26 September 2023

Chief Scientist’s formula moves him on

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Queensland Chief Scientist, Hugh Possingham completed his role as the State’s leading public scientist on 31 August.

Minister for Science, Meaghan Scanlon paid tribute to Professor Possingham, a man she described as “one of the country’s most distinguished scientific minds”.

“Professor Possingham (pictured) became a driving force for the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing expert advice on key scientific policies in the State,” Ms Scanlon said.

“I know I speak on behalf of the Government, the science sector and Queenslanders as a whole in saying we really appreciate his efforts and recognise the progress achieved under his guidance.”

She said Professor Possingham’s expert advice had been instrumental in shaping key policies, programs and investments in areas as diverse as crocodile management, marine parks, threatened species, disaster management and university-industry partnerships.

“In all, he led and participated in close to 30 committees or advisory boards covering a broad range of endeavours from university research, energy, climate, reef, and biodiversity and other environmental issues as well as giving advice to Government,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Professor Possingham has especially devoted time and energy to ensure young Queenslanders are inspired to continue their studies in the science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) subjects.”

She said he had presented at World Science Festival events, engaged with students and communities through the Flying Scientists program, had led numerous bird walks to introduce Queenslanders to citizen science, and facilitated key events to celebrate National Science Week.

Ms Scanlon said Professor Possingham would continue his role as the independent Chair of the Native Vegetation Scientific Expert Panel and maintain his part-time role with The University of Queensland as Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences.

“The Department of Environment and Science will now appoint an interim Queensland Chief Scientist while an open and merit-based recruitment process is undertaken for the permanent role,” the Minister said.

She said an interim Queensland Chief Scientist is to be appointed while an extensive recruitment takes place.

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