national challenges.

    “3M’s State of Science research demonstrates that Australians understand and appreciate the connection between scientific innovation and the role it plays in improving their lives.

    Encouragingly, about 9 in 10 (89%) believe science has a critical role to play in improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, with a similar number (90%) believing companies should do more to make it easier on consumers to be more

    “With Australians (94%) recognising the need for more skilled trade workers and a broad recognition that there will be negative outcomes if we cannot find a solution to the skills shortage, it is a vital time for all of us to encourage more school leavers into a science-based career.

    “It’s positive to see that Australians recognise the importance to grow the participation rate of STEM education, with 4 in 5 (82%) agreeing that more needs to be done to encourage and keep students from underrepresented groups engaged in STEM education. This in line with 3M’s global goal to create 5 million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences by 2025,” Eleni said.

    National Science Week will run nationwide from 12 to 20 August 2023, for more information about events, please visit More information about 3M State of Science Index and the findings from across the globe can be found here.

    Key Australian survey findings of the 2023 3M State of Science Index include:

    • 93% of Australians believe positive outcomes can be achieved if people stand up for and defend science. 92% want business to take action to defend science.
    • 92% of Australians say STEM professionals can help us solve the problems of tomorrow.
    • 88% of Australians clearly see the connection between science and its role in improving their life.
    • Australians believe innovation can address the future impact of climate change. Top technologies Australians believe can address future climate change impacts include innovative uses of resources to reduce waste (52%), followed by affordable solar panels (48%), planet-friendly alternatives to traditional construction supplies (44%), affordable electric vehicles and transportation (43%), natural disaster-resilient building materials (39%) and air pollution filtration technology (39%).
    • 82% of Australians believe the world is better prepared for the next global health pandemic because of science.
    • 94% believe the workforce needs more skilled trade workers, and urgently… as 94% see consequences if Australia can’t solve this shortage.
    • 90% believe companies should do more to make it easier for consumers to be more sustainable.
    • 81% think underrepresented groups are a source of untapped potential in the STEM workforce.

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.

    About 3M and the State of Science Index
    3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's next at or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews.

    The 3M State of Science Index survey explores global attitudes toward science, taking the pulse on how people think and feel about the field and its impact on the world around us. This is our sixth year and seventh survey for SOSI. 2023 SOSI is a 17-country survey fielded September-December 2022 among 1,000 general population consumers in each country.

    To arrange interviews:
    Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828 and Charlotte Hartley-Wilson, ElevenPR: 0424 855 835

  • 4 Aug 2023 12:14 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Lights, camera, action! Next week, we’ll raise the curtain on National Science Week – an annual event to focus hearts and minds on the vast contribution that science makes to society. Once again, Science & Technology Australia will deliver the official national launch in partnership with Questacon. It will feature champions of science from the sector and politics led by Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic. Join us on Wednesday 9 August 8–9am AEST at the Theatrette in Parliament House. Please register ASAP!

    At the launch, we’ll unveil the 2023 data from the 3M State of Science Index. This global annual survey by Ipsos tracks public sentiment on trust in science and scientists, and consistently shows the overwhelmingly strong support people have for both. We look forward to sharing the data!

    We’d love it if you would amplify our social media content on STA's channels to highlight National Science Week. And please tag us when you share your own activities on socials – and use the hashtag #ScienceWeek so we can herogram you! We want to flood social media with a public celebration of Australian science.

    This week, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO issued an important paper on Trust in Science. The paper sets out the clear distinction between ‘research quality’ and ‘research integrity’. As Dr Foley observes these terms are often used interchangeably when they are different things. As she notes, the result of that confusion is that debate about the quality of a piece of research can be seen as a reflection on scientific integrity. We applaud her drawing attention to this essential distinction and would encourage everyone to read this important resource.

    Also this week, the Science & Technology Australia team met with some of Deakin University’s inspiring institutes who are STA member organisations. Deakin is one of Australia’s powerhouse science and technology universities and we’re thrilled to have them as members. The range of life and society-enhancing research that the institutes are working on is inspiring. STA is privileged to represent all of our member organisations and we are always grateful for the contribution you make to the world.

