Alan Finkel gets an extra two years as Chief Scientist
The Australian Government has extended Dr Alan Finkel’s term as Australia’s Chief Scientist for a further two years to the end of 2020 — an announcement that was made by the newly minted Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews.
“I am delighted to announce Dr Finkel’s extension and look forward to working closely with him,” Andrews said. “Dr Finkel is a tireless advocate and highly respected champion for science, innovation and technology in Australian public life, with an extensive background and expertise as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist, educator and communicator.
“He has played a critical role and helped lead a number of major reviews into key policy areas.”
Dr Finkel commenced as Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist in January 2016, following posts as the Chancellor of Monash University and the President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. His close work with the government was key to shaping the recent Budget decision to invest $1.9 billion in critical Australian research infrastructure capability, particularly his leadership on the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap.
Andrews said Dr Finkel’s leadership had been invaluable in progressing key policy work, including through the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Energy Market, a review into optimising STEM industry-school partnerships, and Innovation and Science Australia’s 2030 Strategic Plan.
“The Morrison government is looking forward to working with Dr Finkel as he continues to provide robust and respected advice to government across a range of issues and emerging trends in science and technology, including artificial intelligence, innovation metrics and precision medicine,” Andrews said.
“As a Male Champion of Change for STEM, Dr Finkel also plays an important role in the government’s agenda to increase the participation of women and girls in STEM education and careers.”
Dr Finkel welcomed the opportunity to continue providing independent advice to government and advancing priority missions, saying he is “delighted” to recommit to backing Australia’s potential “and to build new potential through STEM education for tomorrow and into the future — including a science workforce that harnesses the capabilities of all Australians”.
“We are committed to developing our research and innovation capacity as a blue-chip investment with intergenerational returns,” Dr Finkel said.
“I look forward to working with Minister Andrews, her parliamentary colleagues and the many Australians who have inspired me with their visions of what this nation could be.”
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