Australia's Chief Scientist

Choosing our change

Download a copy of the second bulletin here (21kb).

27 August 2013

Much of the world is preparing for a future more dependent on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

There is anxiety about being left behind if strategic action is not taken. The development of STEM is not being left to chance.

Many of the countries we collaborate and compare ourselves with are taking urgent and planned actions to improve their skill and knowledge base in any or all of STEM.

Their aim is to develop their capacities in STEM to provide a strong knowledge base to secure a prosperous future for their citizens.
The various strategies are different, of course, but there are some broadly common themes, including:

• Plans to equip their education system to prepare the increasingly STEM-dependent workforce of tomorrow;

• Plans to ensure a steady flow of new ideas, and encouraging innovation;

• Plans to align research and innovation with areas of comparative advantage and national need;

• Plans to form international alliances to address shared priorities and challenges.

We could rest on our laurels only if the rest of the world was doing the same.  It is not.

The choice is ours: we can presume that because the past was OK and the present isn’t too bad, then the future will look after itself.  Or we can aspire to a future better than it would otherwise be and develop a strategy to achieve it.