Log in

News & Media releases

  • 2 Nov 2023 12:38 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    This year I was the lucky recipient of the SSA & CSIRO/Data 61 Betty Allan Travel Award. I am a very grateful recipient of this award, as it supported me to attend the 30th Anniversary Cochrane Colloquium in London, where I had the opportunity to showcase my research in-person to an international audience.

    Pictured left to right: Matthew Page, Lizzie Korevaar, Simon Turner, Joanne McKenzie

    Pictured left to right: Matthew Page, Lizzie Korevaar, Simon Turner, Joanne McKenzie

    My area of research is in the statistical methods for evidence synthesis, primarily focusing on the meta-analysis of results from interrupted time series designs. For a researcher in evidence synthesis, the Cochrane Colloquium is the primary international forum for the dissemination of research on methods for evidence synthesis. I was able to present my work to a broad and global audience including systematic reviewers, editors, methodologists (e.g., statisticians, information specialists), stakeholders, users of reviews, policy makers, software designers. Held over a jam-packed 4 days, the Colloquium provided space for 413 presenters, over 1000 attendees to participate in a range of activities, including up to 12 parallel sessions consisting of meetings, plenaries, oral sessions, workshops, networking and social events. Needless to say, it was a very busy conference!

    My contribution to the conference program included an oral presentation (a lightning quick overview of an empirical study I conducted during my PhD to compare statistical methods used to meta-analyse results from interrupted time series studies) and two workshops, one of which I lead (Introduction to analysis and meta-analysis of interrupted time series studies) and the other I co-facilitated (Advanced meta-analysis 1: Random-effects methods to be implemented in RevMan). Having completed my PhD during the pandemic, the oral presentation was my first in-person presentation in front of such a large international audience – a thrilling experience. Also, to my delight, both workshops were well attended (in fact, the room for the ITS workshop was full!) and we received excellent feedback both during and after the conference, with plenty of requests for material and interest in our future work.

    So, what were the highlights?

    • This was the first time I’d developed and delivered material for a workshop. While it was a lot of work to prepare everything, it was very rewarding to have a full room of people engaged with our work and interested in hearing our expertise. It was great to feel that our research will have an impact.
    • This was also the first time I’d had the opportunity to meet many of my international collaborators, some of whom I’ve worked with for several years.
    • A conscious and continual focus of the colloquium was on the inclusion of end users in research, right from the early to late stages of the projects. I was particularly impressed with the work of Anastasia Koch who spoke during the plenary titled Building trust through co-creation: re-imagining evidence, about her development of a public engagement non-profit organisation that focuses on involving those living in TB-prevalent districts of Cape Town with education, advocacy and science communication about the disease. Again, it was really exciting to see the impact of research. For those interested, the plenaries can be found online, discussing i) Global health, equity and trust, ii) Ensuring integrity in biomedical research, and iii) Building trust through co-creation: re-imagining evidence (Koch’s talk is introduced at 31:45).
    • Of course, a major highlight of the conference was hearing from other statistical methodologists. In particular, the awardee of the Thomas C. Chalmers award for best presentation addressing methodological issues related to systematic reviews given by an early career investigator, Peter Godolphin (from UCL in the United Kingdom), gave a brilliant talk about handling aggregation bias in subgroup analyses of a meta-analysis, and accurately estimating interactions between treatment and covariate subgroups.
      Lizzie Korevaar introducing the Workshop: Introduction to analysis and meta-analysis of interrupted time series studies with continuous outcomes

    Lizzie Korevaar introducing the Workshop: Introduction to analysis and meta-analysis of interrupted time series studies with continuous outcomes


    What next?

    • Our packed-out workshop demonstrated to us that there is a need and an appetite for guidance on analysing and meta-analysing ITS studies. This has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for my projects and I’ve enjoyed getting back into the research after the busy-ness of conference.
    • The workshops also injected new ideas into our plans for future research. Talking to attendees of our workshops, we were able to hear about the situations encountered in practice or areas that they find most difficult. I’ve also enjoyed discussing these areas since our return from the conference, and prioritising which pieces of the puzzle to study next.
    • It was also a great chance to discuss the projects already underway with current collaborators but also, importantly, to hear about and discuss possible future projects with potential new collaborators! I look forward to getting started on these!

