Revitalising Australia's science priorities
Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic is renewing the National Science and Research Priorities to establish a unified sense of purpose for our science and research communities to address our most pressing national challenges.
Australia’s current priorities and the National Science Statement were published in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Both these policy frameworks, which set the Government’s direction and vision for Australian science, are out-of-date and require renewal.
“The Albanese Government has put science back into government. We are focused on evidence-based policy and for that we need a scientific framework that is fit for purpose,” Minister Husic said.
“Now is the time to revitalise our National Science and Research Priorities and the National Science Statement, ensuring they reflect our modern society and provide vision for the Australian science system,” Minister Husic said.
Minister Husic said so much had happened since 2015 and we need to ensure our priorities are up-to-date and relevant.
“The current priorities do not mention First Nations knowledge, do not properly acknowledge climate change and fail to adequately engage with emerging critical technologies, which are essential for national prosperity and our wellbeing.”
Minister Husic said the Government recognises that a strong science system, with clear priorities, is critical to maintain high levels of sustainable economic and social prosperity.
“I highly value the science and research communities and will work closely with them on refreshing these priorities,” he said.
Minister Husic said the Government was committed to supporting the best science and research framework possible.
“I have asked Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley to lead a national conversation that will inform development of the revitalised priorities and science statement.”
Dr Foley will be supported by a taskforce established within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources.
The work to revitalise Australia’s Science and Research Priorities and National Science Statement will include extensive consultation with science, research and industry stakeholders, as well as the public.
States, territories and international partners will also be engaged during the evaluation.
“The Government wants Australians from all walks of life to have an opportunity to contribute to this vital conversation,” Minister Husic said.
The revitalised National Science and Research Priorities and National Science Statement will also take into account other Government initiatives, such as the National Reconstruction Fund, and reflect Australia’s strategic interests and comparative advantages.
This work will also complement related reviews and initiatives, such as the review of women in STEM programs, strategies to support the quantum and robotics sectors, the review of the Australian Research Council and the development of a Universities Accord.
More information on this work will be publicly released shortly, including the Terms of Reference.
The framework incorporating the revitalised National Science and Research Priorities will be finalised within 12 months.
Media contact: Minister Husic's office 02 6277 7070