News & Views Index
July 2006



One Scots' Opinion on "Why Taxpayers Must Fund Higher Education".    (31/07/06)  [More]


While the Federal Government Dithers, Human Stem Cell Research Gathers Momentum Even in the US.    (28/07/06)

    According to Science, rather than being despondent over President Bush's veto, many US stem cell advocates are feeling pumped up. [More]


A Salutary Observation for Researchers at Australian Publicly Funded Research Agencies?    (27/07/06)

     Perhaps apropos is a recent finding by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States regarding the staff of the US Food and Drug Administration. [More]


Labor's Revised Higher Education Policy Remains a Costed Free Zone, But is it Probable That the Sector Would be Worse off Than Under Australia's Current Regime?    (22/07/06)

    The federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, seemed to fly out of her nest like an angered hornet. [More]


UK's University and College Union (UCU) Urges all Academics to Voice Their Views Regarding Research Funding Assessment.    (21/07/06)

    The UCL while adamantly in favour of change is fearful of hasty and ill-considered implementation and is calling for a fundamental review of research funding. [More]


Scientists Need Nurturing Beyond the Schoolroom.    (21/07/06)

    A letter to the editor of The Sydney Morning Herald from Eugenie Lumbers. [More]


Saving the Soul of the US' Public Research Universities.    (20/07/06)

    Joseph Burke is director of the Higher Education Program at the Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York. In an article published in Inside Higher Education he asks, "Can public research universities pursue both public purpose and peer prestige? [More]


Science and Technology Deficit. A Decade of Neglect Gets Deserved Recognition. But Will Anything Useful be Done?    (20/07/06)

    In March last year the then Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson issued "Australian Government, Audit of Science, Engineering and Technology Skills, DRAFT Discussion Paper. [More]


No More Ms Nice Guy -- Spare the Rod and Spoil the School.    (18/07/06)

    As a blind guess it looks like Prime Minister Howard has got the word to the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, that she's too soft on the recalcitrant universities. And someone mention Wellesley College. [More]


Stanford's President Offers Advice to Would-be Great Universities.    (17/07/06)

    John Hennessy Bachelor of electrical engineering, Ph.D. in computer science assumed the presidency of Stanford University in 2000. [More]


The "Melbourne Model" in Outline.    (17/07/06)

    A concise outline of the the current state of the redesign of the University of Melbourne's curricula known as the "Melbourne Model". [More]


Ms Bishop Drops in on the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia's Annual Conference.    (15/07/06)

    She exhorts the the universities to go forth and diversity and warns them that the RQF is coming even though its form remains an enigma. [More]


German Chancellor Angela Merkel Writes an Editorial for Science.    (15/07/06)

    Angela Merkel assumed the Chancellorship of Germany on November 22, 2005 heading a "Grand Coalition". Dr Merkel (52) is a graduate of the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978. She then worked and studied at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1990. [More]


The 800 Pound Scientific Gorilla May be Beginning to Rouse Itself.    (14/07/06)

    Jeffrey Mervis, Erik Stokstad, and Eli Kintisch from ScienceNow report that a panel of the powerful US Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended that research in the physical sciences, space, and  oceanographic research get hefty increases in funding. [More]


From US Secretary of the Treasury to Harvard President to...    (14/07/06) [More]


CSIRO Publishes Revised but Still Ambiguous Policy on Public Comment by Staff.    (14/07/06)

    CSIRO, following it's internal review, which Chief Executive Geoff Garrett requested because of "significant concerns alleging that CSIRO was gagging its scientists, and that the previous policy lacked clarity," has released a a rewritten version. [More]


What to Do For and With Australia's University Sector: One Vice-Chancellor's Viewpoint.    (12/07/06)

    Peter Coaldrake is vice-chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology and in an opinion piece in today's Australian Higher Education Section he has some cogent points to make regarding governmental policy as it impacts on Australia's universities. [More]


The Head of Treasury, Ken Henry Opines on the Current Account Deficit and Foreign Debt.    (12/07/06)

    It's one of those matters that seems to be cropping up with increasing frequency -- Australia has one of the largest current account deficits in the developed world, over 6% of its GDP, i.e. US$42 billion. [More]


Ethanol from Maize and Biodiesel from Soybeans are Not Viable -- PNAS, USA.    (12/07/06)

    A paper in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes while the production of ethanol from maize or biodiesel from soybeans is energetically "cost effective" it is unsound. [More]


Labor's Beazley Refers to the Gestation of Labor's "Innovation Blueprint".    (10/07/06)

    The leader of the Federal Labor Party, Kim Beasley, in an address in Brisbane today told his audience of innovators and entrepreneurs at Brisbane Technology Park he was considering a number of options regarding how Labor intends to support development and innovation by replacing the existing 125% tax break for R&D. [More]


Brain Drain Across the Tasman.    (10/07/06)

     Patrick Crewdson in yesterday's New Zealand Herald chattily reports on some of the 1,000 or so Kiwis who annually enter US colleges and universities but finishes asking rhetorically, "Do these bright graduates come back to New Zealand?" and replies,  "In many cases not." [More] 


When More Equals Less.    (08/07/06)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, continues to espouse the reduction of the number of all purpose universities and proclaims that "...universities have particular strengths that they should play to." [More]


Maxine McKew Asks Good Questions and Gets Mostly Non-Answers.    (07/07/06)

    Last night the redoubtable Maxine McKew fronting the ABC's Lateline program interrogated Melbourne University Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis and Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop with regard to the issues now facing the higher education sector. [More]


Is Chocolate Power the Answer?    (07/07/06)

    While former Telstra boss nuclear physicist Ziggy Switkowski and his panel are sweating on the rights and wrongs of nuclear power for Australia, they might take a sideways glance at... [More]


The Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 in the Oceans.    (06/07/06)

    A new report from a workshop sponsored by the NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey cautions, "The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean, changes the seawater chemistry and will significantly impact biological systems in the upper oceans." [More]


Group of Eight Suggests to DEST and the RQFDAG What is to be Done For and With Assessing Research Impact.    (05/07/06)

    On June 16 the Branch Manager, Research Systems Branch, Innovation and Research Systems Group, Department of Education, Science and Training sought input from the Group of Eight on the development of a methodology for assessing research impact as part of the proposed Research Quality Framework (RQF). [More]


US Science Teaching Gains the Attention of The New York Times.    (04/07/06)

    In an editorial published July 3 titled "How to Educate Young Scientists" The New York Times opens with, "The United States could easily fall from its privileged perch in the global economy unless it does something about the horrendous state of science education at both the public school and university levels." [More]


Draft Report on the State of Higher Education in the US Made Public.    (02/07/06)

    The US Department of Education has made public a "very rough draft" of what is intended to become by the Bush administration the US' “national strategy” for higher education. [More]


Vatican Official in Charge of Family-Related Policy Calls for Excommunication for Stem Cell Researchers.    (01/07/06)

    Scientists who engage in stem cell research using human embryos should be subject to excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church, according to senior Vatican official Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo. [More]