    Finally (and most profoundly), one of the major highlights of the conference was coming away with a fresh sense of hope. I often find I feel overwhelmed by the sensation that the pile of problems is constantly growing (statistical, political, health related etc), and this was enhanced during the last few (particularly difficult and isolated) years. However, I found that it was incredibly heart-warming to meet so many passionate researchers and hear of their hard work and triumphs.

    Dr Lizzie Korevaar

    Research fellow in the Methods for Evidence Synthesis Unit,

    School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

    Pictured left to right: Nat Strobel, Tari Turner, Miranda Cumpston, Simon Turner, Steve McDonald, Lizzie Korevaar, Jeremy Grimshaw, Sue Brennan, Joanne McKenzie

    Pictured left to right: Nat Strobel, Tari Turner, Miranda Cumpston, Simon Turner, Steve McDonald, Lizzie Korevaar, Jeremy Grimshaw, Sue Brennan, Joanne McKenzie

  • 9 Oct 2023 3:49 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    Given their fundamental importance to Australia’s unique knowledge systems and national identity, Indigenous knowledges must be a standalone priority in Australia’s next National Science and Research Priorities – as well as interwoven throughout the rest of the new priorities. 

    In its submission on the Draft National Science and Research Priorities – drafted in partnership with senior Indigenous leaders in science and research – Science & Technology Australia calls for a standalone priority “to elevate and invest in First Nations perspectives on science, technology and innovation”. 

    These priorities crystallise what is important to the nation and will guide Australia’s research agenda for the coming decade – and what research gets funded – which is why it is such a crucial opportunity. 

    “Indigenous knowledge is important in its own right to Australia – it's the bedrock on which our country’s knowledge systems are built,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert. 

    "It is what makes Australia – and our science and research endeavours – unique in the world. Indigenous knowledge should not be seen just as an enabler of other objectives in Australian science and research.” 

    In addition to interweaving Indigenous knowledge through all the other priorities, a standalone priority to elevate and invest in Indigenous knowledge would strongly signal to the research community and the nation that this is core work for Australia – and central to our national science, technology and research ambitions. 
    “It would also be a powerful signal to Australia’s research funding agencies to invest in Indigenous people and perspectives in research, science, technology and innovation.”  

    “This crucial signal can help to unleash a transformative moment for Australian STEM – and start a deeper investment in supporting more Indigenous people and priorities into our national science and research effort. It would be a powerful legacy for all the generations of Australians to come.” 

    Together with our Indigenous members and stakeholders, we were deeply disappointed the draft priorities do not yet reflect the exciting ambition articulated by Industry & Science Minister Ed Husic for the refreshed priorities to include ‘elevating and investing in First Nations perspectives in science, technology and innovation. That must be rectified in the final priorities. 

    STA thanks the Department and Chief Scientist for their engagement to understand the importance of including both a standalone and interwoven approach on Indigenous knowledges in the proposed final priorities. 

    Senior Indigenous stakeholders who contributed to the submission include National Indigenous STEM Professionals Network Chair Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge, Professor Chris Matthews, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance, CSIRO Board Director Professor Alex Brown, Chair of Universities Australia’s Deputy Vice Chancellors Indigenous network Professor Michelle Trudgett, Professor Ian Anderson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Tasmania, Associate Professor Sadie Heckenberg - Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium, Associate Professor Corey Tutt OAM, founder and CEO of Deadly Science, Toni Hay, founder of Indigenous Climate Change, and Dr Katrina Wruck, Mabuigilgal/Goemulgal First Nations Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne. 

    Read the full STA submission to the Draft National Science and Research Priorities here

    About Science & Technology Australia 
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.   

    Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828 

  • 19 Sep 2023 1:19 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    A new tax incentive to drive diversity in Australia’s largest companies could powerfully shift the dial on equality in the country’s workforce – including its pivotal STEM sector. 

    In its submission to the Government’s Pathway to Diversity in STEM Draft Recommendations, Science & Technology Australia has urged bold thinking to tackle a lack of diversity in Australia’s workplaces. 

    The peak body proposes one powerful way to do this would be to broaden the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s remit to collect data from large employers on broader workforce diversity, then offer a tax incentive to those organisations that meet staff diversity thresholds. 

