AAS release Science & Aus’s Positive Future

Academy releases ‘Science and Australia’s positive future’ position statement ahead of election, Australian Academy of Science, 7 April 2022

Australia must seize the opportunity to secure our future economic and social prosperity through investment in science, says the Australian Academy of Science in a released position statement.

The statement, published ahead of the 2022 federal election, contains recommendations for the next Australian government to help secure Australian jobs and industries with science.

“We are living through one of the most far-reaching upheavals since the Industrial Revolution,” says Academy President Professor John Shine.

“Science affects every domain of society, government, national identity and security – how will we embrace the possibilities of science, and secure the benefits of this transformation for Australians?”

The pandemic in Australia has brought about great purpose but also great uncertainty for scientists, who have been affected by reduced funding, job losses, increased workload and declining morale.

Despite one-off funding measures during the pandemic, Australia’s investment in research and development as a percentage of GDP has declined over the past decade.

“The science which helped inform the public health response to the pandemic – and designed, tested and manufactured vaccines – resulted from decades of patient investment worldwide and in Australia,” says Academy Chief Executive, Anna-Maria Arabia.

“At the time of investment, we couldn’t have known what we would face in the future – but patient investment secured the knowledge Australia needed to respond to a global pandemic.

“If we had waited for the crisis to invest, it would have been too late.”

The statement calls on the next Australian government to secure Australia’s future through:

  1. securing the scientific base through a long-term investment strategy for science
  2. advancing a cohesive, national approach to securing new jobs and industries through science and technology
  3. establishing robust and permanent mechanisms for independent science advice to inform policy across all of government
  4. undertaking a national whole-of-government review of the science and research system.

Read the full statement.