Menu
Log in


News & Media releases

  • 4 Aug 2022 10:21 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Australians overwhelmingly trust in science and scientists - and we strongly fear negative consequences for our society if people don’t value science enough, new research finds.

    But a rising tide of public wariness about social media misinformation risks fuelling scepticism in science, the new data released to launch National Science Week reveals.

    A major new study published today finds Australians see science as indispensable, say it was our salvation in the pandemic and is the key to tackling existential threats such as climate change.

    Industry & Science Minister Ed Husic MP will today officially launch National Science Week at an event delivered by Science & Technology Australia for the Australian Government. The launch theme is Celebrating First Nations Sciences.

    The 3M State of Science Index measures public attitudes to science in 17 countries. More than 1000 Australians were surveyed for the global poll in early 2022. 

    Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said: “Australians strongly value and trust science, and we see clearly how important science is to our safety and prosperity.”

    "Science has saved us time and again during the COVID-19 pandemic – and Australians appreciate science’s key role to help us tackle major threats including climate change, which is causing more frequent terrifying extreme weather like floods, cyclones, megafires, droughts, and heatwaves.”

    The survey reveals Australians have very strong levels of trust in science – higher than in many other nations – with nine in ten of us saying we trust science and scientists. 

    Four in five Australians say they want to hear more from scientists about their work.

    The survey highlighted Australians’ fears about what might happen if people don’t value science, with three in five believing it would lead to more public health crises and more than half believing it would lead to greater division in society.

    The survey also shines a light on public fears around science misinformation and a growing scepticism about scientific information shared in the media and on social media platforms. 

    Three in four Australians believe there is now widespread misinformation (on all topics - not specifically on science) in mainstream news, and nine in ten Australians think there is widespread misinformation on all topics on social media.

    Against that backdrop, the public level of scepticism around science has risen slightly from 25 per cent in 2021 to 32 per cent in 2022.

    “We live in an era of general wariness and distrust of information – especially on social media – which is feeding into a rising tide of concern about social media misinformation that risks fuelling public scepticism in science unless we all act to safeguard it,” Ms Schubert said.

    “It’s more important than ever that we all help Australians to find credible, accurate and verified sources of scientific facts from reputable science experts, which highlights the hugely important role of trusted science organisations to share science with the public.”

    Eleni Sideridis, Managing Director of 3M Australia and New Zealand, said science is viewed as essential to shaping, strengthening and improving Australia.

    “The last few years have shown Australians the true value of science. We have seen a global pandemic unfold, the impacts of climate change and increasing weather events firsthand. The people of Australia know that science holds the solutions to many of these issues,” she said.

    “The results of the 3M State of Science Index demonstrates how we as a nation recognise misinformation. It shows the importance of science communities, such as those within Science and Technology Australia and 3M being present in the public eye to ensure transparency and clearly communicated solutions to Australia’s biggest problems. Only then will we have a prosperous future for our country.”

    National Science Week runs from 13 to 21 August 2022. To find an event in your local area: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/


  • 29 Jul 2022 12:05 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    Next Thursday, Science & Technology Australia hosts the official launch of National Science Week 2022. The event will bring together federal MPs and Senators with science sector stakeholders in the first sitting fortnight of the new Parliament. So timely!

    STA has also begun the nationwide search for Australia’s next 60 Superstars of STEM. This inspiring program advances gender equity in STEM by equipping diverse STEM experts with skills and confidence to step into the media spotlight as media stars. Know someone who would be perfect for this life-changing opportunity? Please encourage them to apply by 14 August. To assist you in promoting this superb opportunity to your networks, we have a suite of social media materials for you to use. 

    Many thanks to STA members who gave invaluable feedback on the proposed governance reforms. There has been strong support for them, and we hope to update you again soon. 

    Congratulations to the many impressive science and research leaders appointed to STA’s STEM Sector Policy Committee and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee this week. We look forward to working with you!

    We also congratulate every scientist named as a finalist for this year’s prestigious Eureka awards. A special shout out to STA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair Professor Sumeet Walia, 2019-21 Superstar of STEM Dr Kirsten Ellis, and Queers in Science, our community partner for Science meets Parliament 2022.

