News & Views Index
June 2006




Two Caveats About the Production of Energy -- Choose Your Expert.    (29/06/06)

    Two news items. One from the journal Science.  One from ABC News Online. [More]


That CSIRO Review in Response to Accusations of the Gagging of its Scientists.    (29/06/06)

    On February 22 CSIRO's Chief Executive, Geoff Garrett, announced a review of the organisation's role in providing science input into policy development. [More]


Fred Hilmer Flies Solo as UNSW's Vice-chancellor.    (28/06/06)

    "It's about: Are we doing things that are of the highest value to us?" [More]


Voluntary Student Unionism Appears to Attain the Desired Goal.    (28/06/06)

    The indications are the desire of the Coalition Government's to reduce student activism to a minimum by outlawing compulsory student unionism is succeeding. [More]


67 National Science Academies Urge Parents and Teachers to Present the Facts About the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth.    (24/06/06)

    While the statement mentions neither Creationism nor Intelligent Design per se, it leaves no doubt to what it refers. [More]


While The Federal Parliament Continues to Agonise About Permitting Embryonic Stem Cell Research, the World Marches On.    (22/06/06)

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have succeeded in getting transplanted nerve cells to establish connections with other neurons to improve movement in paralysed rats. [More]


A Quick Glance at Private Donations to US Universities.    (22/06/06)

    It may be of interest to have a glance at some of the donations given to US universities both private and public from individuals - just for reference. [More]


The Case Against Governmental Micromanaged University Diversification.    (21/06/06)

    Vice-chancellor Ian O'Connor of Griffith University and Gavin Moodie, a higher education policy analyst at Griffith argue, "While diversity has considerable advantages when it develops organically, enforcing it by government regulation has big disadvantages." [More]



Ireland to Invest €3.8 billion (A$6.5 billion) on R&D at Universities and in Industry Between Now and 2013.    (21/06/06)

    And as if to demonstrate that not all advances are South of the border, the governing body at Queen's University, Belfast today backed a £259m (A$647m) investment plan. [More]


20 Nation's Investment in Tertiary Education, % of GDP.    (20/06/06)


  Click on the figure


New Report Claims European Universities Second Rate.    (19/06/06)

    A pamphlet published by the Centre for European Reform and launched on June 5 by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer states, "How can [Europe] hope to become 'the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world' - when most of its best universities are so clearly in the second division?". [More]


"John Howard leads the most ideologically combative government in the nation's history," Professor Robert Manne.    (17/06/06) [More]


Telling it Like it is.    (16/06/06)

    The Minister for Finance and Administration and Leader of the Government in the Senate, South Australian Nick Minchin. [More]


UK Higher Education Minister Publishes Proposals for Consultation to Replace Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) After 2008.    (15/06/06)

    While the Australian Research Quality Framework Directory Advisory Group continues its prolonged deliberations the UK Minister for Higher Education announced proposals for a new system to replace the Research Assessment Exercise. [More]


A Cautionary Note About Administrative Changes at Los Alamos.    (15/06/06)

    At the beginning of the month the US Los Alamos National Laboratory came under revamped management -- a consortium of the University of California together with three commercial companies. [More]


Discussions of the "Melbourne Model" and Reality.    (14/06/06)

    This past Saturday The Age published extensive contribution by David Rood and Adam Morton, "A new way of learning" describing the changes that Melbourne University Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis is working to implement beginning in 2008, the so-called "Melbourne Model". [More]


Ms Bishop Institutes a Review.    (13/06/06)

    For the Winter issue of the journal Looking Forward, published by South Australian Liberal MP Andrew Southcott, the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, contributes a five-pager "The Future of International Education will Challenge". [More]


While Australia Awaits the Government's Expert Committee's Findings Regarding the Use of Nuclear Power, Chris Somerville Considers "The Billion-Ton Biofuels Vision".    (12/06/06)

    "The only form of solar energy harvesting that can contribute substantially to transportation fuel needs at costs competitive with fossil fuel is that captured by photosynthesis and stored in biomass." [More]


Riddle Me This: If nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, then how can the universe have expanded by "inflation" to billions of light years across in the first tiny fraction of a second?    (12/06/06)  [More] 


Italy's New Minister for Universities and Research Speaks Out.    (09/06/06)

    Italy's newly elected Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, has named Fabio Mussi, an eminent member of the Democrats of the Left and senior vice-president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, as his Minister for the Universities and Research. [More]


Labor Puts a Toe into the Pond of Higher Education Policy.    (08/06/06)

    Stephanie Peatling has a short report in today's Sydney Morning Herald that the Australian Labor Party is in the throes of reformatting its higher education policy. [More]


A Wake-up Call for The ARC but Will Peter Høj and His Masters Listen.    (07/06/06)

    The wheels of the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop's Research quality Framework Development Advisory Group (RQFDAG), chaired by Chief Scientist, Jim Peacock, are grinding exceeding slow (it held its first meeting last week) trying to shape a worthwhile model for the RQF. [More]


Nelson's Red Tape is Fabric for Bishop's Mitre.    (07/06/06)

    The Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee commissioned PhillipsKPA to examine aspects of the effect of Brendan Nelson's 2003 higher education reforms. The resulting report, University Reporting Requirements. [More]


Australia's Current Account Deficit: Two  Economist's View.    (06/06/06)

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today reported a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of $13.999 billion in the March quarter from a downwardly revised $14.330 billion in the December quarter and below the median market forecast of $14.8 billion. [More]


The Fall and Fall of Secondary School Mathematics.    (06/06/06)

    The teaching of mathematics and the enabling sciences in Australia's secondary schools is in some respects rather like the weather: there's an awful lot talked about it and nothing done, well, not much, by our elected representatives. [More]


Can Mr Howard Fool Enough of the People, Enough of the Time.    (05/06/06)

    Right on cue Queensland's Premier Peter Beattie, didn't just fall into the trap he did an Asafa Powell breaking a PB to prance in.

He is reported by The Sydney Morning Herald saying the Queensland government would never jeopardise its successful coal industry and support the building of a nuclear power plant in the state. [More]


Minister Makes Full Report on Introducing Nuclear Power to Australia Available.    (04/06/06)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, today released the 267 page report by Professor John Gittus, Introducing Nuclear Power to Australia: an economic comparison. [More]