News & Views Index
September 2005



Kim Beazley Makes General Commitments Regarding Secondary Public Schools, Decries State of Universities But Little Else.    (30/09/05)

    Yesterday the leader of the Federal opposition, Labor's Kim Beazley addressed the Schooling for the 21st Century conference and told them that under a Labor Government senior high schools would have "first-rate facilities" and train an extra 4000 school-based apprentices. [More]


The Practicalities of CO2 Sequestration.    (30/09/05)

    During the period that Robin Batterham was Australia's part-time Chief Scientist he also server as part-time Chief Technologist for Rio Tinto. He championed the mechanism of geosequestration of CO2 and left little doubt that it was his method of choice. [More]


Outcomes-based Education Fails the Test Says Report Commission by Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson.    (29/09/05)

  Dr Kevin Donnelly, executive director of Education Strategies was commissioned by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, to assess, benchmark and report on Australian primary school curricula. The report begins with a damning appraisal of "outcomes-based education" (OBE) and that's where it ends. [More]


Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Area School District -- Parents Challenge the First Attempt to Add Intelligent Design (ID) to a Public School Curriculum.    (29/09/05)

    The legal challenge brought by 11 parents of the 3700-student school district in eastern Pennsylvania centres on "the school board's decision last fall to inform students that evolutionary theory has 'gaps/problems,' and encourage them to look into ID as a promising alternative." [More]


Dr Nelson's Vehicle to Drive for the Top -- Review and Conquer.    (26/09/05)

    It's a safe bet that when Brendan Nelson, the current Minister for Eduction, Science and Training, moves or is removed from the Department he will have instituted more reviews or quasi-reviews than any of his predecessors. [More]


Quoted from the September 22, 2005 Nature    (22/09/05)

    Number Crunch

96% of Americans say it is important to invest in medical research to provide a solid scientific base for health care.
73% of them do not know that the National Institutes of Health is the agency mainly responsible for funding medical research.
18% say they know a scientist personally.
J. Am. Med. Assoc.


Max Corden Reviews Developments in Higher Education Policy from Dawkins to Nelson in this Year's ANU Sir Leslie Melville Lecture.    (21/09/05)

    According to ANU's announcement of the fourth annual Melville lecture, Professor Max Corden left Australia in 1989, just as the ‘Dawkins Revolution’ hit the nation’s universities. The ‘Nelson Revolution’ was launched soon after his return in 2002. [More]


Outspoken Barnaby Joyce Swats Liberal Party Zealots Over Insistence on Voluntary Student Unionism.    (19/09/05)

    Queensland National Senator Barnaby Joyce has flung down the gauntlet to those in the Liberal Party that give the impression of wanting nothing less than total removal of the funding the universities obtain from the compulsory fees collected from students additional to course fees. [More]


National Strategic Principles for Higher Education -- Step Two.    (18/09/05)

    On 8 December 2004, shortly after Brendan Nelson was reappointed Minister for Education, Science and Training, he advised all Vice-Chancellors "that the Government is developing a set of National Strategic Principles to provide a framework for Australian Government decisions and investment in the teaching activities of the nation’s higher education institutions," and listed four specific dot points which would be subject to those principles. [More]


The Pulitzer Prize Winning Foreign Affairs Columnist for The New York Times Asks a Rhetorical Question.    (16/09/05) [More]


A Postdoc at the AMNH Makes an Evolutionary Point.    (16/09/05)

   Richard Pearson is a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History where he is associated with both the Department of Herpetology and the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. This week's Science publishes his short and pithy view of science teaching. [More]


Australian Universities Increasing Dependence on Fees from Overseas Students Leaves Them Open to Increasing Financial Instability.    (14/09/05)

    18% of Australian higher education students were from overseas. [More]


The "Roadmap" from Embryonic Stem Cell to Becoming Any Bodily Cell Type.    (14/09/05)

    While the moral and ethical debates continue to rage regarding the propriety of obtaining and using embryonic stem cells to produce cell types that could be used for therapeutic tissue and organ replacement, biologists have begun, and it is just a beginning, to determine just what happens to cause stem cells to transform into different adult cell types. [More]


First Fleet Artwork Collection from the Natural History Museum in London.    (12/09/05)

    Some 600 drawings and paintings of the landscape and natural history of Australia rendered by artists who landed with the First Fleet at Sydney Harbour in 1788 are now available online at the website of the Natural History Museum of London. [More]


The Expert Advisory Group to Brendan Nelson Publishes a Draft of its Preferred Model for a Research Quality Framework and Dr Nelson Sets a Cat Among the Academic Pigeons.    (11/09/05)

    The pace of motion with regard to the formulation of a Research Quality Framework has been stepped up over the past two months but how much action has been achieved is debatable. [More]


Debt Financing is the Name of the Game If You're in Charge of a Public University.    (09/09/05)

    A report issued by the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's this week -- Report Card: International Higher Education Sector -- examines the higher education markets in Australia, Canada, Japan the United Kingdom and the United States. [More]


And Now There Are 9 -- ARC's Committee to Scrutinise Quality or Something Like That.    (08/09/05)

    The Australian Research Council has had its board of Directors axed by the Minister for Education Science and Training, Brendan Nelson which, as of next year, will reduce the impedimenta for the minister in steering the ARC to the right and narrow. [More]


Academic Experts Say They Were All Too Aware of the Devastation That Would Claim New Orleans.    (07/09/05)  has published a report under the header After the flood -- Academic experts say they were all too aware of the devastation that would claim New Orleans and its surroundings in the wake of a fierce hurricane. Could they have done any more to convince politicians of the need to protect the city? [More]


DEST and DFAT Launch Education Without Borders: International Trade in Education.    (07/09/05)

    Dr Nelson emphasised that Asia is Australia’s most important regional market for education exports. This past June the ABC's Four Corners painted a critical picture of "the depths of today's university crisis. [More]


Philip Broadbridge Tells it Like It is, Mathematically Speaking.    (06/09/05)

    In 2001 Philip Broadbridge joined Australia's diaspora and accepted the post of head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware where he had responsibility for some forty academic staff. He has now returned to assume the directorship of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. [More]


Hurricane Katrina and the Vulnerability of New Orleans.    (03/09/05)

    The news websites of both Nature and Science are reporting on the aftermath following Hurricane Katrina. [More]


Does US President George W Bush Have a Science Advisor?    (03/09/05)

    Not according to the American Physical Society's man on the beat, Bob Park. [More]