News & Views Index
February 2007



Critical Shortage of Statisticians Highlighted by the Incoming President of the Statistical Society of Australia.    (28/02/07)

    William Dunsmuir heads the statistics department at the University of New South Wales; today he adds his voice to the growing concern of the shortage of properly qualified mathematicians and statisticians in Australia and its effect on the Australian economy. [More


The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Is on the Prowl for Senior Staff.    (27/02/07)

    The Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich is head hunting senior staff at the University of California, Berkeley, considered by many to be the world's top public research university. [More]


Nine Views on the Anthropogenic Effect on Climate Change.    (26/02/07)

    Following the publication of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the journal Nature published a "Special Report" which consists of ten articles as well as nine short quotes. [More]


The Promise of the European Research Council Comes a Step Closer to Fulfillment.    (23/02/07)

    On the invitation of the Editor in Chief of  Science, Donald Kennedy, Helga Nowotny, then Chair of the European Research Advisory Board, provided the August 6, 2004 editorial "European Research Momentum". [More]


Can it Ever Happen Here?    (23/02/07)

    Outspoken Dutch molecular biologist, Ronald Plasterk has been named the Minister of Science, Education and Culture in the newly formed Netherlands government. [More]


Excavations on Flores to Recommence.    (23/02/07)

    The Indonesian authorities have granted permission for excavations to once again be undertaken at Liang Bua Cave. [More]


Q: When is a Diversion of Funds Not a Diversion.    A: When We Say It Isn't.    (22/02/07)

    Those CSIRO Flagships are in the frame again. [More]


Labor Promises to Reinvent the Government's Research Quality Framework Proposal,  If It Wins Government.    (21/02/07)

    Exchanges between Senator Carr and representatives first of the Australian Research Council and later from the Department of Education, Science and Training reveal just how under prepared Ms Bishop's department is to undertake what they propose. [More]


For the Second Time in Ten Days The Age Features Higher Education in Its Lead Editorial.    (20/02/07)

    The times they may just be a changin'. [More]


The Legacy of Foolishness of the Research Quality Framework Lives on in Memory of Sir Gareth Roberts.    (20/02/07)

    It's wonderful to behold, the workings of the government. The Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull, can't find an addition $8 million to eliminate vermin from Macquarie Island who are laying the place to waste at the expense of the indigenous fauna and flora, but his colleague in charge of Education, Science and Training can throw away over $87 million... [More]


Research Staff at the Australian Museum Shrinks 29% Since June 2004; is expected to Suffer a Further 9% Decline by December 2007.    (20/02/07) [More]


And the Infants Shall Lead Us, or How Puerile Can You Get?    (20/02/07)

    Commonwealth offers to pay half of the $16.5 million program to eradicate rabbits and rats on Macquarie Island, Tasmania says not enough. Rats and rabbits remain happy little Vegemites. [More]


Did Anyone Mention Improving the Numbers of Properly Qualified Maths and Science Teachers.    (19/02/07)

    You might think that with the Labor Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, facing an election on March 24, and the Prime Minister John Howard to call an election for no later than the fourth quarter of 2007 when they came to find some extra funding for public education, the lack of qualified teaches for mathematics and the enabling sciences might be taken into serious consideration. [More]


Google Founder Tells AAAS Scientists They Need to Market Better.    (19/02/07)

    At this year's annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) being held in San Francisco, the Co-founder with Sergey Brin of the eight-year-old search engine giant Google, Larry Page, gave an hour-long plenary lecture on Friday. [More]


Times Higher Education Rankings Called into Question by Melbourne University Academic.    (19/02/07)

    At a symposium of international university rankings experts in Brisbane on February 12 a paper presented by Melbourne University Professor of Higher Education Simon Marginson questioned the validity of the system being employed to compile The Times Higher Education rankings. [More]


Introduction of a New Currency Unit The Rumsfeld.    (18/02/07)

    During this week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Eli Kintisch on 17 February posted the following item on Science's Blogsite. [More]


CSIRO, the  CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development and the "Thought Police".    (16/02/07)

    Senate Estimates come around three times a year. Two of the matters the came under consideration were the suppression of the expression of views by CSIRO scientists (gagging) and of publications where part of the funding for research projects comes from the private sector and part from the government. [More]


Australia's Federation Fellowships Are in the News Again.    (14/02/07)

    Australia's Federation Fellowships were established under the Australian Government's 2001 Backing Australia's Ability. Currently the ARC is reviewing the five-year-old program through an independent committee. To date the committee has received something over 90 submissions. [More]


New AAAS President David Baltimore Has a Few Points to Make.    (12/02/07)

    At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to be held in San Francisco February 15-19 this year David Baltimore will be installed as president. [More]


Drew Gilpin Faust Unanimously Confirmed as Harvard's First Woman President.    (12/02/07)

    Harvard's Lincoln Professor of History, Drew Gilpin Faust, was unanimously confirmed as the university's first woman president Sunday afternoon. [More]


Minister for The Environment and Water Resources, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Meet US Congressman Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California.    (12/02/07) [More]


President George W Bush Sends His FY 2008 Budget Request to Congress -- Maths, Physics & Chemistry Get a Boost.    (11/02/07)

    The short of it is that President Bush has asked Congress to increase overall FY 2008 funding for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology core research program by 7.2% over his request of a year ago. [More]


A Stinging Editorial Rebuke from The Age on the Coalition's Decimation of Academic Mathematics.    (10/02/07)

    It's been a long time in coming but just maybe... [More]


"Incomprehensible Sludge" Teaching of English has been Allowed to Drift into a "Relativist Wasteland" -- Verdict of Literary Critic Prime Minister John Howard.    (09/02/07) [More]


Australian Museum Announces Opening for Entries and Nominations for the 2007 Eureka Prizes.    (09/02/07)

The opening of Entries and nominations for the Australian Museum's 2007 Eureka Prizes has been announced. [More]


Science Publishes Special Issue on "Sustainability and Energy".    (09/02/07)

    While Australia's newly anointed Minister for The Environment and Water Resources, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, excels himself in hyperbolic comedy at the dispatch box, the journal Science has devoted much of its February 9th issue to the matter of "Sustainability and Energy". [More]


A Forum in Support of Maths - Who's Coming Who's Not.    (06/02/07)

    A one day "forum", An Investment In Australia's Future: Why the mathematical sciences matter is to be held on Thursday (Feb. 7). [More]


Mr Thomas Friedman Pays a Visit to Professor Vladimir Mau.    (05/02/07)

    New York Times  peripatetic Op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman was in Moscow the other day and happened to drop in on Vladimir Mau, president of Russia’s Academy of National Economy. [More]


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Election.    (05/02/07)

    When the Australian Liberal Prime Minister for over ten years, John Howard, uttered the phrase Carbon Tax and called those Labor state premiers to a water summit you begin to believe the Labor federal opposition, Kevin Rudd, has got Mr Howard just a tad twitchy. [More]


National Standards and National Assessments of Student Achievement in Science and Maths and National Certification for Teachers in Those Fields.     (02/02/07)

    A call to arms by Australia's Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop?  No, it's a panel reporting to the policymaking body that oversees the National Science Foundation... [More]


Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, Has Called for India's Scientists to Raise Their Game in Return for Increased Funding -- Here is a Proposed 5-point Plan.    (01/02/07)

    Plant geneticist U. C. Lavania in response to the call for a turn around of the decline in Indian science notes the main problems that need to be rectified. Certain of his points have validity for the problems facing Australian science. [More]