    “Giving Australia’s big employers a financial incentive to drive stronger staff diversity would be a powerful motivator to turbocharge equality in the country’s workforce,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert. 

    “Strong progress is typically made when you focus minds and metrics in the C-suite. Incentivising the nation’s senior business leaders to drive diversity in their workforces can accelerate the pace of change.” 

    The Pathways to Diversity in STEM Review was set up to recommend how to deepen diversity in Australia’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector. 

    “The recommendations the expert panel make to Government in their final report could have a crucial impact across Australia’s entire workforce,” said Ms Schubert. 

    “The Prime Minister has called for a future “powered by science”. To achieve it, we’re going to need to call on diverse expertise and talent from across society. A strong focus on incentivising diversity in workplaces will mean our big employers are casting their net wider in the country’s talent pool.” 

    Read the full STA submission to the Pathways to Diversity in STEM Review draft here

    About Science & Technology Australia 
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.   
    Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828 

  • 18 Sep 2023 2:32 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Australia’s new Draft National Science and Research Priorities are out for review. Released by Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, the draft draws on national consultations by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO - including Science & Technology Australia’s submissions.

    Strategies shape science funding and policy. So it’s crucial they reflect the big challenges and capabilities we need Australian science to solve. If key elements are missing or underplayed in this draft key policy lever, please let us know swiftly so STA can propose amendments, as well as making your own direct submission. Feedback is due by 29 September.

    STA advocates a resounding ‘Yes’ vote in the October 14 referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Please share our social media posts, wear a ‘Yes’ t-shirt, share why you back a ‘Yes’ vote, and read our blog on how you can support an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. It includes easy, practical ways to show your support and help the country deliver a unifying moment in history and answer the calls of generations of Indigenous leaders. 

    Inspiration alert! What a powerful influx of diverse stellar science and research leaders joining STA’s sector-leading governance structures. STA’s influential STEM Sector Policy Committee welcomes four new members: Superstar of STEM and Associate Professor Dr Kalinda Griffiths; Superstar of STEM and statistician Dr Melissa Humphries; Professor of Astrophysics Richard de Grijs, Associate Professor and Superstar of STEM Dr Parwinder Kaur. Three skilled diversity and inclusion champions will join or rejoin STA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee - Dr Katrina Wruck, a proud Mabuigilaig and Goemulgal woman and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Morley Muse co-founder and director of iSTEM Co. We’re also pleased to welcome for a second term Superstar of STEM and scientist and diversity and inclusion strategist Dr Erin McGillick. 

    A huge thanks to outgoing committee members Dr Susanna Cramb, Dr Tara Roberson, Professor Adrian Barnett, Dr Andrew Black, Dr Maggie Evans-Galea and Dr Bek Christensen. We’re deeply grateful for the time, expertise and skill they have invested in the STEM sector, Science & Technology Australia and our members.

    As the key connector of people and ideas in Australia's STEM sector, STA runs a suite of great programs. This week, STA’s STEM Ambassadors had high-quality training in media engagement. This program pairs sector experts with Federal MPs and Senators to share expertise in STEM - and its hugely appreciated by Parliamentarians right across the political spectrum. 

    And our current Superstars of STEM seem to be everywhere at the moment - doing high-profile media interviews, public speaking, doing schools visits, winning awards and securing promotions - all accelerated by this world-leading STA program. The Superstars of STEM program is a remarkable Australian success story. It is transforming the idea of what scientists and people in STEM careers look like, and powerfully shifting the dial on diversity in media representation. It’s also fast-tracking careers. We were thrilled this week to see Superstar of STEM Dr Jiawen Li named as one of MIT’s prestigious list of 35 top global innovators under 35. What a Superstar!

    Finally, we want to hear from you about how STA can best support your work! Please take our quick member survey. This will shape the sector’s next advocacy priorities.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 22 Aug 2023 11:02 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Comment from Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert on the Australian Government’s acceptance or acceptance in principle of all ten recommendations of a major review of the Australian Research Council Act.

    “These changes will strengthen Australia’s research system - on which our country’s health, wealth and safety rely - and put in place guardrails to prevent political interference in awarding research grants.”

