[ASC-media] FW: FASTS TOP 10 for 2004

David Denham fasts at anu.edu.au
Mon Jan 12 11:57:39 EST 2004


> ------ Forwarded Message
> From: David Denham <fasts at anu.edu.au>
> Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 11:51:02 +1100
> To: david denham <fasts at anu.edu.au>
> Subject: FASTS TOP 10 for 2004
> 

> FASTS 
> Science and Technology for the Social, Environmental and Economic Benefit of
> Australia
> 
> MEDIA RELEASE
>  
> Science like Œa gently pricked balloon¹
>  
> 12 January, 2004 
> 
> Science in Australia is still afloat, but only just.
> 
> Scientists today compared it to a pricked balloon, slowly losing height and
> being easily outstripped by the efforts of other countries.
> 
> While funding initiatives in Australia over the last few years have been
> welcome, they have not been enough to retain our position in the international
> race to forge a modern economy.
> 
> Professor Snow Barlow, President of the Federation of Australian Scientific
> and Technological Societies (FASTS), said that other countries were racing
> past Australia by increasing their funding for science and research.
> 
> ³Only a substantial injection of new funds can solve the problem,² he said.
> ³The Government has an ideal opportunity when it announces plans for a
> successor to Backing Australia¹s Ability.²
> 
> He said that Australia gets top marks for the ingenuity of its researchers,
> but ingenuity cannot match the new investment other nations are pouring into
> the field.
> 
> ³There seems to be a national failure in Australia to realise the urgency of
> the situation,² he said.  ³It¹s as though we have taken an extended holiday
> from reality.²
> 
> Professor Barlow pointed to plans of other countries to lift their research
> ability, with Europe, Japan, the USA and Canada all determined to make
> significant investment in their research and education base.
> 
> ³The European community has set a target for investment in research to reach 3
> per cent of GDP by 2010. We are currently investing about half that amount,
> and ultimately this is going to tell,² he said.  ²You can do things on the
> cheap for only so long.²
> 
> He said the increase of permanent departures from Australia of young and
> talented people was symptomatic of the lack of investment in science and
> research.
> 
> ³Permanent departures from Australia have increased by 146 per cent since the
> early nineties,² he said.
> 
> ³Not all these people are scientists, but scientists will be well-represented
> in the highly qualified young professionals fleeing overseas to find better
> pay, better facilities, more modern equipment and greater career
> opportunities.²
> 
> Professor Graeme Hugo¹s report on brain drain, released on December 18, showed
> that one in twenty three Australians lived overseas, nearly twice the rate of
> Americans living overseas.
> 
>  ³In the most part these are highly qualified young professionals, exactly the
> sort of people Australia needs to retain.
> 
> For interview and information:
> 
> Professor Snow Barlow, FASTS President        0407 251 574
> 
> Dr Ken Baldwin, Policy Committee Chairman: 02 6125 4702 (W) 6295 1562 (H)
> 
> Dr David Denham, FASTS office    02 6257 2891 (W) 02 6295 3014 (H)
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> FASTS Ten Top Issues for 2004
> 
> 
> 1. BRING ON "BACKING AUSTRALIA'S ABILITY II"
> 
> BAA was a first step to invest in Australian science. It's time to take the
> second step and increase our national investment to match the OECD average.
> 
> 
> 2. RETAIN OUR BRIGHT YOUNG RESEARCH SCIENTISTS
> 
> Recent science graduates have plenty of employment opportunities, but
> postdoctoral researchers have run into a career bottleneck.   The best ideas
> will flourish if BAA II creates attractive career opportunities in research
> and industry. 
> 
> 
> 3. PhD SCIENCE GRADUATES TO INVIGORATE INDUSTRY
> 
> BAA II should provide matching Government funds to employ new PhD graduates in
> industry for 2 years, to bring fresh scientific ideas for new methods and new
> products, and to forge science-based industry career paths.
> 
> 
> 4. ENCOURAGE INDUSTRY TO BE MORE INVENTIVE
> 
> Give increased tax breaks on a sliding scale to reward companies prepared to
> increase their investment in research, because enterprising and inventive
> companies grow and provide more jobs.
> 
> 
> 5. ATTRACT VENTURE CAPITAL INTO NEW INDUSTRIES
> 
> Venture capital is in short supply. Make it more attractive to invest in new
> ideas and new industries that have long term payoffs by lowering capital gains
> tax for long term investments.
> 
> 
> 6. NOW WE HAVE THE MAP, AUSTRALIA NEEDS A COMPASS
> 
> The National Mapping exercise has shown us where we are. We should create a
> plan for up to 10 years into the future that sets goals and national
> directions, including national action plans on limiting climate change and on
> sustainable energy strategies.
> 
> 
> 7. HECS BREAKS FOR SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS
> 
> Science and maths teachers are in short supply in Australia, but they pay
> higher HECS fees than other teachers and thus take home less pay.  Bring in
> HECS breaks for science graduates when they take on teacher employment.
> 
> 
> 8. COLLABORATION, NOT COMPETING SILOS
> 
> Destructive competition between separate research organizations for the
> funding dollar limits research outcomes.  Provide more collaborative funding
> incentives to build on the different strengths of universities and Government
> funded research agencies.
> 
> 
> 9. QUALITY SCIENCE GRADUATES
> 
> Quality science and technology graduates are vital to Australia's economic and
> environmental future. We need measures to ensure that the new Higher Education
> Funding arrangements help reverse the current decline in higher education
> science enrolments.
>  
> 
> 10. WE ARE NOW 20 MILLION AND GROWING
> 
> Australia is a fragile continent with an expanding population.  We need to
> develop a scientifically based population strategy that takes into account
> limits to growth determined by, for example, water resources and soil
> salinity.
> 
> 
> For interview and information:
> 
> Professor Snow Barlow, FASTS President        0407 251 574
> 
> Dr Ken Baldwin, Policy Committee Chairman: 02 6125 4702 (W) 6295 1562 (H)
> 
> Dr David Denham, FASTS office:   02 6257 2891 (W) 02 6295 3014 (H)
> 
> 
> 
> 


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