[ASA] Science & Technology Australia - December Newsletter

John O'Byrne john.obyrne at sydney.edu.au
Wed Dec 3 21:47:10 AEDT 2014

Presidents, please forward this to your members.
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Name and title: Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, School of Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Discipline: Neuroimmunopharmacology.

What lured you to science and/or technology in the first place? When I was picking my subjects for first year, it was my grandmother who suggested Molecular and Cellular Biology. I loved it! It was here where my fascination with biological systems was first sparked. It seemed to make all the other subjects worthwhile.

What keeps you there? The thrill of learning. I really enjoy the learning process. I love seeing others learn and applying that new knowledge to the problem at hand.

What makes science different to other careers? Wow – what other career is there like science... Well actually being a parent? The pay is pretty ordinary, but you aren't in it for the money. You don't always get the recognition you deserve, but you have created something pretty cool.

What would you tell a 10-year-old about a career in science and technology? A 10-year-old today will be working in a career in science in 10-14 years time. The tools I use today didn't exist when I completed my PhD 10 years ago. So, imagine the coolest gadget you can think of, and that might be something you will be working with.

Have you a favourite career moment? The science discoveries and eureka moments are amazing, but the most memorable event I have had was speaking at a G'day LA event for the American Australian Association. I met Olivia Newton-John and was introduced to Hollywood celebrities like Jon Travolta, Eric Bana and Hugh Jackman. But the person Olivia wanted to introduce me to was her song writer, whose daughter had intractable pain. Apparently my speech had given them hope that one day there might be a cure for their loved one.

To read Prof. Hutchinson's full responses click HERE <http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/uncategorized/mark-hutchinson-profile/>.


This newsletter is just one of the ways STA communicates. Emails sent direct to member organisations are another, but increasingly breaking news, comment and a wide array of information on scholarships, awards and conferences are issued via our social media platforms, such as our Twitter <http://twitter.com/ScienceAU> and Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Science-and-Technology-Australia/216340638388984> feeds.
Dear STA members and friends,

2014 has been a very busy year, with a record number of events, concerted work to professionalise our communications and operations, and the never-ending advocacy work to raise the profile of science in the Parliament and community. Science is at the centre of almost all we do in the modern world, and this fact cannot be emphasised often enough.

Highlights have included 10 topical science forums, which took the nation’s best scientists into the community and Federal Parliament to debate the big issues. Also, a highly successful Science meets Parliament kicked the year off well – attracting more than half the Federal Parliament and 200 scientists from around the nation.

On the political front we have seen prolonged instability and tough times for science and technology as cuts bite across the nation. The Chief Scientist issued his long-awaited strategic plan for STEM, and it has gained some traction, but there is a way to go.

STA has been vocal on your behalf, keeping the fate and centrality of science as far up the agenda as possible.

Catriona Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
New executive members

The November AGM saw a healthy field of candidates contest the elections for the four positions on the STA executive.

Professor Jim Piper  <http://web.science.mq.edu.au/directory/listing/person.htm?id=jpiper>was elected unopposed to the important position of president elect, the one year position that leads to the STA presidency at the end of 2015. Jeremy Brownlie  <http://www.griffith.edu.au/science-aviation/school-natural-sciences/staff/jeremy-brownlie>has been reappointed as Secretary, unopposed. Robyn Porter  <http://www.professionalsaustralia.org.au/?page=313>from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and Professionals Australia won the position as chair of the policy committee, and Sophie Lewis <http://sophieclewis.com/>, Research Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU, and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, was voted in as ECR representative. It was great to see such a healthy showing of voting members and candidates this year.

Science meets Parliament 2015

Dates are set, the program is progressing and registrations are just about to open for SmP 2015. The annual event will take place on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March next year. Confirmed speakers include Chief Scientist for Australia Professor Ian Chubb AC, Business Council of Australia President and Telstra Chair Ms Catherine Livingstone AO and Federal Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane.

Remember this unique event is by invitation only and member societies are eligible to register two participants, at a highly discounted price. An invitation to register will be sent to all STA member presidents in coming weeks.

Further details of SmP 2015 will appear on the STA website as it takes shape. Sponsorship packages are available; for details make contact with Wayne Evans <mailto:Wayne.Evans at sta.org.au>.

Science meets Policymakers – registrations open

After the sold-out 2012 event, Science meets Policymakers is on again early next year, with places filling fast. The high-level, one-day workshop (11 February 2015) will bring together speakers from senior ranks in the public service, government and public- and private-sector research. Speakers will take a warts-and-all look at how well the current science/policy nexus works and identify ways to improve it. Case studies will be examined with the key players, both on stage and in the audience.

This event is open to all, with discounted rates for STA members, so get in quickly to secure a place. For more information and registrations, click HERE <http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/focus-on/science-meets-policymakers-3/>.

Topical Science forums

Our Topical Science Forum series – taking the best Australian science into the community and the Parliament – ended last week with The human body – the final frontier?, which looked at the groundbreaking work at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

The 10-forum series took renowned experts examining the big issues in science into the community and directly to your elected representatives. Topics ranged from debate on nuclear energy to immunisation and the limitless possibilities of the SKA telescope. Three of the events were staged specifically for the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Science, an 80-strong, cross-party group that works to promote science inside government and parliament.

STA hopes to continue this important series, and is seeking renewed funding. If you missed out, all the forums are available to view on the STA YouTube channel <https://www.youtube.com/user/scienceandtechau>.

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© 2014 - Science and Technology Australia


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