Australia's Chief Scientist

Dr Roslyn Prinsley announced as National Science & Mathematics Education & Industry Adviser

21 December 2012

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb has welcomed the appointment of Dr Roslyn Prinsley to the new position of National Science & Mathematics Education & Industry Adviser.

Working within the Office of the Chief Scientist, Dr Prinsley will develop and provide policy advice to government, reporting through the Chief Scientist.

Dr Prinsley is currently a Principal Strategic Consultant with Sinclair Knight Merz. Prior to this role, she held a number of senior positions at the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) and was manager of the Agricultural Sciences Program for the Commonwealth Science Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary General in the UK.

Dr Prinsley holds a Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Education (Science), a PhD in photosynthesis, and a Masters in Intellectual Property Law and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has published over 70 books and reports and also worked as a science and mathematics teacher early in her career.

The appointment is a key component of the Government’s package of measures announced in the May 2012 budget to help address the issue of emerging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skill shortages.

Dr Prinsley will champion the importance of STEM across both the education and industry sectors, a role Professor Chubb says is crucial to Australia’s future.

“Several reports released by my office last year highlighted how necessary this new role is,” Professor Chubb said.

“In particular, the Health of Australian Science report and the occasional paper – STEM Education and the Workplace – indicate that action is required if we are to secure a steady stream of people with the right set of skills in the right places at the right time.”

“Innovation is central to maintaining Australia’s productivity, economic growth and our standard of living. Dr Prinsley’s role is to provide leadership in delivering STEM education outcomes to support Australia’s future workforce requirements.’’

Dr Prinsley said she was excited about the appointment and was looking forward to beginning work in the new year.

“I like to have a job where there’s a challenge and where meeting that challenge will make a difference. In this case it’s true not just for the people of Australia but for the world,” Dr Prinsley said.

“The problem has been well defined – why isn’t Australia at the top of mathematics and science performance when we are among the richest and most privileged countries in the world?”

“In order to solve some of the world’s problems we need innovation. So we need to figure out why we’re not doing better and why we’re not getting more talented students taking mathematics and science in universities.”

“I don’t have the answers, but I plan on looking at what we’re already doing, what we need to do, and how to make it work to turn things around.”

Dr Prinsley will commence her role on February 12, 2013.

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