News & Views Index
March 2005



Martin Rees to Succeed Robert May as the Next President of the Royal Society.    (31/03/05)

    Australian born Robert May is to be succeeded by the current astronomer royal, Cambridge Professor Martin Rees. [More]


"An RQF [Research Quality Framework], when developed, may be the basis for future allocations of research funding."    (29/03/05)

    Above is perhaps the key sentence in the executive summary of the "issues paper" published today for the Research Quality Framework: Assessing the quality and impact of Research in Australia. [More]


Whither the Universities -- Simon Marginson Gives His Summing-up.    (28/03/05)

    Marginson sees Dr Nelson's reformation as creating a shake-up of the Australian university system as great as, if not greater than, that wrought through Dawkinsisation. [More]


Protests Get Serious at Israeli University.    (25/03/05)

    The March 24 editorial in Israel's liberal paper Haaretz: For the first time in years, students are protesting something other than tuition. [More]


A New Conservative Centre for Independent Studies' Report Rejects that Responsibility for the Running of Universities Should be Shifted fully to the Federal Government.    (24/03/05)

    Toward the end of last year the Minister for Education Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, put in a "bid" that Australia's 37 public universities should come under the full control of the federal government. [More]


Now It's Getting Serious. Has Dr Nelson Gone Too Far in His Attack on "Compulsory Student Union" Fees?    (24/03/05)

    It "could be devastating for Australia's chances at the next Olympics." [More]


Sir Gareth Roberts, Chairman  Expert Advisory Group: "If you do invest in this sort of quality research framework, it will pay huge dividends, otherwise, with the rise of China and other nations, in 10 years, Australia will be struggling."    (21/03/05)  [More]


New University Fee Structure English Style.    (21/03/05)

    The cost to students of an English university education is to rise sharply next year. "Nine out of 10 universities in England are to charge the maximum tuition fee of £3,000 when they are allowed to raise their fees next year". [More]


The Group of Eight Views the Draft Implementation Framework of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.    (17/03/05)

    A couple of weeks ago the Group of Eight released its strong response to the "Draft Implementation Framework of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Advisory Committee". [More]


Has the Minister for Education, Science and Training Misled Parliament or is he Just a Smart Arse?    (17/03/05)

    On Tuesday the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson asked in Federal Parliament why hungry customers would buy a sausage roll at the University of Sydney. [More]


Legerdemain, Minister of Education, Science and Training Style.    (16/03/05)

    Dr Nelson having now forced the preoccupying card of "student unionism" on the whole academic community, he can go about his business of corporatising the universities and devaluing their contributions to fundamental research as well as diminishing their role as custodians of learning and knowledge -- all the while manoeuvring them into becoming, in the main, advanced vocational training centres. [More]


Robert May and Robin Batterham -- A Former and a Current Chief Science Advisor -- Two Differing Points of View.    (15/03/05) [More]


Science Quotes Australian Born and Educated Robert May, President of the Royal Society, from a Speech Scheduled for Delivery in Berlin on 7 March.    (11/03/05)

    "It is essential that the G8 summit [next July in Scotland] focuses on securing from the United States an explicit recognition that the case has now been made for acting urgently to avoid the worst effects of climate change by making substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. ...

    "[Denial of global warming in the press] brings to mind the ill-fated and disreputable campaign by The Sunday Times during the early 1990s to deny that HIV causes AIDS."


An Exhibition of Callous Destructiveness.    (10/03/05)

    The Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) held its sixth "Science Meets Parliament" from March 8/9. The federation has still to report on the events and outcomes of the two-day meeting but one notable event was the address at the National Press Club luncheon by the Minister for Education Science and Training, Brendan Nelson. [More]


Hans Bethe Dead at Ninety-Eight.    (09/03/05)

    Cornell University's 1996 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Robert Richardson says simply, "Hans Bethe was a giant of twentieth century science." [More]


The Skills Shortage Runs Broad, Runs Deep.    (08/03/05)

The Melbourne Age has published a list of 19 categories of tradesmen/women in short supply while CSIRO today pointed to "A statistically significant shortage" of individuals with somewhat different skills. [More]


What's in a Name? -- The Issues Paper, Melbourne University Private and Caltech.    (07/03/05)

    With the publication last week by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, of the Issues Paper, Building University Diversity: Future approval and accreditation processes for Australian Higher education, the balloon went up. [More]


The National Research Priorities Standing Committee and the Research Quality Framework.    (07/03/05)

    According to the Media release from the Department of Education, Science and Training "[t]he National Research Priorities provide a vision of how research can contribute to Australia’s future prosperity and well being." Meanwhile the Group of Eight has released a statement with regard to the proposed Research Quality Framework. How the design of the Research Quality Framework and the National Research Priorities established by the government will dove ought to be a matter of serious concern. [More]


A University President as Seen from the Inside.    (06/03/05)

    The utterances of university presidents (vice-chancellors, rectors) rarely make world news, but over the last six weeks, Harvard's Larry Summers has been the subject of hundreds of articles in the mass media. [More]


Canada's Minority Government Squeezes Science in its 2005 Budget.    (04/03/05)

    With the Canadian Liberal Party's Jean Chrétien as Prime Minister his party's promise to double Canada's research effort by 2010 and put science at the top of its agenda was on track. [More]


New Data Support Contention That the Little Lady of Flores Forces Rethink of Human Evolution.    (04/03/05)

    At the end of October last year both the lay and scientific press featured the find by a combined Australian and Indonesian team of a skull and bones from eight individuals in a cave on Indonesia's island of Flores. New data are in strong support. [More]


Australian Museum Eureka Prize Competition For 2005 Announced.    (04/03/05) [More]