    This week I chaired a National Press Club address by CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall on the big challenges and opportunities for Australia, and how science can help us navigate them. Missed the speech? You can catch it here.  

    Legislation to write a 43 per cent emissions reduction target into law was introduced to the Parliament this week. It is now in active discussion across the Parliament. STA continues to monitor this closely, along with plans for a new Environment Protection Agency reaffirmed when the 2021 State of the Environment report was released last week.

    Until next time, 

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 


  • 19 Jul 2022 9:47 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The June 2022 meeting of the SA Branch was given virtually by Clare Griffiths, head of the UK COVID-19 dashboard at the UK Health Security Agency. Clare described the evolution of the dashboard during the course of the pandemic. The dashboard needed to be more than just analysis and statistics, it had to be accessible to the public, be able to convey complex information simply to a wide audience and be able to handle high volumes of traffic. The project was based on an infectious diseases surveillance system which is still used to manage data before entering the pipeline for the dashboard. 

    There have been three versions of the dashboard as the need for public information has changed over time. Initially, in the (northern hemisphere) summer of 2020, the dashboard took over from daily press briefings and provided daily counts of cases and deaths. Later versions included regional data and as the vaccination program rolled out, included metrics on vaccination rates. 

    The code is open source and the data is held in public repositories. This openness helps transparency and improves trust in the project. Challenges include monitoring data quality, data linkage to death data, managing reinfections and deduplications. 

    There have been five user surveys to evaluate public response to the dashboard. Metrics are regularly reviewed to keep them relevant. There was early interest in test and trace metrics, now there is almost none. Future metrics will include monitoring of variants and infection surveys. This was a fascinating talk on the development of a highly visible dashboard that was developed rapidly to provide public information. The design principles of accessibility, openness and conveying complex information simply is an exemplar for public health projects.

    By Lan Kelly

  • 18 Jul 2022 1:35 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    This week, the world got to see the stunning first images from the James Webb Telescope. It was a glimpse back in time across billions of years - and a vivid demonstration of the power of science. Here’s a sense of this historic moment from Superstar of STEM Dr Sabine Bellstedt.

    Next week, STA begins some star-searching of our own. We will launch the next nationwide quest to find the next group of scicomms superstars to join our game-changing Superstars of STEM program. This inspiring program advances gender equity in science, technology, engineering and maths by creating high-profile diverse role models keen to step into the public spotlight as high-profile national media stars. Open to women and non-binary people in STEM, the program smashes society’s gender assumptions about STEM careers and lifts the public visibility of women in STEM by creating more equal gender representation of STEM experts in the media.

    We will launch our nationwide search next Wednesday - 20 July. We would love your help to spread the word about this exciting professional development opportunity. We will send you draft social media posts and tiles early next week so you can promote this superb opportunity to your networks. 

    Another event on the horizon is the official launch of National Science Week 2022. It will be held in Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 4 August at 8am. Invitations to this exciting event have gone out - we look forward to seeing you there.

    Have you had your say on STA’s governance and constitutional reform project? Feedback closes 21 July - so please take this opportunity to provide input as we finalise reforms to bring to a Special General Meeting. 

    Finally, we are recruiting for a new Communications Officer - a brand new position at STA. If you have someone in your networks with a flair for communications and social media who is keen to join a supportive team working on exciting content, please encourage them to apply.

    Until next time, 

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 


    REPORTS AND POLICY

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUBMISSIONS

    Further information: STA Director of Policy and Engagement Sarah Tynan.

