Chief Scientist urges more thought for the future

Wednesday, 24 April, 2013

The importance of science to Australia’s future and its place in the world will be the subject of a free public lecture in Perth next month by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb.

Professor Chubb is passionate about boosting numbers of science students at primary, secondary and tertiary level, improving teacher training, forging links to business and promoting the benefits of science to the wider community.

In a speech at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra last year, ‘Inspiring Australia’s Scientific Culture’, Professor Chubb said part of his job was to know where the experts were and how to get to them.

“Another part is to present ‘science’ to the government, to the Australian community and Australian science and its capability to the world,” he said. “So I start with a simple premise: it is, I think, through scientific knowledge and its application, through the wise use of technologies, that we will secure a prosperous future for ourselves - prosperous in all senses.”

Speaking last year at the Cooperative Research Centres Association conference, Professor Chubb highlighted the significance of science in the future.

“We need to ensure Australia is prepared for a future where entirely new industries will be born,” he said. “A future where we will not always be able to rely on our natural resources for our prosperity. A future where the climate will affect us in ways we still find hard to predict, and a future where we will need local expertise in a range of research areas that may be different from those needed now.”

Professor Chubb was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University from 2001 to 2011 before being appointed Chief Scientist. Previously he served six years as Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University and two years as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Monash University.

In 1999 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and in 2006 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). Professor Chubb was awarded a Doctor of Science from Flinders University in 2000 and was made the ACT’s Australian of the Year in 2011 for his contribution to higher education.

The lecture, sponsored by Rio Tinto and The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Faculty of Science and Institute of Advanced Studies, will be held on 15 May at 6 pm at the University Club Theatre Auditorium. Seats are limited so register now at

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