[ASC-media] New President for FASTS

Toss Gascoigne a102588 at pophost.anu.edu.au
Tue Oct 14 08:53:19 EST 2003

New President for FASTS
Professor Snow Barlow

Professor Snow Barlow today (Thursday) begins a two-year term as President
of FASTS, Australia's peak council of scientists and technologists.

He succeeds Professor Chris Fell.

Professor Barlow is a plant scientist at the University of Melbourne, where
he heads the School of Agriculture and Food Systems.

He says Australia has been able to maintain an enviable growth rate in
recent years, largely because micro-economic reforms carried out by
successive governments over the last 15 years.

"But there is not much room to make further gains through efficiencies.  We
have to look at different ways of maintaining growth.

"New growth will come from working smarter, not harder. It means fostering
innovation through increasing the national investment in science and
research, and making more intelligent use of our capital and labour force."

He said that one of his priorities as President of FASTS will be to change a
cultural attitude to science and technology, so that budget allocations in
this area are recognised as investment rather than expenditure.

Professor Barlow paid tribute to the work of his predecessor.

"Chris Fell has made a huge contribution to public life in Australia," he
said. "Chris played an energetic role on the Prime Minister's Science
Council, and on innumerable committees and reviews across Australia.

"Our scientists are deeply grateful for his efforts."

Professor Barlow said the work of successive Presidents of FASTS had built a
vibrant and energetic organization of 60,000 scientists and technologists.

Professor Barlow's own work is in one of the hot areas of science. He
investigates the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural crops,
particularly in Australia's important viticulture sector.

He spent his early years on the Darling River; and graduated from the
University of New England with honours in Rural Science, and blues in
cricket and rugby.

For interview:  Professor Snow Barlow ph (03) 5833 9255; 0407 251 574

For information:  Toss Gascoigne  ph (02) 6257 2891; 0408 704 442

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