    Earlier this year, STA member SparkLabs Cultiv8 put out a call out to the STA community for the next big idea in the agri–food tech sector. Congratulations to the ten startups funded through the CleanTech Accelerator! Keep an eye out for our next callout to the STA community later this year for the 2024 round – if you have a clever cleantech innovation worthy of a $100,000 investment, this could be you!

    Last week, the NHMRC said goodbye to outgoing CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO. Professor Kelso has led the NHMRC since 2015. She is a wise and thoughtful leader who has forged an extraordinary legacy of achievement in this role as a public policy reformer. We thank Anne for her service – and we welcome new NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh. We look forward to hearing from Professor Kelso at next week’s Science Policy Fellows Alumni dinner.

    Finally, I echo the beautiful words of STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson in memoriam about former Science & Technology Australia President Professor Jim Piper. Australia’s science community turned out in force on Wednesday at his memorial service in Sydney to remember this extraordinary scientist, leader, mentor, entrepreneur and friend. Throughout his remarkable life, Jim nurtured the skills and helped to launch the careers of so many other great Australian scientists. And he invested vast time and energy in the STA community, delighting in your successes. We'll miss him.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 27 Jul 2023 9:47 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    At the end of 2019 SSA awarded its inaugural Betty Allan Travel Award to two worthy recipients. Then COVID-19 struck and there were no more thoughts of travel for must of us for a long time.

    This year, winner Sharm Thuraisingam was finally able to set off on her incredible trip to Canada. This is her report:

    "After three long years (thanks Covid-19), I was finally able to use my 2020 SSA/CSIRO Betty Allan Travel Award to spend time at the Centre for Health Informatics, University of Calgary in Canada. In February this year, my family and I headed off to Calgary, arriving to a chilly -30C! I spent 4 months at the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) learning from statisticians and data analysts about health data, data linkage practices and prediction modelling using linked electronic medical record data in Alberta. During my time at CHI, I connected with various researchers utilising health data for prediction modelling, including family doctors, nephrologists, cardiologists, epidemiologists, paediatric surgeons, biostatisticians and data analysts. My visit has resulted in 4 ongoing international collaboration projects between the University of Melbourne and University of Calgary, and the development of a 5-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) collaboration project grant aimed at harnessing the power of hospital electronic medical record data for clinical prediction model development.  

    In May I travelled with the CHI team to Montreal to attend the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) Conference where I learnt about the collection and amalgamation of health data across Canada, the effect of the pandemic on the Canadian health workforce and strategies for improving access to healthcare for vulnerable populations. I thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity and have returned home with a list of researchers to collaborate with.

    Of course it wasn’t all work and no play! My family and I made the most of our weekends in Canada, hiking and skiing in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and British Columbia. We were also lucky enough to visit Quebec City where we enjoyed indulging in French cuisine and some warmer weather. Highlights of my trip include making lifelong friends at CHI, establishing ongoing collaboration projects with the University of Calgary which will (hopefully) see me return in the near future, the picturesque scenery in Alberta (especially the Icefields Parkway), northern lights, well insulated housing, extremely friendly people, delicious poutine and ketchup chips!

    Thank you to the Statistical Society of Australia and CSIRO for such a wonderful learning and development opportunity that has enhanced my career as a biostatistician, enabled me to secure ongoing international research/analysis work and provided lifelong memories that my family and I will treasure forever! It really has been a once in a lifetime experience, living and working in another part of the world!"

    If you are interested in applying for the Betty Allan Travel Award, keep an eye out for the next call for applications in the SSA weekly newsletter, or click here.

  • 19 Jul 2023 2:47 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The Universities Accord interim report has disastrously missed an historic moment to recommend a ramp up of Australia’s research investment, consigning Australia to be out-muscled by our economic rivals in the global race to seize new jobs, industries and national income.

    The interim report “squanders a once-in-a-generation chance” to recommend the Australian Government immediately start a visionary scale-up of Australia’s R&D strength to drive stronger job creation and diversify our economy as one of its five immediate priority actions.

    The nation’s peak body for science and technology urged the Accord Panel to move swiftly to make bolder recommendations on research investment in its final report to avert a “calamitous own goal that will lose current talent and erode future Australian jobs, income and living standards”.  