    “Curbing the temptation for Ministers to meddle in complex research is a powerful positive reform.”

    “These thoughtful changes will also safeguard discovery research funding, start a transformative shift to a two-stage application process, and foster deeper partnerships with Indigenous researchers and communities.”

    “A two-stage application process will be a win for productivity, wellbeing and morale in Australia’s brilliant research workforce. It can free up researchers who spend hundreds of hours writing full funding applications – when only around one in five of those applications gets funded.”

    “These legislative and regulatory changes will strengthen the ARC’s operations and independence - a powerful legacy to help secure our country’s future prosperity.”

    We thank Education Minister Jason Clare and the Australian Government for adopting the comprehensive thoughtful blueprint for ARC modernisation developed by Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Professor Susan Dodds and Professor Mark Hutchinson.

    Read the full Review of the Australian Research Council Act report.

    Read the full Australian Government response here

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.  

    To arrange interviews: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828

  • 18 Aug 2023 1:07 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    We hope you’ve had a terrific National Science Week! Science & Technology Australia hosted the official launch last week with our partners at Questacon. We generated strong media coverage of new data from the 3M State of Science Index which shows 9 in 10 Australians want to see more people and businesses stand up for and defend science. The survey also found the Australian public has very high levels of trust in and respect for science and scientists. 

    Around the world, we see science being attacked and undermined, and closer to home we see businesses being told to ‘stay in their lane’ when they speak out on social issues. But this social research - conducted by Ipsos for 3M - shows clearly that the Australian public values science and expects the nation’s business community to be active and vocal supporters of science.

    A huge thanks to STA members for the strong turnout of inspiring grassroots science leaders and Parliamentary champions of science. We thank Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Shadow Science Minister Paul Fletcher, Greens science spokesperson Senator David Shoebridge, Questacon Director Jo White, STA’s Governance Chair Jas Chambers, Australian Space Agency Head Enrico Palermo, STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance Chair Professor Chris Matthews and Ngunnawal Elder Uncle Warren Daley. #ScienceWeek #ThanksScience!

    This week, the newly-released Draft Recommendations of the Pathway to Diversity in STEM review are a powerful call to “stay the course” and double-down on proven diversity-driving initiatives with new long-term investments to forge systemic and cultural change. The draft recommendations include calls to create a new Diversity in STEM Council, strengthen STEM teaching in schools, tackle job insecurity in STEM research careers and secure proven women and diversity in STEM initiatives with “significant and sustained funding” over longer time frames to help drive long-term systemic and cultural change.

    It’s crucial the country builds on the strong evidence-based success of initiatives that are already working powerfully to deepen diversity in STEM, like STA’s Superstars of STEM. Superstars of STEM sits at the very heart of diversity in Australia’s STEM ecosystem as a central resource and talent source that powers a wide array of other diversity in STEM programs and initiatives. If proven successes like the Superstars of STEM program had Government funding scaled up and secured for a whole decade, it would dramatically turbo-charge all of the other efforts and proposals to drive systemic and cultural change in STEM workplaces.

    In its coverage, InnovationAus reported that “the STA-run Superstars of STEM program was recommended in the report as a way for media to help influence diverse representation beyond women to non-binary people and people from other diverse cohorts”. It is a powerful program that embeds diversity strongly in every aspect of its work.

    We congratulate the DISTEM review panel – Sally-Ann Williams, Mikaela Jade, and Dr Parwinder Kaur – on their work so far, and look forward to continuing to work productively with the government and the sector to drive the next waves of change. Have your say on the draft recommendations here.

    The Universities Accord review is also progressing - final submissions are due by 1 September. The next two weeks will be a crucial window for STA members to ask the panel to recommend a bold uplift in Australia’s research investments. We encourage all of you to make a submission and write to the panel in your own powerful words to make clear how important it is that the final report recommends a bold scale-up on research funding. This is the moment for all of us to make the case for research, highlight the powerful research breakthroughs Australia could make with deeper research investment - and offer evidence on the strong economic returns from a bold boost to research funding. Two news stories in major media outlets this week also help to make this case. The Australian reported that the Academic Ranking of World Universities shows Australia’s top universities have started to slide downwards in a fierce era of escalating global competition as other countries scale up their investments in publicly-funded research. Rankings are renowned as a lag indicator - and this slide is cause for significant concern. The AFR reported the new research commercialisation fund - Australia’s Economic Accelerator - has been overwhelmed by the volume of applications in its opening round. This shows Australia is brimming with research innovators and research ready for commercialisation - but there simply isn’t enough money in the research system to unleash that innovation. 

    Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic has announced the Board for the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. The Chair will be Martijn Wilder AM - who has previously chaired the Board of Australian Renewable Energy Agency and was Founding Director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - two proven models for using investor capital to accelerate technological innovation. We congratulate the incoming Board and look forward to working with them.

    Finally, how good was Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley on ABC’s Q&A program this week? Her calm, compelling clarity on what the science tells us about the scale of Australia’s transition task on climate change was compelling. If you missed it, it’s worth taking a look.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 10 Aug 2023 4:29 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)


    Nine in ten Australians want more people and businesses to stand up for and defend science - and think scientists are crucial to solving Australia’s biggest future challenges, the latest 3M State of Science Index finds.

    Released to launch National Science Week 2023, the new data from the major study detects very strong levels of public support for science in Australia.

    This year, 93% of Australians say positive outcomes can be achieved if more people stand up and defend science and 92% of Australians want to see business take action to defend science.

    The Minister for Industry & Science Ed Husic MP will officially launch National Science Week 2023 at an event today delivered by Science & Technology Australia for Questacon and the Australian Government.

    The theme for this year’s National Science Week schools program is Innovation: powering future industries.

    The 3M State of Science Index measures public attitudes to science in 17 countries. More than 1000 Australians were surveyed for the large-scale global poll conducted by Ipsos.

    Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the new data showed Australians overwhelmingly grasp how important science is to our lives, our safety, our economy and our ability to tackle complex threats.

    “The very strong message out of this survey data is that Australians really want people to stand up for and defend science, and that includes wanting to see business stand up for science,” she said.

    The survey highlighted how strongly Australians grasp the importance of science innovation to help tackle the impact of climate change - and that STEM professionals are key to solving the problems of tomorrow.

    “In the last few years, from the Black Summer bushfires to the northern New South Wales floods, we’ve seen stark reminders of the threat that climate change poses to our nation and the world,” Ms Schubert said.

    “This survey shows Australians back science and scientists to come up with climate solutions - including clever new ways to reduce waste, solar panels, eco-friendly building materials and more affordable electric vehicles.”

    Eleni Sideridis, Managing Director of 3M Australia and New Zealand, said the survey showed the deep respect Australians have and their trust in science to tackle global and national challenges.

    “3M’s State of Science research demonstrates that Australians understand and appreciate the connection between scientific innovation and the role it plays in improving their lives.

    Encouragingly, about 9 in 10 (89%) believe science has a critical role to play in improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, with a similar number (90%) believing companies should do more to make it easier on consumers to be more

    “With Australians (94%) recognising the need for more skilled trade workers and a broad recognition that there will be negative outcomes if we cannot find a solution to the skills shortage, it is a vital time for all of us to encourage more school leavers into a science-based career.

    “It’s positive to see that Australians recognise the importance to grow the participation rate of STEM education, with 4 in 5 (82%) agreeing that more needs to be done to encourage and keep students from underrepresented groups engaged in STEM education. This in line with 3M’s global goal to create 5 million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences by 2025,” Eleni said.

    National Science Week will run nationwide from 12 to 20 August 2023, for more information about events, please visit More information about 3M State of Science Index and the findings from across the globe can be found here.

    Key Australian survey findings of the 2023 3M State of Science Index include:

    • 93% of Australians believe positive outcomes can be achieved if people stand up for and defend science. 92% want business to take action to defend science.
    • 92% of Australians say STEM professionals can help us solve the problems of tomorrow.
    • 88% of Australians clearly see the connection between science and its role in improving their life.
    • Australians believe innovation can address the future impact of climate change. Top technologies Australians believe can address future climate change impacts include innovative uses of resources to reduce waste (52%), followed by affordable solar panels (48%), planet-friendly alternatives to traditional construction supplies (44%), affordable electric vehicles and transportation (43%), natural disaster-resilient building materials (39%) and air pollution filtration technology (39%).
    • 82% of Australians believe the world is better prepared for the next global health pandemic because of science.
    • 94% believe the workforce needs more skilled trade workers, and urgently… as 94% see consequences if Australia can’t solve this shortage.
    • 90% believe companies should do more to make it easier for consumers to be more sustainable.
    • 81% think underrepresented groups are a source of untapped potential in the STEM workforce.

