Sir Gustav Nossal
School of Thinking Science Panel and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Melbourne
COMMENT from The Conversation:
This is truly the most fantastic news. [Alan] Finkel is an extraordinary leader. He has proven himself in personal scientific research. He has succeeded in business in competitive fields. He has worked for the public good, most notably in his presidency of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
He has been unbelievably generous in philanthropy, supporting exciting causes. He has shown leadership in the university world. He is a scientific publisher of note. Beyond all this, he is a person of the highest intelligence, integrity and imagination.
It is difficult to think of anyone who would do this important job with greater distinction.
As an aside, Australia may be “getting two for the price of one”, as his wife, Elizabeth Finkel, is a distinguished science journalist and author.
This news has made my day, my week, my month and my year.
27 October 2015
Media release with the Prime Minister, Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.
Dr Alan Finkel AO has been appointed Australia’s next Chief Scientist and will commence in the role in January 2016.
He succeeds Professor Ian Chubb AC who has served with distinction since May 2011. Professor Chubb’s term concludes at the end of 2015.
Dr Finkel is a prominent engineer, respected neuroscientist, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist with a personal commitment to innovation and commercialisation.
He is currently the Chancellor of Monash University and is President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
His experience in science and the commercial sector means he is uniquely qualified to act as one of the Government’s key advisers on science and innovation, and on ways to translate our great scientific research into tangible outcomes for Australians and our economy.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said science and innovation are at the centre of the Government’s agenda and key to Australia remaining a prosperous, first world economy with a generous social welfare safety net.
“The Australian Government recognises the importance of science, innovation and technology to our future prosperity and economic security in an increasingly competitive and diverse global economy,” the Prime Minister said.
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP congratulated Dr Finkel, who was selected from a high calibre field following an international search.
“Dr Finkel is renowned for his outstanding research, industrial and entrepreneurial achievements in Australia and overseas, his leadership and service in the university and education sector, the academies and national science bodies, and his experience in providing highquality expert advice to government,”Mr Pyne said.
“His will be a vital role in shaping Australia’s economic future and leading our national conversation on science, innovation and commercialisation across the research, industry and education sectors and with the wider community,” he said.
The new Chief Scientist will provide independent advice to the government on science, innovation and commercialisation and lift the profile of Australian scientific endeavour domestically and internationally.
Dr Finkel said he was thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to framing Australia’s participation in the agile 21st century.
“My personal experience across research, business and STEM education will guide my ability to formulate relevant advice,” Dr Finkel said.
“We exist in a competitive international environment and to compete effectively, business needs science, science needs business, Australia needs both.”
Mr Pyne also praised the current Chief Scientist for his landmark achievements in the role.
“Professor Ian Chubb has made an incredible contribution to science in Australia and we thank and commend him on his outstanding contribution as Australian Chief Scientist and also as an eminent university administrator and academic over the course of his distinguished career,” Mr Pyne said.
For more information, including Dr Finkel’s biography and information about the role of the Chief Scientist visit science.gov.au