    It had already missed the opportunity to do so in the current Budget cycle, with the Panel’s final report due in December. New spending proposals for the May Budget typically close in September/October.

    The latest official data, published at the end of May, shows Australia’s Government investment in R&D has plunged to its lowest level as a share of our economy since 1978.

    Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the peak body would urgently convene research sector stakeholders for emergency talks to ensure the panel understood the gravity of the cost to Australia of missing the mark on research investment.

    "The Accord must seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the panel to recommend the Government confirm both a bold target and a timetable to start to scale up Australia’s R&D investment - and to start that scale-up from this year’s Budget cycle."

    "The Accord’s interim report has spectacularly missed the mark on research investment - that’s an epic fail. It squibs a once in a generation chance to set our nation on the path to prosperity by stepping up our investment in being first to bold breakthroughs. The final report must fix this fatal flaw."

    “The final report should enshrine an ambitious target for Australia’s R&D investment - mirroring the 3% of GDP target the Australian Labor Party promised the Australian people before the last election - and recommend a plan and timetable to achieve it.”

    "Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called for Australia’s economy to be "powered by science". He’s right to do so. Only with stronger investment in research can science tackle the challenges the future will throw at us - from climate change to the next global pandemic. This interim report fails to chart a path to the PM’s vision."

    "The report poses more questions than it attempts to answer. And waiting six months for the final report means any funding measures recommended will miss the cut-off for inclusion in the next Federal Budget."

    “As a longstanding champion of equity and diversity, we support the proposals to expand access for equity groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our  flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors. 

    To arrange interviews: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828

  • 28 Jun 2023 12:54 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    This week the STA team has been in Sydney for the annual Women in AI Awards for Asia Pacific. The awards are a global initiative that recognise women using AI in innovative ways. It was exciting to hear some of the inspirational stories behind the incredible award winners, and learn more about the pioneering work they are doing. 

    We were absolutely thrilled to see Superstars of STEM alumna Dr Cathy Robinson of CSIRO win the Communicating AI Award for her incredible work that enables Indigenous women rangers to use AI to monitor and manage their Country. Congratulations also to current Superstar of STEM Dr Sara Webb of Swinburne University of Technology who was a finalist in the awards, and to all the incredible award winners.

    On Wednesday STA welcomed the announcement that Professor Doug Hilton will be the new Chief Executive Officer of CSIRO. Professor Hilton is an outstanding Australian science leader with an incredible track record of scientific research into blood cell production and how cells communicate with each other. He has a deep and longstanding commitment to boosting diversity in science and mentoring and supporting the next generation of great Australian scientists. STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson said Professor Hilton is a “superb appointment for CSIRO who will bring deep expertise to the role”.

    The opening of the second round of the National Industry PhD Program is just around the corner. This prestigious program is building stronger links between industry, universities, and researchers. You can find out more about the program here.

    Huge congratulations to STA member organisation Cicada Innovations which was this week announced as the operator for the new Jumar Bioincubator at the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. The incubator is backed by $65 million in industry and government investment, and will give biotech ventures at the facility access to labs, support, and the hospitals and universities within the biomedical precinct. Expressions of interest for the Jumar Bioincubator are open now ahead of the facility opening in September.

    Finally, please join us for the launch of National Science Week, hosted by Science & Technology Australia and Questacon. The event will feature a series of short, high-energy talks from inspiring STEM leaders sharing their excitement about the frontiers of Australian science. You will have a chance to meet and chat with Parliamentarians, STEM policy experts, and scientists, and get to celebrate the beginning of the biggest week for science of the year! The event takes place at Parliament House, 8–9am, on Wednesday 9 August. Registrations are essential

    All the best,

    Sandra Gardam
    Deputy CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 22 Jun 2023 9:14 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The Royal Statistical Society (RSS), the leading membership body advocating for the importance of statistics and data, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sarah Cumbers as its new chief executive.

    Taking up the role in September 2023, Sarah will lead on the RSS’s varied programme of activities, including its accreditation schemes, publications, conference and events, and policy work while enhancing its role as the membership body for all those interested in the good use of data.

    Sarah is currently the evidence and insights director at Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a global charity dedicated to engineering a safer world. During her time at the organisation, Sarah led on its flagship programme, the World Risk Poll, a unique global survey on public perceptions and experience of risk and safety, as well as its What Works for safety programme.