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.

    About 3M and the State of Science Index
    3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's next at or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews.

    The 3M State of Science Index survey explores global attitudes toward science, taking the pulse on how people think and feel about the field and its impact on the world around us. This is our sixth year and seventh survey for SOSI. 2023 SOSI is a 17-country survey fielded September-December 2022 among 1,000 general population consumers in each country.

    To arrange interviews:
    Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828 and Charlotte Hartley-Wilson, ElevenPR: 0424 855 835

  • 4 Aug 2023 12:14 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Lights, camera, action! Next week, we’ll raise the curtain on National Science Week – an annual event to focus hearts and minds on the vast contribution that science makes to society. Once again, Science & Technology Australia will deliver the official national launch in partnership with Questacon. It will feature champions of science from the sector and politics led by Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic. Join us on Wednesday 9 August 8–9am AEST at the Theatrette in Parliament House. Please register ASAP!

    At the launch, we’ll unveil the 2023 data from the 3M State of Science Index. This global annual survey by Ipsos tracks public sentiment on trust in science and scientists, and consistently shows the overwhelmingly strong support people have for both. We look forward to sharing the data!

    We’d love it if you would amplify our social media content on STA's channels to highlight National Science Week. And please tag us when you share your own activities on socials – and use the hashtag #ScienceWeek so we can herogram you! We want to flood social media with a public celebration of Australian science.

    This week, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO issued an important paper on Trust in Science. The paper sets out the clear distinction between ‘research quality’ and ‘research integrity’. As Dr Foley observes these terms are often used interchangeably when they are different things. As she notes, the result of that confusion is that debate about the quality of a piece of research can be seen as a reflection on scientific integrity. We applaud her drawing attention to this essential distinction and would encourage everyone to read this important resource.

    Also this week, the Science & Technology Australia team met with some of Deakin University’s inspiring institutes who are STA member organisations. Deakin is one of Australia’s powerhouse science and technology universities and we’re thrilled to have them as members. The range of life and society-enhancing research that the institutes are working on is inspiring. STA is privileged to represent all of our member organisations and we are always grateful for the contribution you make to the world.

    Earlier this year, STA member SparkLabs Cultiv8 put out a call out to the STA community for the next big idea in the agri–food tech sector. Congratulations to the ten startups funded through the CleanTech Accelerator! Keep an eye out for our next callout to the STA community later this year for the 2024 round – if you have a clever cleantech innovation worthy of a $100,000 investment, this could be you!

    Last week, the NHMRC said goodbye to outgoing CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO. Professor Kelso has led the NHMRC since 2015. She is a wise and thoughtful leader who has forged an extraordinary legacy of achievement in this role as a public policy reformer. We thank Anne for her service – and we welcome new NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh. We look forward to hearing from Professor Kelso at next week’s Science Policy Fellows Alumni dinner.

    Finally, I echo the beautiful words of STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson in memoriam about former Science & Technology Australia President Professor Jim Piper. Australia’s science community turned out in force on Wednesday at his memorial service in Sydney to remember this extraordinary scientist, leader, mentor, entrepreneur and friend. Throughout his remarkable life, Jim nurtured the skills and helped to launch the careers of so many other great Australian scientists. And he invested vast time and energy in the STA community, delighting in your successes. We'll miss him.

    Until next time,

    Misha Schubert
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia

  • 27 Jul 2023 9:47 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    At the end of 2019 SSA awarded its inaugural Betty Allan Travel Award to two worthy recipients. Then COVID-19 struck and there were no more thoughts of travel for must of us for a long time.

