Science

Australia’s scientific community is represented by the Australian Academy of Science. The Academy has around 450 elected members (Fellows). It supports scientific excellence, assists with the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and provides independent advice on science issues.

  • Australia’s premier scientific research entity is The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). CSIRO is an Australian Government corporate entity, with a Board and Chief Executive. As well as research, CSIRO engages in international scientific liaison, researcher training, technology transfer, delivering scientific services, and communicating information about science and technology.
  • The Physics discipline is represented by Australian Institute of Physics (AIP), which promotes Physics’ role in research, education, industry and the community.

Academy Objectives

The Academy has defined a set of objectives in each of three areas.

Promote excellence in scientific research nationally and internationally
  1. To identify priority areas of research, training and infrastructure support for discipline development in conjunction with the national committees for science
  2. To provide career development and network building opportunities for young researchers
  3. To promote support for the best Australian scientific research, including facilitating access to international scientific organisations and programs
  4. To support the promotion of Australian science capabilities internationally and contribute expertise and leadership in regional and global collaborative networks
Develop and sustain a national scientific culture
  1. To ensure that the Academy and the fellowship are fully representative of the best scientists in Australia and, through competitive awards, promote community recognition of the contributions of high quality science to health, well-being and national prosperity
  2. To support the teaching of science at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), elevate national standards, enhance teacher competencies and encourage students’ consideration of science and technology based careers
  3. To provide forums for discussion and debate, publications and balanced, expert information on scientific issues of national significance and/or community concern
Provide valued independent scientific advice to assist policy development and program delivery
  1. To develop networks and alliances with relevant stakeholders to provide conduits for input of insights and expertise on scientific matters
  2. To provide authoritative advice on matters of research support, education and training, and science application to inform policy development and decision making
  3. To monitor scientific developments in Australia and overseas to anticipate and communicate potential impediments and opportunities.

Policy Activity

The Academy and its committees take leading roles in high-level national debate on science matters. For example, in 2014, the Academy

  • made 14 submissions to reviews and other consultation processes
  • responded to 6 reviews and program or policy announcements
  • provided a response and report on the Commonwealth Budget.

Committees

The Science Academy contains 22 national committees that are broadly representative of the science disciplines. There are committees for

  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  • Antarctic Research
  • Astronomy
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Brain and Mind
  • Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Data in Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Earth System Science
  • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
  • Geographical Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Information and Communication Sciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical and Engineering Sciences
  • Medicine and Public Health
  • Nutrition
  • Physics
  • Space and Radio Science.