Australia’s Chief Scientist engagement with the ACDS – August 2022

Dr Catherine Foley Feb 20 Square Small

Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, Australia’s Chief Scientist, delivered an address as part of the ACDS Extending the Research Culture of Australian University Science webinar series.  Dr Foley delivered a wide-ranging presentation on her advice to the new federal government on STEM-related matters and initiatives from her office.

Dr Foley explained how the new federal government has embraced a refresh of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the pre-eminent source of evidence-based science and technology advice to government.

Building upon the work of the NSTC, Dr Foley updated delegates at the webinar on a range of national STEM priorities areas, including:

  • How to close the 15% gap in capability to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Identifying and supporting critical technologies where sovereign capability is essential, including:
    • Australia’ emerging space science and technology industry
    • Biotechnology
    • Strengthening Australia’s semiconductor supply chains
    • Deeping Australia’s expertise in quantum technologies
    • Exploiting Australia’s critical minerals reserves by value-add processing
  • Improving STEM career pathways and capability (skills development)
  • Recognising and valuing Indigenous Knowledge and science
  • Expanding the current narrow focus on research performance metrics
  • Developing a national Open Access framework for disseminating research outcomes.

Following her presentation, a lively Q&A session with webinar participants followed.  The ACDS thanks Dr Foley for her presentation and acknowledges Professor Eileen McLaughlin for organising the ACDS Extending the Research Culture of Australian University Science webinar series.

A more detailed account of the issues addressed by Dr Foley in her presentation to the ACDS on Friday August 5, 2022 is available here