News & Views Index
August 2004




Time Reported on January 19 "Europe's Best and Brightest Scientific Minds are Leaving in Droves for the U.S." What's Europe doing about it?    (31/08/04)

    "The U.S. is a place where you can do very good science, and if you're a scientist, you try to go to the best place," Valerio Pagano, who likens researcher migration to football transfers, told Time on January 19th this year... [More]


Shanghai's Jiao Tong University's Institute of Higher Education Publishes its Second Annual Listing of the World's top 500 Research University    (31/08/04)

    Last year Shanghai's Jiao Tong University's Institute of Higher Education rose top prominence in world academic circles and even the mass media by publishing its evaluation of the worlds research universities, and while the usual criticisms of "meaningless" and "their opinion" were heard, on the whole the rankings have come to have been accepted as having overall validity. Those ranks placed ANU in joint 49th place and Melbourne University 92nd. This year ANU dropped to 53 while Melbourne rose to joint (3) 82nd place. [More]


"Mother, Give Me the Sun," is Oswald's Dieing Plea to his Mother in Ibsen's Ghosts.    (30/08/04)

    Oswald paying for the sins of his father is succumbing to the madness engendered by tertiary syphilis but now 122 years since it's premier performance, Oswald's  plea may be just beginning to be fulfilled. [More]


To John Kennedy Toole it was A Confederation of Dunces to Canada's Outspoken Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish it's a "Coalition of Idiots."    (30/08/04)

    While the specific targets of Toole's Posthumously awarded 1981 Pulitzer Prize winner and Carolyn Parrish' August 26 barb are not identical they belong to the same genre. [More]


News Flash: Incompetent Teachers Teach Badly -- Brendan Nelson.    (26/08/04)

    It's still winter but the silly season seems to have come early this year. At a Sydney press conference yesterday the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson told the media, "I laid out, more than a year ago, our National Agenda for Standards and Values in Schools... [More]


To Those That Strum While the Higher Education Sector is Fiddled.    (25/08/04)

    Not for the first time the Minister for Education, Science and Training has admonished Australia's university sector (specifically the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee) for setting  the questionable target of having 60% of the population gaining a university qualification. [More]


The Promise of an "Overhaul" for CSIRO.    (24/08/04)

    "A Latham Labor Government will overhaul the CSIRO's strategic direction.
        "Labor will reinvigorate the board and empower it to ensure effective leadership, build public confidence and re-assert a commitment to serving the public and industry. The board will ensure greater accountability of the whole organisation." [More]


Nineteen Authors, Six Laboratories, Three Continents and the Development of a Synthetic Antimalarial Candidate.    (19/08/04)

    Led by the University of Nebraska's Jonathan Vennerstrom a team of 19 including four from Australia's Victorian College of Pharmacy at Monash University have developed a cheap, rapidly effective synthetic antimalarial candidate drug using the Chinese herbal medicine artemisinin as a template. [More]


The 2004 Eureka Prizes.    (19/08/04)

    A record $220,000 was presented to 22 Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners at the 15th annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes dinner at Sydney's celebrated Hordern Pavilion on August 10. [More]


46-Year-Old Slovenian Economist to Succeed Belgian's Philippe Busquin as New European Commissioner for Research.    (19/08/04)

   Janez Potočnik--the lead negotiator for Slovenia's entry into the European Union has been named as one of the 25 incoming European Commissioners. Slovenia is one of the ten new chums who have recently boosted the EU membership to 25 nations. [More]


110 Days Ago Michael Lardelli Asked on TFW, "Does an Approaching Peak of Oil and Gas Production Presage a National Emergency?"    (18/08/04)

    Since then with the price of crude oil approaching $50 per barrel the mass media have given increasing time and space to analysing the consequences not only of the "oil peak" but also the perception of the possibility. Now (April 16) the ABC has allotted Dr. Lardelli some five minutes to put his assessment to air on Perspective [More]


Age Distribution of Australia's Academics Approaching Use by Date.    (13/08/04)

    "Higher Education sector facing profound demographic challenges." [More]


I'll Not Do It My Way -- Targets, Schmaret's -- Who Needs 'em.   (13/08/04)

    Prime ministerial logic -- a wonder to behold. [More]


"Secret Meeting" of Industry Heads,  Researchers, and Federal Agency Heads Discussed Critical Shortages of Scientists and Mathematicians ... Yet Again!    (11/08/04)

    Some 50 participants was told that Queensland's Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Andrews had determined that "[a]nother 75,000 scientists would be needed by 2010 if Australia were to keep pace with other modern economies in its research capabilities." [More]


Ken  Baldwin, Chair of the FASTS' Policy Committee Wins 2004 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science Through Science Meets Parliament.    (11/08/04) [More]


Do Latham's Hints of Enlightened Policies Toward Research and Development Presage a Meaningful Commitment?    (10/08/04)

    A short unsigned article in today's Melbourne Age asks, "Clever country or fool's paradise?" followed by "Australia ignores investment in research and development at its peril." [More]


When the Skipper Meets the Sheriff and Bambi Meets Godzilla.    (06/08/04)

    Among The New York Times' stable of columnists is the acerbically witty Maureen Dowd. Summing up her stint at the Democratic national convention in Boston where John Kerry was anointed the party candidate for President she wrote... [More]


Views of the Chief Scientist: A Tale of Two Partisans -- Senator Brown vs Science Minister Peter McGauran.    (05/08/04)

    The two following media releases require no explanation ... [More]


Are Australia's Vice-Chancellors Politically Partisan or Trepidant?    (05/08/04)

    Griffith University's Higher Education Policy Analyst, Gavin Moodie plumps for the former. [More]



    Whether the $1.8 million is more than an election year sop that will lead to a coherent initiative to significantly improve the teaching of science and mathematics in primary and secondary public schools remains to be seen. [More]


ANU's Committee of Review Completes Visit.    (02/08/04)

    The review of the quality of the Australian National University's "products" was instigated toward the end of January this year by its Vice-Chancellor, Ian Chubb. The committee have now completed their visit. [More]