    This year, winner Sharm Thuraisingam was finally able to set off on her incredible trip to Canada. This is her report:

    "After three long years (thanks Covid-19), I was finally able to use my 2020 SSA/CSIRO Betty Allan Travel Award to spend time at the Centre for Health Informatics, University of Calgary in Canada. In February this year, my family and I headed off to Calgary, arriving to a chilly -30C! I spent 4 months at the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) learning from statisticians and data analysts about health data, data linkage practices and prediction modelling using linked electronic medical record data in Alberta. During my time at CHI, I connected with various researchers utilising health data for prediction modelling, including family doctors, nephrologists, cardiologists, epidemiologists, paediatric surgeons, biostatisticians and data analysts. My visit has resulted in 4 ongoing international collaboration projects between the University of Melbourne and University of Calgary, and the development of a 5-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) collaboration project grant aimed at harnessing the power of hospital electronic medical record data for clinical prediction model development.  

    In May I travelled with the CHI team to Montreal to attend the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) Conference where I learnt about the collection and amalgamation of health data across Canada, the effect of the pandemic on the Canadian health workforce and strategies for improving access to healthcare for vulnerable populations. I thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity and have returned home with a list of researchers to collaborate with.

    Of course it wasn’t all work and no play! My family and I made the most of our weekends in Canada, hiking and skiing in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and British Columbia. We were also lucky enough to visit Quebec City where we enjoyed indulging in French cuisine and some warmer weather. Highlights of my trip include making lifelong friends at CHI, establishing ongoing collaboration projects with the University of Calgary which will (hopefully) see me return in the near future, the picturesque scenery in Alberta (especially the Icefields Parkway), northern lights, well insulated housing, extremely friendly people, delicious poutine and ketchup chips!

    Thank you to the Statistical Society of Australia and CSIRO for such a wonderful learning and development opportunity that has enhanced my career as a biostatistician, enabled me to secure ongoing international research/analysis work and provided lifelong memories that my family and I will treasure forever! It really has been a once in a lifetime experience, living and working in another part of the world!"

    If you are interested in applying for the Betty Allan Travel Award, keep an eye out for the next call for applications in the SSA weekly newsletter, or click here.

  • 19 Jul 2023 2:47 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The Universities Accord interim report has disastrously missed an historic moment to recommend a ramp up of Australia’s research investment, consigning Australia to be out-muscled by our economic rivals in the global race to seize new jobs, industries and national income.

    The interim report “squanders a once-in-a-generation chance” to recommend the Australian Government immediately start a visionary scale-up of Australia’s R&D strength to drive stronger job creation and diversify our economy as one of its five immediate priority actions.

    The nation’s peak body for science and technology urged the Accord Panel to move swiftly to make bolder recommendations on research investment in its final report to avert a “calamitous own goal that will lose current talent and erode future Australian jobs, income and living standards”.  

    It had already missed the opportunity to do so in the current Budget cycle, with the Panel’s final report due in December. New spending proposals for the May Budget typically close in September/October.

    The latest official data, published at the end of May, shows Australia’s Government investment in R&D has plunged to its lowest level as a share of our economy since 1978.

    Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the peak body would urgently convene research sector stakeholders for emergency talks to ensure the panel understood the gravity of the cost to Australia of missing the mark on research investment.

    "The Accord must seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the panel to recommend the Government confirm both a bold target and a timetable to start to scale up Australia’s R&D investment - and to start that scale-up from this year’s Budget cycle."

    "The Accord’s interim report has spectacularly missed the mark on research investment - that’s an epic fail. It squibs a once in a generation chance to set our nation on the path to prosperity by stepping up our investment in being first to bold breakthroughs. The final report must fix this fatal flaw."

    “The final report should enshrine an ambitious target for Australia’s R&D investment - mirroring the 3% of GDP target the Australian Labor Party promised the Australian people before the last election - and recommend a plan and timetable to achieve it.”

    "Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called for Australia’s economy to be "powered by science". He’s right to do so. Only with stronger investment in research can science tackle the challenges the future will throw at us - from climate change to the next global pandemic. This interim report fails to chart a path to the PM’s vision."

    "The report poses more questions than it attempts to answer. And waiting six months for the final report means any funding measures recommended will miss the cut-off for inclusion in the next Federal Budget."

    “As a longstanding champion of equity and diversity, we support the proposals to expand access for equity groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

    About Science & Technology Australia
    Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our  flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors. 

    To arrange interviews: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software