The role of Australia's Chief Scientist

Australia’s Chief Scientist provides authoritative and independent science advice on whole-of-Government science and technology priorities, to ensure the best evidence informs Government decision-making. The Chief Scientist works with the scientific community, research sector, government and industry, both in Australia and internationally, to provide this advice.

As Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Foley opens the front door for the Prime Minister and Ministers across Government to access a network of Australian and international science leaders through her membership of the chief scientists community.

Dr Foley is also focussing on improving the science and research system so that it:

  • Provides more equitable access to research funding, for example through examining alternative approaches to measuring research performance
  • Provides robust advice to inform policy development and decision making
  • Provides free or low cost access to research publications (‘open access’), which will provide greater opportunities for Australian researchers to access the best and latest science
  • Is better placed to translate research discoveries into commercialisation outcomes.

Australia’s Chief Scientist is the Executive Officer of the National Science Technology Council, chaired by the Prime Minister and co-chaired by the Minister for Science and Technology. The Council is the preeminent forum for providing scientific and technological advice for government policy and priorities, including through provision of Rapid Response Information Reports. 

Who does the Chief Scientist report to?

The Office of the Chief Scientist is hosted by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, however, the Chief Scientist and the Office of the Chief Scientist remain independent from government.

Australia's Chief Scientist | Priorities and Strategic Workplan

Australia's Chief Scientist Strategic Workplan