News & Views Index
July 2004




Latham Commits Labor to Lifting Australia's Investment in R&D... But Where's the Detail?    (30/07/04)

     The leader of the Labor opposition, Mark Latham yesterday addressed the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU). Four  paragraphs in his speech seem to have travelled beneath media attention. [More]


Rio Tinto's British Division Says Yes to Carbon Credits Thereby Acquiescing to the UK signing on to the Kyoto Protocol.    (30/07/04)



Francis Crick - Dead at 88.    (30/07/04)

    Francis Crick, together with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the determination of the double helical structure of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). He died in Thornton Hospital, La Jolla, California aged 88 after an extended struggle with colon cancer. [More]


An Acid Test.    (29/07/04)

    Snow Barlow, President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) urges scientists to get up on their hind legs and voice their concerns with regard to measures that should be taken to ensure the proper dissemination of information to allow Australian research to function knowledgably. [More]


It Can Pay to Have Powerful, Pugnacious and Cluey Friends in Court.    (23/07/04)

    The State of New York's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer has taken on one of the world's most powerful pharmas for bending the truth. [More]


A Litigious Society Can Have Its Uses.    (21/07/04)

    Yesterday's New York Times reports, eight US states and New York City are suing five large utilities that are the United States' biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. [More]


ARC Announce 2005 Federation Fellowships.    (21/07/04)

    The Australian Research Council yesterday announced it is inviting applications for the 2005 Federation Fellowships. According to the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, Fellowship salaries will be of the order of $240,000 for each of five years. [More]


QIMR Testing an Anti Melanoma Vaccine.     (21/07/04)

     They have produced "personalised" vaccines for each of 43 patients with advanced melanoma by harvesting and concentrating their immune cells. Seven of the 43 responded completely, their tumours shrinking to undetectable levels. What sets those seven apart? [More]


NTEU Releases Report Arguing the Cost of University Degrees to HECS Students has Doubled Under the Federal Coalition.    (19/07/04)

    In 2003 dollars students paid on average $2,137 per year more toward the cost of a government subsidised university place in 2003 than they did in 1996; the cost of their education has almost doubled from 19.6% in 1996 to 38.0% in 2003. [More]


Australia's Chief Scientist Has an Illogical Each Way Bet on Carbon Emissions.    (19/07/04)

    Australia's Chief Scientist, Robin Batterham, "I'm talking about enormous reductions - 80 per cent by the end of the century, 50 per cent by 2050, I think, is realistic," but he supported the Federal Government's decision not to ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change because the reductions it set were not high enough. [More]


UK's Chief Scientific Advisor, David King, Discourses on The Scientific Impact of Nations.    (18/07/04)

    Coinciding with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown's release of the 2004 Spending Review showing strong support for research and development Sir David King, in the July 15 issue of Nature, as Chief Scientific Advisor to H. M. Government discusses the scientific impact of nations. [More]


An Astronomer's View of the Future of Israeli Research Universities.    (18/07/04)

     Eliah Leibowizz, is chairman of the astrophysics department at Tel Aviv University and director of the Wise Observatory.  Some excerpts of an opinion piece he wrote for Ha'aretz and published on July 12. [More]


To Hell with Progress, This is Politics. German Universities Windup as Smoked Salmon in the Bagel.    (15/07/04)

    This past February, Edelgard Bulmahn, Germany's federal research minister, announced plans for a competition to start this summer. From 2006 to 2010, up to ten universities were to receive an extra 50 million each year for hiring top scientists, modernizing labs, and improving research and education. [More]


India's Congress-led Government Announces Near 25% Boost for R&D.    (15/07/04)

    According to Valangiman Ramamurthi, secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, "There will be a 15% hike in funding for all our major projects -- and that isn't bad". [More]


British Government Places Big Bet on Science and Technology to make Nation More Competitive. (14/07/04)

    Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has pledged Additional 1 billion (A$2.5 billion) for Science by 2007-08. [More]


The Group of Eight Releases a Comparison of Australian and OECD Expenditure on R&D.    (13/07/04)

    The Chair of the Group of Eight, Professor Ian Chubb let loose a broadside today against Australia's Coalition Government for its continued strangulation of Australia's efforts to first reach and then maintain parity with the OECD mean for R&D let alone the top quarter of the group. [More]


Missile Defence: Coalition Government Decides to Back Star Wars II.    (12/07/04)

    On March 8 TFW reported "Son of Star Wars Turkey too Costly:  Concludes Australian Department of Defence". Times have changed ... [More]


US Union of Concerned Scientists Confront Bush with New Cases of Scientific Abuse.    (10/07/04)

    In February this year the Union of Concerned Scientists published a statement by over 60 Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, and other leading US researchers calling for end to scientific abuses by the administration of President George W. Bush. [More]


Caltech Theoretical Physicist and Provost Moves to British Petroleum to become Chief Scientist.     (09/07/04)

    British Petroleum (BP) seems to have taken a leaf out of Philips Electronics appointments primer of fifty years ago and appointed a renowned theoretical physicist as its chief scientist. [More]


Bushfires and Urban Areas in Australia.    (08/07/04)

    On December 10, 2002 the Federal Minister for Science Peter McGauran announced new Commonwealth Government funding of $25 million for a Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). [More]


Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics - Mark Twain.    (07/07/04)

    Dr Michael Gallagher, head of policy and planning at the Australian National University is into his tenth month on the job. In the not to distant past he filled the role of First Assistant Secretary, Higher Education Division, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. [More]


The Media, the Public and Scientific Hype Versus Peer Review.    (07/07/04)

    They call themselves Sense About Science and describe themselves as "a charitable trust, founded in 2002, to promote an evidence-based approach to scientific issues in the public domain." [More]


Senate Committee Inquires into the Office of Chief Scientist and Its Incumbent.    (06/07/04)

    This past Friday members of the Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Committee met to examine the office of the Chief Scientist. The terms of reference were to inquire into and report on the functioning of the Office of the Chief Scientist; potential conflicts of interest arising from the dual role of the Chief Scientist, and the development of criteria for the appointment of the Chief Scientist through legislation. [More]


"Government investment in R&D is projected to fall to 0.62% of GDP in 2004/05 - down from 0.66% in 2002-03." -- FASTS President, Snow Barlow.    (05/07/04)

        Although Prime Minister, John Howard, has yet to announce the date of this year's federal election the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies has put forward its election statement. [More]