John Lattanzio john.lattanzio at monash.edu
Wed Jan 26 13:23:25 AEDT 2022

Greetings ASA Members
   it is a great pleasure to note two astronomy related Honours announced

   - David Luchetti, who has worked with the Government and astronomers to
   enable large projects (SKA for example)
   - Alan Finkel (a former Chair of the CAASTRO Advisory Board).

David Luchetti was awarded the Public Service Medal. The citation reads:

Mr David Anthony LUCHETTI
For outstanding public service to science and industry policy in Australia,
particularly in the Square Kilometre Array project.

Alan Finkel was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. His citation

For eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research
infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response
initiatives, and to science and engineering education.

Please join me in congratulating David and Alan on the recognition of their

On a different topic, below (and attached) is the latest news from STA.

Best wishes to all

John L

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Science and Technology Australia <mmrelease at isentia.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2022 at 06:04
To: <john.lattanzio at monash.edu>


The 2022 Budget should “double down” on Australia’s return-generating
investments in science to prepare for new complex challenges after this
pandemic, fast-track our economic recovery and smooth the nation’s climate

This would start with boosting direct R&D investments to shift Australia
closer to the top-ten OECD countries to seize economic opportunities for
our nation.

The first major stride towards that goal would be a $2.4 billion Research
Translation Fund to secure Australia’s science future and generate strong
returns on investment.

In its pre-Budget submission, Science & Technology Australia proposes the
fund and other strategic investments to safeguard our economy, build on the
country’s outstanding science capability, respond to threats, and seize new
income-generating opportunities.

“Australia should use the next federal Budget to fund science like our
lives and our economy depend on it - because they do,” said Science &
Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert.

“We should heed the lessons of the pandemic and ‘double down’ on our
investments in science to see off major threats and seize new economic
opportunities for Australia.”

“As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been
clearer that Australia needs the deep expertise of scientists to navigate
this historic challenge - and many others.”

“Science has given us diagnostic testing, respirators, medical equipment,
epidemiological expertise, and – crucially – life-saving vaccines.”

“Those vaccines have saved lives from COVID-19, and could open the door to
a host of potential new vaccines against cancers - and create tens of
thousands of Australian jobs.”

Science & Technology Australia President Professor Mark Hutchinson urged
the Government to use the 2022 Budget to safeguard the future of our
science talent, institutions, and infrastructure.

“The lessons of the past few years are clear. We must invest deeply in
science and scientists. The success of science is crucial to our safety.”

“Now is the time to secure the next-generation science capabilities we need
to face the next set of complex challenges that will confront our country.”

The pre-Budget submission sets out fiscally responsible initiatives to
deliver strong returns on investment to both tax revenue and the economy.
They include:

   1. Boost direct R&D investment to shift Australia closer towards
   investment levels in the top ten OECD countries;
   2. Create a new $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to turn more of
   Australia’s science into applications that will generate returns on
   3. Safeguard the next wave of science breakthroughs by lifting ARC and
   NHMRC research grants budgets to $1 billion/year for each agency;
   4. Secure the future of science and research infrastructure with
   long-term funding certainty for the National Collaborative Research
   Infrastructure Strategy;
   5. Deepen investment in climate science and low-emission technologies,
   including extending the proposed Patent Box initiative to include clean
   energy tech;
   6. Avert a disastrous exodus of science talent by shifting to
   longer-term grants, employing researchers on longer-term contracts,
   adopting fixed timelines for grant applications and announcements, and
   slashing red tape in grant applications;
   7. Invest $3 million in an STA Bench to Boardroom program to turbo
   charge training for scientists to pursue commercialisation;
   8. Access Australia’s full STEM talent pool by investing $2.3 million to
   advance women in STEM through STA’s groundbreaking Superstars of STEM
   program; and $4 million to establish an Indigenous STEM Network;
   9. A $2.3 million endowment to secure Science meets Parliament for the
   decade; and
   10. Resource the promised review of the Job-Ready Graduates legislation
   and top up funding for STEM degrees if they have fallen under the new model.

Science & Technology Australia is the peak body for the nation’s STEM
sector, representing more than 90,000 scientists and technologists.

Read Science & Technology Australia’s pre-budget submission here

*Media contact*: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828

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Professor John Lattanzio
President, Astronomical Society of Australia

School of Physics and Astronomy
Monash University Victoria 3800 AUSTRALIA

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"...it’s a human story that builds to a climax and it’s personal from end
to end.
You start out wondering why you bought those blue pajamas and later you’re
wondering why you were born. You go from the foolishly absurd to the deadly
serious and you’ve passed through the gaudy and the nasty along the way.
You get to the edge and you’re played out and you wonder where’s the good
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