26 September 2023

Feedback invited to shape science plans

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The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is calling for feedback to help shape Australia’s science and research priorities.

Encouraging all Australians to get involved in the discussion, Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic said the consultation would help identify priority areas that would deliver social, economic and environmental benefits for the country.

“With our scientific knowledge constantly evolving and improving, a science system geared to our future is essential for our national prosperity and the well-being of the Australian people,” Mr Husic said.

“We want to hear the views of a wide range of Australians on the issues they are facing that require a solution drawing on the breadth of our science and research communities.”

He said the Department had launched a discussion paper and survey to gather people’s views on challenges which could be addressed through science; future opportunities; and strengths to maintain and build upon.

Mr Husic has appointed Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley to lead the revitalisation of Australia’s science priorities.

“A discussion paper to guide the conversation has now been released, and Dr Foley is perfectly placed to engage people from across Australia over the coming months,” the Minister said.

Dr Foley said she wanted to see input from as wide a cross-section of the community as possible, including the research and business communities, people at the cutting edge of innovation and commercialisation and Indigenous Australians.

“This is about coming up with a set of priorities that will guide science in the years to come, ensuring we are all pulling in the same direction,” Dr Foley said.

“We want to ensure we can tackle the big challenges – and that means supporting a strong and energetic research sector and a real sense of collective focus.”

She said Australians could have their say on this first phase of engagement via an online portal until 31 March.

Dr Foley said she would also conduct a series of roundtables with a broad cross section of the Australian community, and more opportunities to help shape the country’s science and research priorities would become available in the months ahead.

The Department’s three-page discussion paper Developing Australia’s Science and Research Priorities and National Science Statement – a National Conversation Starter can be accessed at this PS News link and its survey can be found at this link.

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