    GRANTS, FUNDING, AND OPPORTUNITIES

    • Applications for The Australian Clinical Entrepreneur Program are now open. The program develops entrepreneurial skills in clinicians who have the ambition to change healthcare for the better.
    • Each year, the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia celebrates two exceptional mid-career stem cell researchers with the Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research. Apply by 5 August.
    • The Australian Geoscience Council is offering scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students who have completed the first year of a geoscience degree. Apply by 30 September.  
    • If there is a year 11 student in your life, let them know applications for the 2023 National Youth Science Forum year 12 program are now open. NYSF introduces students to all types of STEM career pathways. Apply by 14 August.
    • The Theo Murphy Initiative (Australia) funds interdisciplinary activities that provide career development opportunities for early- and mid-career researchers. Submit a proposal today for activities to be delivered between September 2022 and August 2023. 
  • 7 Jul 2022 12:35 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    SSA Canberra is inviting all its members to apply for financial support in the form of a “rego grant” to attend statistical conferences, workshops, visits to collaborators, and other related events in 2022, whether they be in-person or held virtually, and whether they be national or international events.

    Successful applicants of the rego grant will be eligible for up to $400 AUD of total funding, with the funding coming in the form of reimbursements

    To be eligible for the grant, you must be a member of SSA Canberra Branch (regardless of membership type) at the time of submitting your registration grant application. Membership is only $20 for full time students, so it is definitely worth joining just to apply for the grant! 


    Application Details:

    Please prepare the following documents and a submit a single PDF form containing:

    1. A brief resume/CV of up to 2 pages;

    2. A short document (<=200 words) describing the statistical event you want the rego grant to cover, and why attending it will be beneficial for you and your statistical/data science career;

    3. A description of the costs and amounts you would like to be reimbursed;   

    4. A statement declaring any other financial support you are receiving.

    Please send your application to ssacanberra@gmail.com 

    The Canberra branch has set aside a “pot of gold” for this, and applications will be assessed on a first-come-first-serve basis until the pot runs out or until the end of 2022, whichever comes first

    Outcome and show me the money!

    Successful applicants will be notified by email as the applications are assessed. If you are successful, you will need to send us relevant registration receipts/invoices, and SSA Canberra will reimburse you up to the $400 amount.

    Anything else I should know?

    • Successful applicants should acknowledge the financial support of SSA Canberra during any presentation/poster they make at the event, if applicable. They will also be required to contribute a short piece to the Stats Matters newsletter discussing their experience of the event.

    • If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at ssacanberra@gmail.com

    We look forward to your application!

    Regards,

    SSA Canberra


  • 30 Jun 2022 3:44 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Did you enjoy last year’s Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference? Why not get involved with our next ASC, held in Wollongong in December 2023? The team for ASC2023 are looking for two more committee members to help assist with planning our first face-to-face conference in four years!

    The two volunteer positions to be filled are that of Marketing Officer and that of Sponsorship Officer. If you love graphics and a bit of social media, the Marketing Officer position may be calling your name. As for the role of Sponsorship Officer, we already have a list with sponsorship leads for you, so you will not be starting from scratch.

    With both positions you can count on the capable support of SSA’s Event Coordinator, of course.

    Interested? Please email the SSA Office by 11 July 2022.

    If you have played with idea of volunteering, but you are worried about getting roped in for the next five years, these two positions are perfect for you, as they will not go on beyond 2023.


  • 20 Jun 2022 2:01 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    SSA Vic are proud to announce that we will once again be offering financial support to our members for the attendance of statistical workshops, conferences, and short courses; both national and international, in 2022.  

    Each member is eligible for up to $200 of total funding to cover the registration and travel expenses associated with the aforementioned activities.

    Are you eligible?

    To be eligible for access to funding, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

    1. The applicant must be a member of SSA Vic at the time of application. (Membership is only $20 for students!)

    2. Provide invoices/evidence of registration and expenses that the funding will be used to cover.

    Members who were funded in previous years are also eligible for funding in this 2022 round.

    How to apply?

    Please use this form to apply.

    You will be asked to provide a brief description of the statistical event and the anticipated benefits to you, your statistical career or the statistical community.

    Applications typically take 2 weeks to process.

    For more information:

    Members seeking more information may email us for more information, by including the subject line “SSA Vic Funding Applications 2022”.

    Please note that the successful applicants that are presenting at the conference will need to acknowledge support from SSA Vic in their talk or poster.

