News & Views Index
December 2008



Full Funding for Competitive Research Grants a Rising Issue.    31/12/08

It has now been raised both by the Cutler Innovation, and Bradley Higher Education Reviews. [More]


Interest in Science and Maths Education Really Starts at School.    31/12/08

    University of Western Sydney vice-chancellor Janice Reid. [More]


Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard in Discussing Indigenous Education Mentions Micromanagement.    29/12/08

    The use of "accountability" and the approach to "data collection" can have a severe micro-managerial sting unless applied with discretion. [More]


An Australian Expat Comments on the UK's Research Assessment Exercise.    23/12/08

    Frankly, the way the RAE 2008 was done to me borders on the unbelievable. [More


TFW Hears from Hong Kong.    23/12/08

    The climate here for universities seems to have improved markedly in the last twelve months. [More] 


CSIRO's Dr Michael Raupach Assesses that 5% 2020 Goal.    20/12/08

    It would be enough to stabilise the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases with this stringent caveat... [More]


Analysis of US Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES).    20/12/08 [More]


AAAS Tips Harvard's John Holdren to Become US Presidential Science Advisor.    19/12/08

    John Marburger, George W Bush's science advisor, wasn't confirmed in his appointment some nine months after Mr Bush took office. [More]


Additional Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) to be Allocated for 2009.    19/12/08

    The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr has announced that the government will allocate an additional 1000 Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarships for 2009. [More]


RAE 2008 Published.    18/12/08

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) have been published. [More]


Inaugural Director of the Royal Institution of Australia Speaks Out.    18/12/08

    When Gavin Brown retired from the vice-chancellorship of The University of Sydney, he moved directly into the directorship of the Royal Institution of Australia (RI-AUS). [More]


The Bradley Review Sees Daylight. The Education Minister, Julia Gillard, Says She Will Respond By March.    17/12/08

The 304-page final report of the Review of Australian Higher Education chaired by Professor Denise Bradley was published this morning. Its bottom line: "Boost public funding of the sector by $5.75 billion over the next four years." [More]


The 2008 Nobel Lectures.    16/12/08

    Nobel Laureates are required to "give a public lecture on a subject connected with the work for which the prize has been awarded". [More]  


Australia to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Between 5 - 15% Below 2000 Levels by End 2020.    15/12/08

The federal government's white paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme which outlines an emissions trading scheme for Australia was released today. [More]


Royal Society Responds Frostily to EU Climate Change Agreement.    14/12/08

    In response to the December 12 announcement of an EU climate change agreement James Wilsdon, Director of the Royal Society Science Policy Centre released a somewhat caustic statement. [More]


Nobel Laureate US President-Elect Barack Obama's Choice to Head Department of Energy.    13/12/08

    Steven Chu currently is Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley as well as being director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). [More]


Canada's Perimeter Institute Aims High, Recession or No.    13/12/08

 Stephen Hawking reaches 67 next year and must then retire as Cambridge's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. [More]


Prime Minister Announces $4.7 Billion for Infrastructure to Boost the Economy -- Higher Education Gets Its Cut.    12/12/08

    In announcing his infrastructure support package the prime minister, Kevin Rudd has allocated $1.6 billion for education and research projects at universities and TAFE. [More]


Just Because You're Good At It Doesn't Mean You Gotta Like It.    12/12/08 [More]


10 Billion Rupees Per Annum for New Independent Agency to Promote Basic Research in India.    11/12/08

    Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh announced last week that his government intends to create an independent agency to promote basic research in science and engineering similar to the US' National Science Foundation. [More]


Promised Reformation of French Science Gains Momentum. 11/12/08

    In a meeting requiring police presence to keep protesting researchers at bay the Board of  CNRS put through its controversial set of reforms. [More].


Fourteen Non-Aligned Universities "Prologue" the Imminent Release of the Bradley Review of Higher Education.    09/12/08 [More]


Peter Pockley Writes to the ABC Regarding the Axing of Radio National Science Programming.    08/12/08

    The doyen of Australian Science writers, Dr Peter Pockley, has written an open letter to ABC managing director Mark Scott. [More]


Upsurge in US PhDs Mostly Due to Non-US Citizens.    05/12/08

    Data published in the Survey of Earned Doctorates by the U.S. National Science Foundation shows that in 2007 U.S. institutions awarded a 6.5% increase of PhDs compared to 2006. [More]


Science's Editor in Chief Optimistically Sees the US President-Elect as an Experimentalist.    05/12/08 [More]


Financial Downturn Hits Rockefeller University Hard.    04/12/08

    ScienceNow reported yesterday that the tanking of the financial sector in the United States has had a marked effect on the aspirations of one of the nation's most active biomedical research institutions. [More]


Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Innovation Reports on Building Australia's Research Capacity.    04/12/08

    The 10-member committee consisting of six Labor MPs and four Liberals brought down 38 wide-ranging recommendations. The report contains no supplementary report from the Liberal minority suggesting unanimous agreement. [More]


Policy Advice (unsolicited) From Three Experts for the US President Elect. (December 3, 2008)    03/12/08

    They have sent an open letter to US President Elect Barack Obama with a total of 13 overarching recommendations for immediate implementation. [More


Update on Math Matters.    02/12/08

    For this month's opinion piece TFW has reprinted a contribution by Peter Hall that's over 4 years old (April 12, 2004) -- Math Matters, and we asked: "Has there been much change for the better?" Professor Hall, the current president of the Australian Mathematical Society, has provided TFW with the following update. [More]

A Tale of Two US Presidents and Their Response to Scientific Policy Advice.    01/12/08

    Professor Penny Sackett ascended to the post of Australian Chief Scientist just under one month ago. [More]