Senator Carr and his Ode to the Chief Scientist
As the coda to the launch of the National Research Workforce Strategy, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr recited the following in praise of the Office of the Chief Scientist and its soon to be incumbent. And yet he shall remain sequestered in DIISR safely away from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet but nevertheless -- provide advice of the highest calibre to the Prime Minister and the Australian Government [and be] a mentor to our scientists at home, and their ambassador overseas.
Appointment of new Chief Scientist
In this context, it is a fitting occasion to make another key announcement for the future of our research enterprise – the appointment of the next Chief Scientist for Australia.
The Labor Government attaches the utmost significance to this office, reflected in the heavy responsibilities it entails.
The Chief Scientist must provide advice of the highest calibre to the Prime Minister and the Australian Government.
They must promote rational and informed public debate on emerging issues in science and research.
They must be a mentor to our scientists at home, and their ambassador overseas.
They must coordinate efforts across governments, institutions and industries, based on a full understanding of the research and policy landscape.
We ask a great deal of the individual who shoulders those vital tasks.
We ask for a person of outstanding intellect, able to represent the full breadth of our research community.
We ask for the courage and commitment to speak truth to power.
We ask for the skills to negotiate the wilds of Canberra, the corridors of academe and the boardrooms of the corporate world.
We ask for the eloquence to inspire, and the wisdom to lead.
The Government has found those characteristics united in Professor Ian Chubb, and I am delighted to announce that he will take up the position of Chief Scientist in a few weeks time.
Professor Chubb needs no introduction to the friends of Australian research.
His recent retirement from the Vice-Chancellor’s post at ANU confirmed the respect he has built as a scientist, a senior academic leader and a public intellectual.
Politicians of all stripes, students and researchers at every level, bureaucrats and industry leaders joined to praise his lifetime of service to higher education.
It is a rare individual indeed who can achieve that level of consensus, in a sector well known for robust disagreement.
I congratulate Professor Chubb on his appointment, and I look forward to working with him to meet the challenges now before us.