Previous Chief Scientists

The position of Australia’s Chief Scientist was first established in 1989 with the appointment of Ralph Slatyer by Prime Minister Bob Hawke representing the the Federal Labor Government.

The precursor of the position was known as the Chairman of the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC). This body was created by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and the Federal Liberal Government in 1982 as a ‘think tank’, on science and technology.

Prior to 1997, the council was known as the Prime Minister’s Science and Engineering Council (PMSEC). 

The full listing of Australia’s Chief Scientists to date is as follows:

  • Cathy Foley (2021-present)
  • Alan Finkel (2016-2020)
  • Ian Chubb (2011-2015)
  • Penny Sackett (2008-2011)
  • Jim Peacock (2006-2008)
  • Robin Batterham (1999-2005)
  • John Stocker (1996-1999)
  • Michael Pitman (1992-1996)
  • Ralph Slatyer (1989-1992)