News & Views Index
April 2005



FASTS Makes its Submission Regarding Future Approval and Accreditation Processes for Australian Higher Education.    (30/04/05)

    The Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) has released its Submission to the Department of Education, Science and Training regarding Building University Diversity: Future Approval and Accreditation Processes for Australian Higher Education. [More]


Minister for Education, Science and Training Leads Uni Students, Staff and Administration a Merry Dance Keeping Them Off Balance as He Plays Them His Quickstep.    (30/04/05)

    This Past Thursday (April 28) over 10,000 university student, principally in Sydney and Melbourne forsook lectures and practical classes to march in protest against voluntary student unionism. The next day Dr Nelson, just back from South America, was joined by Kevin Andrews, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. They revealed details of the government's new Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements at a conference in Brisbane. [More]


NASA's Cuts and Delays in Its Earth Science Program are Dictated by US President Bush's Pursuit of Manned Exploration of the Moon and Mars.    (30/04/05)

    At a hearing of the US House of Representatives Science Committee, scientists and members of Congress voiced disquiet by recent cuts and delays in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth science program. [More]


Australian Vice-Chancellors and Oxford's Sir Gareth Roberts, Chair of the Research Quality Framework Expert Advisory Group, Face Off Over Multiple-Choice Questionnaire.    (28/04/05)

    Late last year Dr Brendan Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training, announced that he had appointed an Expert Advisory Group of thirteen to advise him on the formulation of a Research Quality Framework. [More]


The Intelligent Design Movement Begins to Attract Serious Attention at US Universities.    (28/04/05)

    The battle was well and truly drawn in 1859 by On the Origin of Species. [More]


When the Lack of Greed is Good - A Case for Research for the Benefit of the World's Population.    (26/04/05)

    "Sometimes the dominant animal on Earth just gets lucky." [More]


DEST Releases Discussion Paper for  a Science, Engineering and Technology Skills Audit.    (26/04/05)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, has today released a discussion paper for the Australian Government’s audit of science, engineering and technology skills. It focuses on the current supply and demand for science, engineering and technology skills and also canvasses the potential supply and demand for these vital skills in the future. [More]


An Interesting Viewpoint But Then What Would He Know About Real Politick?    (22/04/05)

     The following observation in The Age comes from Philip Huggins chairman of Anglicare Australia and bishop of the northern region in the Anglican diocese of Melbourne. [More]


When You Begin to Think About Getting Professional Help, the Symptoms are Worrisome not to Say Serious.    (21/04/05)

    According to The Australian Australia's universities have become sufficiently disturbed by the recent behaviour of the Minister for Education, Science and Training to consider calling in professional help in the form of Lynton Crosby. [More]


ANU Tells Dr Nelson to Do His Homework -- but Ever So Politely.    (21/04/05)

    As the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, increasingly appears to be using the the universities as a whipping boy to hone his political ambition, the Australian National University through Lawrence Cram, currently Acting Vice-Chancellor, has risen to the minister's challenge. [More]


And the Partially Blind Shall Lead Them.    (20/04/05)

    The matter of the secondary school teaching of the enabling sciences has come 'round once again. [More]


Does the Universities' Black Tuesday Mark the Day Brendan Nelson Finally Stumbled Over His Overweening Ambition?    (20/04/05)

    Ever since Prime Minister John Howard's government was returned to office the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, has assumed the guise of a jack-booted-swagger-stick-wheeling caricature of a responsible cabinet minister. [More]


The Federal Government Cans Change to Current Funding Indexation for Universities.    (19/04/05)

     In order to obtain Senate approval for the Higher Education Support Act 2003 the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, agreed to undertake a review with regard to higher education indexing arrangements. The review was duly undertaken. [More]


The Australian Government's Innovation Report 2004-05 -- Another Point of View.    (19/04/05)

    "The federal government needs to spend less time patting itself on the back for boosting funding for scientific research and a lot more time addressing our chronic inability to make the most of the resulting knowledge business." -- Peter Roberts, AFR [More]


Can the EC Overcome Almost Stultifying Bureaucracy to Have its Coming Multiyear Funding Program Known as Framework 7 Work?    (18/04/05)

    "This is not just another Framework program," Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik promised several times as he pitched the proposal to the European Parliament. "We want to do more." [More]


The Turmoil in Italian Academe and Research Institutes Continues as the Berlusconi Government Teeters.    (18/04/05)

    Science recently reported that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government "continues to try to align publicly funded research more closely with the needs of industry". [More]


Making Ends Meet at The University of Sydney.    (18/04/05)

    Don Wilson is Vice-Principal of Sydney University's "University Relations" which is something of a euphemism as Mr Wilson is in charge of the university's fund raising efforts. [More]


Brendan Nelson Tells the Sydney Institute How Its Gonna Be; So You V-Cs, Just Watch It!    (16/04/05)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, fronted Gerard Henderson's conservative public affairs forum The Sydney Institute on April 14, "We are determined to complete the industrial relations agenda." [More]


The Australian Government’s Innovation Report for 2004-05 is Just Out.    (14/04/05)

    Peter Hall writes "Its executive summary will make uplifting bedtime reading for the nation's scientists and engineers, who apparently have seldom had it so good. However, if you want to know what is really going on you'll have to dig another 80 to 100 pages deeper into the Report, and dissect the data and graphs. There you'll find a very different story." To read his analysis click here.


A Lady has Her Say, the Shortage of Professional Graduates Continues, and the Treasurer Agonises over the Aged.    (12/04/05)

    Funny thing, three apparently unrelated news items ought to get a message across to the governed and those who govern. [More]


The Canberra Times' Rosslyn Beeby Writes an Apologia for CSIRO.    (11/04/05) 

    A year after CSIRO's $20 million Food Futures flagship was launched in Canberra one of its scientific team has achieved a world-first breakthrough using gene technology to breed plants that produce omega-3 oils. [More]


RMIT's New Vice-Chancellor States Her Views as to the Functionality of Australian Tertiary Education.    (09/04/05)

    The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has a new Vice-Chancellor for reasons not too dissimilar to private sector institutions that change chief executives. [More]


Technical Good News for Hubble -- But Will it Lead to a Reprieve?    (08/04/05)

    Science reports "NASA engineers say that they can run Hubble on two gyroscopes to extend its life and extra half year but... [More]


Hans Bethe -- Nobel Laureate, Mentor, Teacher.    (08/04/05)

    Freeman Dyson, the eighty-one year old physicist and mathematician at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, and one of Hans Bethe's graduate students recalls his mentor. [More]


Entries for the Australian Museum's Eureka Prizes Due in Five Weeks.    (07/04/05)

    The closing date for the acceptance of entries is Friday May 13, 2005. [More]


Macquarie University to Analyse the Disinterest in Science.    (07/04/05)

    The fact that science subjects have been given short shrift for over a decade in Australia and much of the "Western World" at the secondary and tertiary educational levels is hardly news. [More]


Could it Happen Here; Is It Beginning to Happen Here?    (05/04/05)

    "[R]egistered Republicans and self-proclaimed conservatives make up only a small minority of professors at elite [US] universities. But what should we conclude from that? " So opens Paul Krugman's most recent op-ed piece for The New York Times. [More]


Excerpts from a Speech Given by Dr Brendan Nelson at the Sustaining Prosperity Conference at the University of Melbourne Thursday 31 March 2005.    (01/04/05)

    "Education, science and training now, more than at any other time, are crucial to Australia’s future economic growth and social well-being. The links between sound public policy in these areas and strong and sustainable economic growth have never been more apparent – nor of greater importance." [More]