Wednesday, 05 September 2018 11:00

Govt extends chief scientist's term by two years

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Govt extends chief scientist's term by two years Pixabay

Dr Alan Finkel will continue as Australia's Chief Scientist for a further two years, until the end of 2020, the Federal Government announced on Wednesday.

Dr Finkel, the eighth chief scientist, started in the role in January 2016 and his term was due to end this year.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews announced the extension and said she looked forward to working closely with Dr Finkel.

"[He] 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,” Andrews said.

”He has played a critical role and helped lead a number of major reviews into key policy areas.”

alan finkel vertDr Finkel's work with the government played a key role in 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 critical in 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.

Dr Finkel said: “When I took up my post in 2016, I said that I had every confidence in the ambition and ability of Australians.

“I am delighted to recommit to my promise to back our potential today, 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 inter-generational returns.

“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.”

Before he became chief scientist, Dr Finkel was chancellor of Monash University and the president of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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