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UA welcomes greater support for women in STEM- Election Statement

26 June 2016      |     Universities Australia welcomes the Coalition’s commitment to lift science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) literacy and encourage more women into these national future-proofing disciplines. The Coalition today announced $31.2 million for internships and post-school career advice to help support more women and girls to choose STEM careers. Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said helping women to find their path in a STEM career was vital to realising the potential of Australian students. “Quality career advice and internships will expose young people, particularly women, to the wonders of science and the possibilities that STEM … [Read more...]

A bloke with a scope

Amateur  astronomer discovers a galaxy far, far away  Canberra Times    |    6 January 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… As captain of the Australian strongman team, Michael Sidonio conquered the physical world, but his past achievements pale beside the astronomical find he helped uncover. With a paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Sidonio, a security controller at the ACT's Legislative Assembly, and his co-authors announced the existence of NGC 253-dw2, a new galaxy. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… One clear night, from his tiny observatory on the outskirts of Canberra, Sidonio captured what he thought was a beautiful photograph of a … [Read more...]

50 Future Fellowships announced

17 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Australian Research Council has announced grants of $38.6 million to support 50 Future Fellows at 17 universities.  The Future Fellowship scheme provides four-year fellowships to outstanding Australian mid-career researchers. The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers in Australia rather than head off overseas to advance their careers.  Details of the approved projects are HERE. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Future Fellowships 2015 funding outcomes—Snapshot by State and Organisation Administering Organisation Total number of projects Total … [Read more...]

Australian university research quality soars

Universities Australia    |    4 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The inaugural State of Australian University Research 2015–16: Volume 1 ERA National Report comprehensively details the quality of Australian university research benchmarked against world standards.  It identifies the excellence in research across a broad range of universities and the outstanding performances in areas of specialisation. Overall the quality of Australian university research continues to improve. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The report confirms Australia's university research performance is amongst the best in the world. In 2015, 89% of the assessed research areas in … [Read more...]

Innovating an “Ideas Boom”

7 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his much-anticipated Innovation Statement, saying he wanted to drive an "ideas boom".  The statement allocates almost $1.1 billion over the next four years to promote business-based research, development and innovation. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Key measures A key focus of the plan revolves around strengthening ties between the business community, universities and scientific institutions. A $200 million innovation fund will co-invest in businesses that develop technology from the CSIRO and Australian universities. CSIRO will also get an extra $20 million to help … [Read more...]

9 surprising Australian innovations that changed the world

5 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… This post on Science Alert by Fiona McDonald, celebrating Australian innovation, was sponsored by Universities Australia as part of its Keep it Clever campaign.  The campaign website includes an online petition. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… By now, most Australians know that our university researchers were behind the invention of the bionic ear, but more often than not, the world tends to focus more on our venomous snakes and spiders and overly muscular kangaroos than anything coming out of our labs. But the reality is that Australia puts out 3.9% of the world's research, with only 0.3% of the world's population, … [Read more...]

Go8 Newsletter June 2015

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Leap second

ABC News    |    21 May 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… On June 30 at 11:59.59pm (GMT), an extra second will be added so the Earth's rotational spin can catch up with the world's atomic clocks. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   But while the idea of an extra second in the day might seem small, computer security expert Dr Suelette Dreyfus warned the consequences could be significant. "The last time a leap second was added was on June 30, 2012 and that did cause some technical problems for popular websites like Reddit and Mozilla and LinkedIn," she said. "I understand that Qantas computer systems went down for a period of time partially because … [Read more...]

The beauty of John Nash’s mind

   1 June 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Mathematician Adam Spencer and science educator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explain why mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr, whose life was portrayed in the film A Beautiful Mind and who died in a car accident on May 23, 2015, was so revered by his peers. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… … [Read more...]

National Science and Research Priorities announced

26 May 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………   The Commonwealth government has announced new national Science and Research Priorities and corresponding Practical Research Challenges, designed “to increase investment in areas of immediate and critical importance to Australia and its place in the world.” …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The nine cross-disciplinary priorities are food, soil and water, transport, cybersecurity, energy, resources, advanced manufacturing, environmental change and health. The government notes that, like other countries, Australia’s capacity to support research is finite. With diverse investments in research across multiple agencies and … [Read more...]