News & Views Index
August 2007




National Survey of Research Commercialisation Report Released.    (31/08/07)

    The commercialisation of research undertaken by Australia’s universities and publicly funded institutions is the subject of a report released today by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. [More]


OECD Report Evaluates China's Path to Research, Development and Innovation.    (30/08/07)

    China needs a better return on its fast-rising investments in research and development (R&D) and higher education if it is to meet its goal of becoming an “innovation-oriented” economy by 2020. [More]


Nature Comments on the Changing Scene.    (30/08/07)

    A couple of facts to remember when communicating with those outside your field of immediate interest... and within. [More]


Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies Has Some Words of Caution Regarding the Implementation of the Federal Government's $6 Billion Higher Education Endowment Fund.    (28/08/07)

    Yesterday FASTS posted its submission to the Senate's Standing Committee on Employment, Workplace Relations and Education with regard to the federal government's $6 billion HEEF . [More]


RQF Described as "A Dinosaur" By ARC Australian Professorial Fellow.    (27/08/07)
    The government's Research Quality Framework (RQF), due for implementation as a basis for  funding next year, "distracts from the real business of doing original science". [More]


Those Controversial University Rankings Are Under Scrutiny Again.    (24/08/07)

    In this week's Science Martin Enserink has had a look at those university rankings and writes: "This year... presidents of more than 60 liberal arts colleges refused to participate in a key component of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. [More]


What's a Postdoc For?    (24/08/07)

    The US' National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have begun to place conditions on  principal investigators (PIs) when awarding research grants that they advance the prospects of their postdoctoral fellows. [More]


2007 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Announced Tuesday 21 August at the Award Dinner,  Australian Technology Park, Sydney.    (23/08/07) [More]


Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies Comments on Latest BERD Figures.    (23/08/07)

    FASTS has welcomed the latest set of figures released  by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which show Australian business expenditure on R&D (BERD) grew for the 7th year in a row. [More]


Maths and Stats at the University of Wollongong Boasts Rude Health.    (22/08/07)

   But between 1989 and 2005 mathematics enrolments across the nation fell 34%. [More]


Tim Colebatch, The Age's Economics Editor, Comments on Budget Surpluses and Infrastructure.    (21/08/07)

    "[A]fter all that spending, in 2005-06 the Commonwealth (including universities) ended up with an operating surplus of $19.3 billion." [More]


Australian American Leadership Dialogue Told by US IT Leader Australia Risks Being Left Far Behind International Competitors in Business, Education and the Arts.    (20/08/07)

    The keynote address at the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in Melbourne this weekend was given by Larry Smarr, Professor of Computer Science and Information Technologies at the University of California, San Diego. [More]


Frederick Sanger, OM, CH, GBE, FRS at 89.    (18/08/07)

    Fred Sanger turned 89 this week and Science gave him a quiet salute. [More]


Governmental Micromanagement and the $5bn Higher Education Endowment Fund.    (16/08/07)

    While the Future Fund's board of guardians would decide the maximum grant amount each year, an advisory board would assist the minister in handing out the money to universities. No prizes for working out who gets last say as to what's done with the money. [More]


Kohn Foundation Pledges £1million to the Royal Society to Fund Climate Change Studies.    (16/08/07)

    In 1991 Ralph Kohn set up the Kohn Foundation to support work in scientific and medical research, in innovation, the arts, education and humanitarian aid. [More]


Group of Eight Goes Public with Management Statistics.     (14/08/07)

    The Group of Eight recently announced that it has made publicly available and online what it terms its "Go8 Executive Dashboard". [More] 


Australia's Chief Scientist Sounds a Note of Caution.    (13/08/07)

    The nation's Chief Scientist, Jim Peacock recently spoke to The Age's Julia Proctor and pointed to several warning signs regarding the state of Australian science and science education. [More]


Oxford's Chairman of Admissions Comments on Australian Universities. (13/08/07)

    For this week's Newsweek International chairman of the admissions committee at Oxford University and president of Corpus Christi College, Sir Tim Lankester, had a few comments regarding how he saw our higher education sector. [More]


Gresham's Law is Alive and Insidious in University Financing.    (09/08/07)

    The revenue that comes with the influx of foreign students has brought only marginal benefits in long-term teaching and research capacity, and even that view may be overly optimistic. [More]


Final Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Published Today.    (09/08/07)

    The full 20-chapter report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including regional chapters, was released today. Chapter 11 deals specifically with Australia and New Zealand. [More]


After Three Years, Excavations on the Island of Flores are Again Being Undertaken.    (09/08/07) [More]


Oxford's Governance is in the Frame Once Again.    (08/08/07)

    It was just a matter of time before Oxford's congregation, the 3,770 members of the university's academic, library and administrative staff, and the powers that be were going to be at odds once again. [More]


ANU's Vice-Chancellor Looks a Gift Horse in the Mouth and Finds Serious Dental Decay.    (08/08/07)

    Ian Chubb, the Australian National University's straight talking vice-chancellor, has now stated publicly what his cohort of public university heads would only mutter privately. [More]


Germany's Ministry for Education and Research to Get 7.85% Rise for 2008.    (07/08/07)

    Physical chemist and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has brought down the 2008 budget calling for a funding increase of 7.85% for the Ministry for Education and Research. [More]


The Soon to be Disbanded UK House of Commons Education and Skills Committee* Reports on "The Future Sustainability of the Higher Education Sector: International Aspects".    (06/08/07)

    The report opens with: "The increased internationalisation of higher education potentially brings great benefits, both economic and otherwise, for the UK and its universities. In order to ensure that the UK continues to experience those benefits, there are a number of issues that need to be kept in mind." [More]


Sweden's Newly Appointed University Chancellor at the National Agency for Higher Education: "Sweden Has Too Many Universities".    (06/08/07) [More]


US Congress Passes COMPETES.    (04/08/07)

    The Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act is about to become law. [More]


US Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger Writes a Short Defence in Response to a Gentile Admonition.    (03/08/07)

    John Marburger, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President of the United States gave the Keynote Address to the 2007 AAAS Policy Forum at the beginning of May this year. [More]


Fight Over Indirect Research Costs Looming in US.    (03/08/07)

    Currently the US Department of Defense in awarding basic research grants to research universities allocates US$1.5 billion for overhead costs which amounts to between 45% - 55% in addition to the grant per se. [More]


Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Publishes its 2007 Top 500 Research Universities.    (02/08/07)

    Begun in 2003 the Institute of Higher Education's rankings of the world's research universities has become the de facto standard despite more recent entries from other sources. [More]


What It Takes to Elevate a Third Tier University System.    (01/08/07)

    "Whenever I’m asked... I advise parents of college-age children to not send their sons and daughters to private schools, but to send them to public institutions, at least if there are any good ones in their state." [More]