Australia should set itself a bold ambition to change our cultural relationship with science – and put it at the very heart of our national self-image, the country’s peak body for science and technology has urged.
In its submission to a national consultation, Science & Technology Australia proposes the next National Science Statement and National Science and Research Priorities should be “a clarion call to urge many more Australians to study and work in science, technology, engineering and maths”.
The national consultation is being led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM to shape advice to the Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic MP and the Australian Government.
Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the peak body – which represents 115,000 scientists and technologists nationwide – strongly supports adopting a grand challenge model to solve the biggest and most complex challenges our country faces.
She said such an approach could help to forge a deeper sense of shared purpose and urgency by drawing together the focus of the research community, industry, policymakers and Australian society.
“There is an historic opportunity with these major national statements to set ourselves a bold ambition to change Australia’s cultural relationship with science,” she said.
“We’d love to see this work put science and technology front-and-centre in the national consciousness as the drivers of every advance on which Australian jobs, economic growth, health and wellbeing rely.”
“Australia is a star performer in science – with world-leading science researchers, infrastructure and game-changing science innovation. But this science strength isn’t something most Australians would readily cite as among our best-known national traits.”
“The next National Science & Research Priorities and accompanying National Science Statement are an opportunity to cast our science strengths at the very heart of our self-image as a nation.”
“A powerful, inspiring statement can spotlight the need for more Australians to study and work in STEM to power the next era of Australia’s economic growth and job creation.”
“It can highlight the key role of science and technology in our national safety, prosperity and wellbeing, and declare a bold ambition to make Australia a global STEM superpower,” she said.
Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828