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Press Release: Australian Deans of Science say ministerial change fails nation

January 12th 2018

Australian Deans of Science say ministerial change fails nation (download PDF)

Australia’s Deans of Science have expressed their disappointment at the exclusion of science from the senior Ministry in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Following the recent reshuffle, the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) has highlighted the downside in making this change.

“It is a decision that seriously disadvantages the Australian people, who need a strong sustainable innovations system to power Australia’s economic development,” the letter says.

“The absence of senior advocacy for science betrays an absence of the kind of long term strategic thinking that other governments apply to their innovations systems.”

“Why would Innovation be separated from Science?’ asks ACDS President Brian Yates. ‘In the days of the National Innovation and Science Agenda the Prime Minister clearly thought they went together”

“Does he now think that the nation can plan for innovation without science?”

“Our Chief Scientists, current and former, made the case in spades for the connection between science and innovation. It’s a connection that is central to long term strategic planning and resourcing of the kind that you see in developed and developing 21st century economies,” he said.

“Leaving science out of senior government decision making will give the public little confidence that a government is on top of managing the complexity of an innovation driven economy. In the longer term it will undermine our economic competitiveness, and our ability to create jobs and growth.”

Professor Brian Yates, President ACDS

Professor John Rice, Executive Director ACDS

2017 AGM Program

The 2017 ACDS AGM was held at the Mercure Hotel Broadway, Sydney on October 23 and 24. It included a tour of the University of Sydney’s NanoScience Hub on the afternoon of the 23rd, followed by dinner at Darling Harbour at the Adria Bar Restaurant.

The AGM opening address was given by David Learmonth, Deputy Secretary, Higher Education, Research and International Cluster, DET, speaking on, among other things, research impact and industry engagement. It was then followed by a high profile panel, that included Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, discussing building effective industry connections.

Higher ed budget cuts – ACDS responds

On Wednesday 23 August, Universities Australia released an analysis showing that science would bear a larger proportion of the impact of proposed cuts to the higher education budget.
Yesterday the ACDS released our response to this analysis, supporting Universities Australia’s call on Parliament and the Senate to rethink the proposed cuts.
We believe that the proposed cuts would seriously undermine Australia’s efforts to prepare its young people and its economy for the future. 
The full statement is available here.

National Research Forum – September 2017

25 – 26 September 2017 – Novotel Sydney Central

As agreed in the ACDS Strategic Plan, the Australian Council of Deans of Science is convening a national network of research organisational leaders in Australia’s science faculties and schools. It is open to Deans, Associate Deans Research, Research Training, and allied leadership roles such as those involved in business development and industry engagement.

The September 25-26 Forum is the network inaugural event.

The Forum will include presentations from the acting CEO of the ARC, members of the ACOLA Review into postgraduate training, and prominent industry leaders. Key topics are industry engagement, research impact and the changing nature of the PhD. There will be panel discussions with industry leaders and a showcase of examples of systematic university science-industry engagement.