Marine scientist Emma Johnston elected president of STA

Thursday, 30 November, 2017


Marine scientist and broadcaster Professor Emma Johnston has been elected president of Science & Technology Australia (STA), with the appointment confirmed at STA’s annual general meeting in Sydney last week.

A leading marine ecotoxicologist, Professor Johnston is Dean of Science at the University of NSW, a board member for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and co-presenter of the Foxtel/BBC television series Coast Australia. She takes over as STA president from Emeritus Professor Jim Piper AO.

“There is so much unrealised potential in Australian science and technology: Science & Technology Australia will work tirelessly to ensure that knowledge creation and application are at the forefront of Australia’s future economy,” Professor Johnston said.

“I’m also proud of our strategy to support and enhance a diverse and inclusive workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that makes the most of Australia’s genuine breadth of passion, creativity and brainpower.”

Professor Johnston was not the only one elected to the STA executive on the day, with other appointments including:

  • Vice President — Griffith University geneticist Dr Jeremy Brownlie
  • Treasurer — Macquarie University physical chemist Professor Judith Dawes
  • Early Career Representative — University of Adelaide ecologist Dr Zoe Doubleday
  • Ordinary Member Representative — science communicator and broadcaster Tanya Ha

They join existing executive team members including UNSW geneticist Dr Darren Saunders (Secretary), CSIRO Manufacturing head Dr Cathy Foley (Policy Chair) and Swinburne University astrophysicist Associate Professor Alan Duffy (Early-Career Representative).

“We have an outstanding leadership team to take us to the next federal election, where we will be unabashed about promoting the value of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Professor Johnston said.

“We will work hard to secure better job security for scientists and technologists, to see them better resourced to achieve great things, and highlight the vital need for basic research in Australia to underpin the commercialisation of our ideas.”

Professor Johnston thanked Professor Piper along with other outgoing members of the executive, Stephen Horn and Dr Francine Marques. She has since published her first presidential statement on the STA website.

Image caption: Professor Emma Johnston (front row, right) with the STA executive team.

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