[ASA] Fwd: Science & Technology Australia's August newsletter
andrew.hopkins at aao.gov.au
Tue Aug 19 14:58:41 AEST 2014
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Science & Technology Australia's August newsletter
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:52:12 +1000
From: Catriona Jackson <catriona.jackson at sta.org.au>
Presidents, please forward this to your members.
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*Name and title: *Dr Jason Potas, Lecturer in Physiology, ANU College of
Medicine, Biology and Environment, Team Leader - Neural Control Systems,
Neuroscience Division, John Curtin School of Medical Research
*What lured you to science and/or technology in the first place?* An
inquisitive mind, always interested in how things work in general.
*What keeps you there?* Exciting to find out something new before anyone else
in the world knows about it!
*What makes science different to other careers?* You develop a massive
repertoire of skills, from looking at data, working with many aspects of
computers, making things with your hands, coming up with new ways to solve
*What would you tell a 10-year-old about a career in science and technology?*
Science allows you to be the first one to know something before anyone else in
the world knows about it!
*Have you a favourite career moment?* Not a favourite single moment, there are
lots of exciting examples. It's so hard to rank them as to which was better!
The career changes over time so constantly evolving from that.
Planning continues apace for SmP 2015, with dates tentatively scheduled for
two days late in March 2015. As usual we are constrained by Federal
Parliamentary sitting dates, which are not set in stone until late December.
As soon as the dates are certain we will write to all Presidents of STA member
organisations with further details. As usual all member organisations will be
eligible to register two members for this unique event. Have a look at the
wrap up of last year's event HERE
Dear STA members and friends,
Welcome to the mid-winter edition of the STA newsletter, designed to keep you
up to date on what STA is doing, ways you can be involved, and developing issues.
It is a real pleasure to hear stories still filtering back from SmP 2014, as
delegates meet their Federal members back on home turf, in the lab and the
field. More parliamentary visits have taken place and cross-disciplinary
relationships hatched at SmP continue to bear fruit.
Remember STA is always happy to talk ahead of a parliamentary visit, and/or
offer advice about how to better engage with local parliamentarians. Just call
Also between newsletters, a great way to keep abreast of STA activities,
developing issues, information and debates is to keep an eye on STA's Twitter
<http://twitter.com/ScienceAU> and Facebook
Chief Executive Officer
*Senate inquiry submission *
STA's submission to the Senate Innovation System inquiry is now on the pubic
record, along with all 114 other submissions. The deliberately brief and
broad-brush submission emphasises the need for a strategic, long-term plan for
STEM disciplines if we are to succeed as a nation.
Read it HERE
*Women in Science*
STA is very excited to be involved in moves to redress the under
representation of women in science, with an initiative spearheaded by the
Australian Academy of Science in recent weeks. Members may have seen media
The plan is to look closely at the UK Athena Swan initiative which awards
institutions Gold, Silver or Bronze ratings according to their performance.
A wide range of institutions including STA, backed further work and
investigation of the Athena Swan model with a workshop scheduled for later
this year. Other moves in the area include a terrific project to increase the
profile of women in science with a day dedicated to writing or improving
Wikipedia entries on women scientists. 144 people are now signed up to write
or rewrite entries on August 14, and you can follow proceedings on twitter at
@Science_Academy <http://twitter.com/Science_Academy> or by following the
Unfortunately registrations are closed for this year, but the Academy is
considering a follow up event next year.
*STA President at PhD to Present forum *
STA President Dr Ross Smith was a panellist at an ANU-based PhD to Present
forum on career prosects for PhD graduates beyond traditional academic
pathways this month. This is a critical area, acknowledging the reality that
many will not seek or find a position inside academia, and looking to
highlight the myriad of other options. What to do after the PhD is done? can
be a terrifying question, and options can be hard to see when juggling work
and life with getting the writing done.
Dr Smith appeared amongst other successful consultants as well as politicians
Dr Andrew Leigh and Adam Bandt, senior public servants and entrepreneurs. This
is an area STA is considering as a focus for future years, and we will keep
you posted on developments.
*Topical Science Forums tackling the big issues*
STA's Topical Science Forum series, taking the best minds into the community
to debate the big issues, has come to its mid point. The next forum "Making
more with less, how do we feed the world as the population soars?" will run on
It will feature Professor Catherine Bertini
Former Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme, The Hon John
Chairman, The Crawford Fund and former Minister for Primary Industries and for
Overseas Development, Dr Elizabeth Finkel
Chief editor, Cosmos Science Magazine. Register or look for further
In July "Nuclear Energy - the debate Australia has to have", filled the
National Library theatre, and prompted a very vigorous media (ABC 666) and
social media discussion, under the hashtag #nucleardebate. The full video is
now available on the STA website
Other forums are also now available for viewing, including Science and
politics: like oil and water?
Later in the year a forum, Immunisation - what to do when the science is not
enough, will take place in Melbourne and Canberra. As further details are
confirmed they will be posted on the STA website
and noted on the STA Twitter <http://twitter.com/ScienceAU> and Facebook
You have received this email from Science & Technology Australia.
© 2014 - Science and Technology Australia
A.Prof. Andrew Hopkins, Head of Research and Outreach
Australian Astronomical Observatory
P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670, Australia
ph: +61 2 9372 4849 fax: +61 2 9372 4880
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