Australia and US strike up STEM partnership


Thursday, 12 April, 2018


Australia and US strike up STEM partnership

The peak scientific bodies from Australia and the USA have formed a partnership to facilitate better cooperation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Science & Technology Australia (STA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) signed a memorandum of understanding this week which sees the two organisations pledging to foster collaborations to enhance the role of STEM on the global stage. The agreement stems from a meeting recently held between representatives of STA and the AAAS in Washington, DC, where both sides explored pursuing opportunities of shared interests — including cooperative efforts to address international science policy issues.

STA President Professor Emma Johnston said cooperation between Australia and other influential global partners is paramount for the future health and wellbeing of the country, noting, “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics transcend national boundaries and provide a common language and common quest for humanity to extend our understanding of the universe.

“Global challenges are mounting: in the equitable provision of reliable energy, food and water security, in population health, biodiversity protection, cybersecurity, and the prevention of catastrophic climate change.

“We know science and technology can provide solutions, and STA is proud to partner with the world’s largest general scientific society to provide a united voice in the support and promotion of science.”

AAAS CEO Rush Holt said there was no better time for this cooperation, claiming there is “much work for us to cooperate on” in both science and diplomacy.

“For example, we both want to extend diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Holt said.

“Between us, we can advance science not just in our own countries, but around the world.”

The new partnership will involve joint activities, exchanges and collaborative initiatives to bring the Australian and US STEM sectors together. For example, Professor Johnston said, “We’ll be working hard with the AAAS to improve STEM sector diversity, improve job security and shore up support for curiosity-led research and the rapid translation of scientific and technological discoveries.

“We have the potential to learn from each other and amplify the voice of scientists and technologists across the globe,” she said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/luzitanija

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