    As an advocate of evidence-based policy and practice, Sarah is also the chair of the Evidence Quarter, a community interest company that brings together evidence-minded organisations to increase collaboration and tackle joint challenges. Previously she spent much of her career at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), working across a number of roles including evaluation of medicines, management of information services, and development of guideline methodology.

    The RSS was previously led by Stian Westlake, now executive chair of the Economic and Social Research Council. Sarah takes the role over from Nicola Emmerson, the Society’s director of membership and professional affairs, who has led the organisation on an interim basis since May.

    Commenting on the appointment, Dr Andrew Garrett, president of the RSS, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sarah to the RSS as our new chief executive. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in evidence-based policymaking as well as substantial experience of leadership in non-profit organisations.

    “I know Sarah will take the RSS from strength to strength in its role advocating for our members, the discipline and the importance of data and evidence for the public good.”

    Dr Sarah Cumbers commented: “The potential value of statistics and data, and the dangers of misuse, have never been more evident than they are in our world today. The RSS has a crucial role to play in ensuring that statistics are well used and understood – and I am looking forward to joining the Society at such an exciting time for our members.”

  • 31 Mar 2023 1:08 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Dear Marie-Louise,

    This week, enacting legislation for the new $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund secured passage through the Australian Parliament. The fund will be a powerful new investment in our country’s future. It will spur and scale Australia’s economic development and diversification - and be powered by home-grown science. Science & Technology Australia warmly welcomed this historic moment.  

    This new fund will help to deepen Australia’s scientific and technological innovation – which is key to strengthening our national prosperity, creating jobs and securing new income streams. And it significantly boosts Australia’s pool of investment capital for next-generation materials development, value-adding and advanced manufacturing – the foundations of a strong, modern economy. In turn, this helps to turbo-charge sovereign capability and economic complexity.

    A constellation of stars from the worlds of science, technology and policy converged on Canberra for Science Meets Parliament 2023: On the Hill. More than 400 scientists packed into Parliament House for a day of inspiration and engagement with decision-makers. 

    It was a record-breaking success. More than 40 per cent of the Parliament took part - with 87 meetings across eight hours and a strong turnout of Parliamentarians at the gala dinner. And this was achieved amid one of the busiest legislative fortnights in living memory. Such strong support is a testament to the respect for science among Parliamentarians - and the esteem for Science Meets Parliament. And it is made possible by the stellar support of the foundation partners - the Department of Industry, Science and Resources and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

    What a powerful program. A diverse array of Australian science leadership greats - led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO and Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt AC - shared insights, working up to a superb National Press Club address by Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic.  

    Powerful speeches about the power of science also centred the gala dinner - with inspiring words from Minister Husic, Parliamentary Friends of Science co-chairs Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, and Shadow Science Minister Paul Fletcher. Paul Girrawah House warmly welcomed us to Country, and gala dinner partner ANSTO CEO Shaun Jenkinson reminded us of the power of sovereign science expertise, following a welcome reception hosted by AbbVie. Photo highlights are here. A huge thanks to everyone who made it such a success.

    Got a clean tech concept to boost sustainability in agriculture and food production and processing? Then enter our SparkLabs Cultiv8-STA competition to win up to $100,000 of investment and a place in a prestigious 6-month accelerator program. Entrants must be a Science & Technology Australia member. The winner will get mentoring, networking and business development support to help bring the next generation of clean agri-food technologies to market. SparkLabs Cultiv8 will run an information webinar on Wednesday 5 April at 2pm AEDT. Register here.

    Don’t miss the chance to share your ideas on what should be in Australia’s next set of official national science and research priorities. This is a chance for Science & Technology Australia’s membership to offer insights on the complex challenges that Australia can tackle by taking a more coordinated and concerted science and technology focus, and the opportunities Australia should seize. The consultation deadline has been extended to next Thursday - 6 April. You can make a submission here.

    Finally, Science & Technology Australia is drafting a submission to the Universities Accord review. To feed any short, sharp, tight content into this process, please email STA’s Policy Director Sarah Tynan by COB Monday to feed ideas into our submission, which is due before Easter. More detail on the Accord is here.  

    Until next time, 

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 

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