News & Views Index
September 2006



Brendan Nelson Lends a "Helping Hand" to Julie Bishop and Gets a Public Slap on the Wrist for His Intervention.    (30/09/06)

    When the former Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, was moved to Defence to be replaced by Julie Bishop, there was a feeling abroad that he would probably perpetrate less damage to the nation. [More]


Australia or South Africa -- One Will be Home to Radio Astronomy's Square Kilometre Array.    (29/09/06)

    Four nations were in the running to site radio astronomy's Square Kilometre Array (SKA), Argentina, Australia, China and South Africa. Taking a month to visit the four proposed remote sites the search committee of seven has now eliminated Argentina and China. [More]


Another Who Can See Beyond the Fringe of the Carpet.    (27/09/06)

    In March last year Max Whitten former Chief of CSIRO's Division of Entomology wrote an open letter to the then Minister of Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, now Gavin Moodie makes a point. [More]


Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer and the Scare Mongers -- A Comment from Bernie Tuch.    (27/09/06)

    Professor Bernie Tuch heads the Diabetes Transplant Centre at the University of New South Wales. [More]


Science Community Partnership Supporting Education (SCORE) Backed by the UK Royal Society is Set Up.    (27/09/06)

    According to Britain's Royal Society, "The next generation of scientists could be lost if urgent, concerted action is not taken to address the major challenges facing science education". [More]


FASTS Gives an Update on the Evolution of the Research Quality Framework.    (26/09/06)

    Bradley Smith, Executive Director of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) reports. [More]


New York Times Columnist Takes US National Academy of Sciences to Task.    (26/09/06)

    Liberal New York Times op-ed columnist John Tierney had just about had enough of the mantra that there are no difference between men and women, so when the US National Academy of Sciences report Beyond Bias and Barriers lobbed onto his desk... [More]


Physics Professor Emeritus Harry Messel Has a Bit of a Rant.    (26/09/06)

    In 1952 at the age of 29, Harry Messel was appointed to the University of Sydney as Professor of Physics and head of the Department. Now he warns "Beware universities' quest for mediocrity". [More]


Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 -- The National Academies' National Research Council Report.    (25/09/06)

    The 352 page report's bottom line may be summed up "Children are capable of understanding more science than many educators give them credit for. But those same teachers may not know enough to help their students learn what they need to know to compete in a global economy." [More]


A Cautionary Note from Times Past on Scientific Censorship.    (21/09/06)

    Over the past couple weeks there have been several missives regarding the analysis of terrorism by Australian researchers. [More]


Canada's Higher Education and R&D Initiatives Await Its Conservative Government's Decisions.    (20/09/06)

    From 1997 to 2005 while Australia's federal coalition government were putting the feet of Australia's universities to the flames, Canada's Liberal government was following a mantra that its universities and research and development were an avenue to the nation's future prosperity. [More]


Travelling North -- The University of Queensland Seriously Populates its Queensland Brain Institute.    (20/09/06)

    David Williamson's 1979 play Travelling North concerns an aging couple who decide to move to Queensland to escape the bleak southern climate. [More]


The Scientific Research Schedule for NASA's Return to the Moon.    (20/09/06)

    ScienceNow reports on the recommendations the National Research Council (NRC) of the US National Academies makes as to what science NASA should do as it returns humans to the moon. [More]


The 25 MacArthur Fellows for 2006 Announced -- Terence Tao is One.    (19/09/06)

    Just four weeks ago Terry Tao was awarded the Fields Medal... [More]


Teaching Maths Merits a New York Times' Editorial.    (19/09/06)

    The third of four editorials in yesterday's The New York Times ran under the banner Teaching Math, Singapore Style. The paper decried the hodgepodge of maths curricula in the United Stated. [More]


The Monumental Governmental Inaction.    (18/09/06)

    The studied incompetence of the government to address the need for upping the capability of the nation's skilled workforce is a wonder to behold and it extends well beyond apprenticeship training. [More]


ARC Under Pressure With Regard to its Grants to Study the Causes of Terrorism.    (16/09/06)

    Following the accusations by University of Queensland terrorism researchers Carl Ungerer, and David Martin Jones that research in Australia is skewed towards the concept that Western policies are to blame, Australian Research Council, CEO, Peter Høj has vigorously defended the its funding practices. [More]


Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (Therapeutic Cloning) Some Facts.    (15/09/06)

    Over the past couple of weeks Australia's federal parliamentarians have had available to them through seminars the views of knowledgeable scientists. [More]


Future Fund Chairman, David Murray, Warns Federal Government Not to Reduce Spending on Research and Development.    (14/09/06)

    David Murray has come out strongly in favour of increased support for Australian research and development by both the public and private sectors. [More]


"I have asked BIHECC to investigate how to develop a stronger culture of philanthropy towards Australian universities."    (13/09/06)

    No not a statement put out by, say Richard Pratt, but a call to arms by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. [More]


Pick the Cartoon.    (08/09/06)

    The Union of Concerned Scientists has decided it's time to use the medium of cartooning to make a statement or two. [More]


Group of Eight Puts Out Guarded Statement Regarding "Universities Australia".    (07/09/06)

    Following the meeting this past Monday, the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee released a statement to which all present including three VCs from the Group of Eight universities as well as a representative of Melbourne University's vice-chancellor could agree. [More]


Stephen Hawking Advertises for a Graduate Assistant.    (07/09/06)

    Cambridge University's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Stephen Hawking, has put an advertisement on the university's website stating the salary and conditions for a graduate assistant. [More]


A View From Norway.    (06/09/06)

    David Peetz is professor of industrial relations at Griffith University. In his view corporations are not good things for universities to emulate. [More]


Whenever You're Depressed About the Government's Attitude Toward Australia's Universities, Spare a Thought for Iranian Academe.    (06/09/06)

    The New York Times' Nazila  Fathi reporting from Tehran writes that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  has "called today for a purge of liberal and secular professors from the country’s universities." [More]


Director of CSIRO's Climate Program Certain Australia's Drying Out While Former Head of CSIRO's Atmospheric Research Warns Business.    (06/09/06)

    The muzzling of CSIRO scientists took something of a hit earlier this week when Dr Bryson Bates, the director of the CSIRO's climate program said, "I think we're certainly seeing drying going on across southern Australia and the eastern seaboard at the moment." [More]


AVCC Acts to Begin Reformation Based on PhillipsKPA Report.    (05/09/06)

    It was the middle of last month that the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee received the final report they had commissioned from PhilipsKPA concerning the possible reorganisation of the AVCC. Now the first step in implementation. [More]


The Indonesian Island of Flores and its Early Inhabitants are in the News Again.    (04/09/06)

    The major gainsayers have now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [More]


Another View on the Governmental Quick Non-Fix for the Falling Academic Standards of New Teachers.    (04/09/06)

    Christopher Bantick in an opinion piece in The Age writes, "There can be few more divisive issues in teaching than paying teachers on merit. Merit pay is performance pay by another name..." [More]