News & Views Index
October 2006



An Interesting Juxtaposition Regarding the Stern Report on Climate Change. -- John Howard vs The Rest.    (31/10/06) [More]


Director of Monash University's Centre for Population and Urban Research Asks "Is Australia's prosperity delivering dividends in the education and training that the country needs?"    (30/10/06)

    Bob Birrell examines the factors affecting populating Australia's workforce through 2051. [More]


The Vice-Chancellors are Becoming Restless Not to Say Somewhat Stroppy.    (27/10/06)

    The fact that the Australian Federal Government's contribution to higher education has diminished to 41% down from about the 60% when John Howard's Coalition was elected to power should hardly come as a surprise. [More]


Reforms for Oxford's Governance Continue to Cause Controversy.    (24/10/06)

    Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor, John Hood, in a white paper he released a year ago confirmed that the council, which runs the university, would have a majority of outside members, including those with strong corporate interests. [More]


Most Successful Fundraising Australian Vice-Chancellor Says, "The sector is in a worrying condition".    (23/10/06)

    University of Queensland vice-chancellor John Hay has told The Australian, "The sector is in a worrying condition. It can't survive right now without the extra source of funding [and] some of those (markets) are fairly volatile populations. [More]


CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, 2nd Edition Launched by Minister.    (23/10/06)

    On Saturday the Minister for Education Science and Training, Julie Bishop, launched the 2nd edition of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Whether or not CSIRO is acting responsibly in now publishing its Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2 in the light of the criticisms levelled by Nature and others and the caution voiced by Professor Hill is a moot point. [More]


A Physicist Who Sits in the US House of Representatives Does a Question and Answer Session with Nature.    (20/10/06)

    Rush Holt (58) earned his BA in Physics from Carleton College in Minnesota and and obtained Masters and PhD degrees at New York University. [More]


The Confederation of British Industry Call for Science Degrees to be Free.    (20/10/06)

     The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the UK's Blair Labour Government to make science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) courses more attractive to undergraduates. [More]


The Lady Does Good Science and the Lady's Got Guts.    (20/10/06) [More]


The Headline Reads "Skills Gap Hurts Technology Boom..."    (19/10/06)

     On July 19, the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop in addressing the Sydney Institute referred to Australia suffering a likely short-fall of as much as 35% in its estimated requirement of 55,000 additional scientific professionals (just over 19,000 individuals) within six years. How to overcome the shortfall; is India the answer? [More]


Insight Economics Report Finds $1 Spent on Cooperative Research Centres Earns Australia $2.16.    (18/10/06)

    The Cooperate Research Centres program was established in 1990, toward the end of Bob Hawke's prime ministership "to improve the effectiveness of Australia's research and development effort". [More]


Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan Awarded the 2006 Prime Minister's Prize for Science and Gives a Memorable Acceptance Speech.    (17/10/06)

    In a ceremony last night at Parliament House ANU professor Mandyam Srinivasan received this year's Prime Minister's Science Prize of $300,000 for discoveries concerned with the working of the insect mind, and applying the newly discovered principles of navigation to revolutionary developments in robotics. [More]


Minister Tells Unis, "Stop whinging and please don't bother us, thank you."    (16/10/06)

    One thing about our Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, is certain... an Angela Merkel she ain't. [More]


Funding Decisions in the German Government’s Excellence Initiative for Research Universities Announced.    (15/10/06)

    In January 2004 TFW reported that German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had publicised proposals to set up a small number of elite universities similar to Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or Cambridge. [More]


So You'd Like to Go to Oxbridge.    (15/10/06)

    Maev Kennedy in The Guardian has some advice for those secondary school graduates who are Cambridge or Oxford graduate wannabes. [More]


Increased Investment by Business and Higher Education Leads to GERD of 1.76% of GDP.    (13/10/06)

    Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this week show national investment in research and development (R&D) reached a record $15.7 billion in 2004/5. Expressed as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), the investment in R&D has increased to 1.76%; from the 2000/01 figure of 1.51%. [More]


"Study Sounds Maths Alarm -- Mathematics is a Subject in Crisis."    (12/10/06)