  • 17 Jun 2022 12:13 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Dear Marie-Louise,

    Recognition is powerful. It was terrific to see the Queen’s Birthday Honours list dominated by scientists, including many with deep ties to Science & Technology Australia. Their service to the nation is crucial - and vastly appreciated.

    The 2022 honourees included the inspirational founder of Deadly Science, Corey Tutt OAM, Kerry Doyle PSM OAM, the Executive Director of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, and the outstanding clinical pharmacologist Professor Sarah Hilmer AM of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists. 

    Deadly Science, the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, and the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists are all STA members. We are proud of our associations with them, and delighted to see their leadership recognised publicly.

    Huge congratulations to Professor Tanya Monro  - Chief Defence Scientist and head of Defence Science and Technology, and to the leading scientists Emeritus Professor Anne Green and Dr Patricia Selkirk, awarded the nation’s highest honour of Companion (AC) in the General Division.

    Science & Technology Australia will host the official launch of National Science Week 2022. The week’s theme is Celebrating First Nations Sciences, highlighting Indigenous STEM knowledges. The heads of STA member organisations will be invited to attend this in-person event in Canberra with Parliamentarians. We await the revised Parliamentary sitting timetable - but please hold the date of 11 August from 8am to 9am in your diaries pending that confirmation. 

    Keen to help shape the work of Science & Technology Australia as the sector’s peak body? We are inviting applications to join our STA Policy Committee and STA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. To be eligible, you must be a member or staff at an STA member organisation.

    We strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, people from diverse faith, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and LGBTQIA+ STEM professionals. Applications close Sunday 3 July. This is an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the future direction of the STEM sector.

    And to turbocharge your communications skills, register now for our upcoming Creating a (Cracking) Podcast course on 23 June. STA’s pod mastermind Martyn Pearce will teach you all you need to know about how to turn your ideas into a compelling podcast. Places are filling fast, so register now and don’t miss out

    Until next time, 

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 


  • 6 Jun 2022 10:40 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Wow! What a powerful finale to Science meets Parliament 2022.  

    Amid a galaxy of stars from the worlds of science and politics, last night Australia’s newly-minted Science and Industry Minister Ed Husic signalled his deep appreciation for the work of science. He thanked the nation’s scientists for all that they do – and outlined a desire to learn from, partner with, and back in Australia’s formidable STEM sector to advance Australia’s interests.

    It was a powerful speech. He laid out an intention to tackle big challenges for our nation with support and engagement from the STEM sector. On the name change of the portfolio from innovation to science – he was declarative. “We’re bringing science to the forefront. We’re listening to the science, we’re respecting the science, and we’re acting on the science,” he said. And he set out ambitions to invest further in key frontier technologies – AI, quantum and more, and a bold pitch to work to end the brain drain in STEM of our brilliant home-grown talent.

    There was a powerful note of bipartisanship too, as he signalled a desire to work with State and Territory Ministerial counterparts from both sides of the aisle to seize opportunities for the nation. “It doesn’t matter what side of politics you are on – if we’re working together in the national interest, that’s all that matters.”

    The sector also took this important opportunity to thank former Science and Technology Minister Melissa Price for her deep engagement with all of us in her time in the portfolio.

    With 720 guests in eight capital cities, an array of heads of science organisations and agencies were joined by senior Parliamentarians. They included Australia’s new Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, South Australian Deputy Premier Susan Close, Queensland Science Minister Meaghan Scanlon, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Science Robyn Preston, Tasmanian Science and Innovation Minister Madeleine Ogilvy, and NT Treasurer and Education Minister Eva Lawler, and many federal MPs, Senators and Senators-elect.

    And the night was burnished with more stars. There were powerful words from Quandamooka mathematician, ATSIMA Chair and STA Board Director Chris Matthews, our superstar MC Nate Byrne, and STA President Mark Hutchinson. As CEO of Science & Technology Australia, I expressed our deep gratitude to the Minister and the Parliament for its engagement with the sector through the powerful vehicle that is Science meets Parliament.

