News & Views Index
April 2006



Book: Thomas Barlow's Australian Miracle: an innovative nation revisited.    (30/04/06)

    In the first week of April 2002 the then Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, announced that he had appointed Dr Thomas Barlow as his science advisor. Dr Barlow stipulated he would remain in the position until the next election. Since then he has undertaken initiatives in the private sector including writing The Australian Miracle. [More]


UK's Best Science Departments Seduce Multinationals.    (29/04/06)

    Economists Laura Abramovsky, Rupert Harrison and Helen Simpson, at the London based Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) announced earlier this month that private sector research and development (R&D) labs in Britain are disproportionately clustered around highly rated university research departments. [More]


Chris Patten Calls for More Public Funding for UK Universities.    (28/04/06)

    Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), Chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle Universities, opened a debate in the House of Lords with, "The principal issue is that we simply don't spend enough on our universities. That was true under the government of which I was a small and insignificant part just as it is true today." [More]


University of Wisconsin Forum to Discuss Impact of Higher Education on Economy.    (25/04/06)

    A couple of days from now it might be interesting to be a fly on the wall at the University of Wisconsin's Pyle Center. [More]


The Science of Science Policy.    (21/04/06)

    It seems it all began with a set of remarks just a year ago by U.S. presidential science adviser John Marburger when he disclosed a dirty little secret. "We don't know nearly enough about the innovation process to measure the impact of past R&D investments, much less predict which areas of research will result in the largest payoff to society". [More]


US Congress Balks at India - US Nuclear Deal.    (21/04/06)

    Under the agreement India would open most of its nuclear facilities for international inspections, and in return, it will be able to buy nuclear power plants and fuel from the United States and other members of the suppliers' club. [More]


South Africa Addresses Need for Higher Education Reform.    (20/04/06)

    As part of the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGISA) higher education institutions plan to increase admissions to the sciences to meet the country's development needs. [More]


Canadian Scientist Gagged - Mayn't Publicly Discuss His Steamy Novel.    (20/04/06) [More]


Why Bother with Science Anyway.    (19/04/06)

    The causes of disinterest by secondary and tertiary students of science is engaging David Symington and Russell Tytler, of  Deakin University . [More]


An Indication of the Effects of Voluntary Student Unionism.    (19/04/06)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, yesterday announced the release of a discussion paper on the $80 million fund that will support solely university sport and recreational facilities during the transition to voluntary student unionism (VSU). [More]


Almost 100 Days in Office and She Ain't had a Glove Laid on 'Er.    (17/04/06)

    One of the pleasant consequences of following a Minister like Brendan Nelson as head of the Department of Education, Science and Training is that unless you're a dead ringer for Godzilla, your arrival will have been greeted with sighs of relief by those you're responsible for minding and perhaps even representing. [More]


Professor Michael Vitale, of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Attended the BIO 2006 Conference in Chicago.    (16/04/06)

    "[B]y any measure, biotechnology activity in Australia  trails Boston, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and [in the] US states of Maryland and New Jersey, in addition to many hubs outside the US." [More]


American Council of Education Launches Campaign to Bolster the Image of US Higher Education.    (14/04/06)

    "In a real sense, what this campaign is about is helping the American people understand that accessible, affordable, high-quality education is our key to our individual and national hopes and dreams." [More]


Canada's Universities' Repair Costs Mount Amid Governmental Disinterest.    (14/04/06)

    Nova Scotia, one of Canada's four Atlantic Provinces, is home to 11 of that nation's universities. Together the 11 are looking to the Canadian capitol, Ottawa, to create an infrastructure fund to significantly assist them in long overdue repair and renovation of their infrastructure -- now estimated to require some Can$500 (A$598) million. [More]


Australia's Proposed RQF Rates a Mention in Science.     (14/04/06)

    Elizabeth Finkel writing in the April 14 issue of Science contributes the short summary "Australia's Proposed U.K.-Style Merit Ranking Stirs Debate" on the proposed Research Quality Framework (RQF), notable for some of the quotes she has marshalled. [More]


Nature's Assessment of "Iran Takes Steps to Go Nuclear".    (14/04/06)

    In on April 13 the journal Nature gives its assessment of just what the announcement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that his country had successfully enriched uranium entails. [More]


Efficacy and Risks of CSIRO's Total Wellbeing Diet Continue to be Debated.    (13/04/06) [More]


The Innumerate Scientist of the 21st Century -- a Contradiction in Terms.    (12/04/06)

    The University of New England, in northern NSW, has handed redundancy notices to three of its top mathematicians. [More]


Overseas Philanthropies Support Israeli Academic Research:  Much Needed to Help Reverse Its Parlous State.    (11/04/06)

    The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday universities win major donations aimed at halting brain drain. [More]


Those Canadian Research Chairs -- Update.    (11/04/06)

    The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) was developed to be a key component in Canada’s strategy to join the world leaders in the knowledge-based economy of the twenty-first century. [More]


Revitalising Science, Technology and Maths Teaching -- a Faltering Step.    (11/04/06)

    Last week the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, announced the designation of $7.5 million to fund 99 new projects in the 7 year, $33 million Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) initiative. [More]


NASA and the Muzzling of James Hansen: the Next Episode.    (10/04/06)

    On 29 January, The New York Times reported complaints by James Hansen, director of US National Aeronautics and Space Agency's (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, of harassment. [More]


Julie Bishop Grants the ABC an Interview.    (10/04/06)

    Yesterday Barry Cassidy fronting the ABC's Insiders program ran a 12 minute interview with Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. [More]


Canadian Federal Agency Denies Funding to Science-Education Researcher.    (06/04/06)

    In part because It doubts the soundness of Darwinian Evolution. [More]


Why are 17 of the Top 20 Universities in the US? -- A University of Wisconsin Undergraduate's Assessment.    (05/04/06) [More]


The Age to the Minister for Education, Science and Training:    (03/04/06)

    What is your biggest challenge as education minister?

Julie Bishop replies: Ensuring the education sector - from primary and secondary to vocational and tertiary - provides opportunities for every Australian to become a well-rounded, physically and mentally healthy contributing member of our society and ensuring that the education sector keeps pace with the rapid changes occurring in our community and in our workplaces. [There isn't any more.]