     The Preparation of Mathematics Teachers in Australia, was conducted by Melbourne University's Centre for the Study of Higher Education and is based on a survey of 3500 teachers and heads of maths departments across 841 secondary schools. [More]


Poll Finds More than 80% of UK academics do not Support Government's Proposals for the Replacement of the RAE.    (12/10/06)

    While Australia's RQFDAG continues to suffer from cognitive diverticulitis, more than 80% of UK academics do not support its government's proposals for the future of research funding, according to a new poll from the University and College Union (UCU). [More]


The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2006 Awarded to Columbia University's Edmund Phelps.     (12/10/06)

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2006 "Nobel Prize for Economics" to Edmund Phelps "for his analysis of intertemporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy". [More]


Temptation for Australia's Stem Cell Research Scientists.    (12/10/06)

    Nature reports that the US state of California's A$4 billion initiative in stem cell research is moving closer to undertaking large scale work. As such it will become of increasing magnet to Australia's best in the field. [More]


The Proposed Research Quality Framework Garners a Substantial Brickbat From Michael Gallagher, Director of Policy, ANU, and Previously  First Assistant Secretary, Higher Education Division, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA).    (11/10/06)  [More]


Australian Research Council Funding for 2007 Discovery and Linkage Grants Announced.   

    The Australian Research Council (ARC) today awarded $365,069,342 in its grants for 2007. The 1,154 grants (24% of the 4,834 applications) were awarded for its two major schemes - Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects. [More]


Peevish Minister Berates Universities on Lack of Commitment to Good Governance.    (11/10/06)

    Yesterday at 4pm the 2006 National Conference for University Governance was officially opened by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. [More]


James Cook University Introduced a Remedial Maths Course to Overcome Deficiencies of Matriculates.    (10/10/06)

    niversity revealed yesterday it has joined Wollongong University and the Australian Defence Force Academy in conducting a maths exam of its own design on first-year science and engineering students. [More]


The Group of Eight Reproves the RQFDAG on Its Approach to Research Impact Assessment but Shies Away from Defining the RQF as the Sledge it Is.    (07/10/06)

    The following letter has been sent to the Department of Education, Science and Training's, Innovation and Research Systems Group by the Chair of the Group of Eight, Glyn Davis. [More]


CSIRO's Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes Win 2006 Mathematics Ig Nobel Prize.    (07/10/06)

    Postdoctoral fellow Piers Barnes at CSIRO's Division of Industrial Physics when approached by photographer Nic Svenson whinging about the difficulty she had taking group photographs in which none of the individuals was caught with eyes shut demonstrated the utility of mathematics. [More]


Just When You Thought All You Needed to Worry About Were Extremist Muslim Terrorists, the Education Minister has Found Reds in Bed With Our Sub-Tertiary Students.    (06/10/06)

    There's no doubt about it -- it's a disgrace -- there are subversives manipulating school curricula seducing our young -- and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, at the behest of Prime Minister, John Howard, is gonna demolish their germinating seeds root and branch, don't you worry about that. [More]


Minor French Presidential Hopefuls Talk Up Science, Major Contenders Go Missing.    (06/10/06)

    Seven of France's nine candidates vying for the French presidency -- the elections are due in April-May next year -- spent last weekend in Fleurance the small village of 700 kilometres south of Paris. [More]


BHP Billiton Makes Submissions to the Prime Minister's Nuclear Energy Inquiry and the Parliamentary Treaties Committee.    (05/10/06)

    While the submission it has made to the Parliamentary Treaties Committee was behind closed doors that to Prime Minister John Howard's nuclear inquiry is public. [More]


For Studies of the Molecular Basis of Eukaryotic Transcription of DNA to RNA Roger Kornberg is the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.    (05/10/06) [More]


Physics Nobel Prize Awarded for Demonstration of the Properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background.    (04/10/06)

    Through the use of NASA's COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite, John C. Mather and George F. Smoot discovered the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. [More]


Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology Goes to Discoveries in Mechanisms of Interference RNA.     (03/10/06)

    Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Andrew Fire of Stanford University have been awarded the A$1.9 million Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, ending speculation in the field of RNA interference (RNAi) about who would get the Guernsey. [More]