    I am always so proud of the terrific work Science & Technology Australia does to forge ever-deeper connections between the worlds of science and technology and policy-making. Those connections can help decision-makers and legislators to draw on deep scientific expertise to make the best possible decisions on how to tackle the big challenges.

    A huge thank you to the amazing staff, Board and volunteers at STA who have staged this ambitious eight city triumph.

    Ably led by STA Events Director Lucy Guest and Deputy CEO Sandra Gardam, this superb team who landed the event included Emma Hibbert, Kelvin Peh, Evelyn Fetterplace, Emily Downie, Sarah Tynan, Martyn Pearce, Shannon Wong, Penny Thomson, Andrew Harford, Sharath Sriram, Anita Goh, Chris Matthews, Lila Landowski, Heather Catchpole, Jas Chambers, Mark Hutchinson, Kathy Nicholson, Karina Nunez, Tatiana Soares da Costa, Chloe Taylor, Anna Bolton, Sarah Pearce, Kirsti Abbott, Charmaine Valenzuela, Louise Atkins, Francine Machin and Genevieve Evans. Legends, one and all.

    Thank you to all of you who attended last night, and supported Science meets Parliament 2022.

    That’s it for this special edition of Member Update – we’ll be back next fortnight with the regular full bulletin.

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 

  • 18 May 2022 11:32 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    Australia’s political parties and independent candidates at the 2022 election have pledged their support for science and technology investments in the next term. 

    Ahead of the 2022 Federal Election, Science & Technology Australia invited political parties and independent candidates to respond to the 10 election priorities of the science and technology sector.

    The sector’s priorities identify major science and technology policy settings and investments needed for Australia to seize crucial opportunities for the country. 

    The Liberal National Coalition response highlighted an investment of “$93 billion in the science, research and innovation sectors…to support hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled Australian jobs to keep Australia strong and secure our economic future.”

    “In these times of global uncertainty, the Morrison Government believes science and technology play an increasingly important role in making Australia more resilient, more competitive and more able to deliver jobs for Australians,” it said.

    In its response, Labor said it “believed Australia can be a global STEM superpower” and vowed to work with industry and the research sector to lift Australia’s R&D investment “getting it closer to 3% of GDP achieved in other countries”. 

    The ALP also made clear its support to legislate the Australian Economic Accelerator as part of the University Research Commercialisation Action Plan.

    “An Albanese Labor Government will prioritise science and technology with our comprehensive plan to create jobs, boost vital skills by investing in education and training, bring industry expertise back onshore and supercharge national productivity,” it said.

    The Australian Greens advocate investing $17.8 billion in the science, research and innovation sector over a decade, alongside a commitment to put the country on a pathway to investing 4 per cent of GDP in science, research and innovation by 2030.

    “Investing in science creates jobs, makes our economy stronger, and allows Australia to overcome the challenges we face as a nation,” the party said.

    Key independents who responded included:

    • Zoe Daniel, whose team said she “is a strong supporter of STEM” and would be a strong advocate for stronger funding of the tertiary sector and science. 
    • David Pocock, who said he would “advocate for more longer-term certainty in research investment … on par with other OECD countries” and “oppose undue ministerial interference in allocation of research grants and funding”.
    • Dr Monique Ryan, whose team said she was “strongly supportive of the aims of Science & Technology Australia to make Australia a STEM superpower” and boost both public and private investment in research commercialisation.  
    • Allegra Spender, whose team said she “strongly supports” an aspiration to make Australia a global STEM superpower as a key part of her economic agenda - and wanted to seek deeper investments in R&D.
    • Zali Steggall, whose team highlighted her policy platform pledging to “support research and development” including boosting Australian Research Council funding - and bolstering STEM workforce skills training.
    • Kylea Tink, whose team said she wanted to see Australia in the top ten OECD nations for investment in R&D - including via research grants - and supports a review of funding to ensure “a vibrant scientific workforce at all levels”.
    • Andrew Wilkie MP, whose office declared his “strong agreement with each of the ten priorities.”


    The full responses of the parties and candidates can be found here

    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 90,000 scientists and technologists nationwide.

    Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software