National Science and Technology Council: Thirteenth Meeting

The thirteenth meeting of the National Science and Technology Council was convened in Canberra on 14 September 2022. The meeting was chaired by the Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science and Deputy Chair of the Council. Minister Husic noted the apologies of the Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP.

Minister Husic welcomed Council members and thanked them for their continued service. The Minister emphasised the importance of science, and his determination to embed science within government decision making. He highlighted the opportunities for the Council to contribute to achieving the Government’s policy priorities.

The Council’s Executive Officer, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, invited members to share insights from their respective fields of expertise. Council members discussed global and national challenges including semiconductor supply chains, building the STEM workforce, climate adaptation, protecting biodiversity, and responding to socio-technological change.

Minister Husic outlined the Government’s vision for science and technology. The Minister outlined the Government’s plan for renewing the National Science and Research Priorities and the National Science Statement, to ensure they reflect our modern society and provide vision for the Australian science system, and welcomed the Council’s input to this process. He highlighted the importance of science in driving economic prosperity to create space for new investments, and the role of science and technology in improving national well-being. The Council discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM, and welcomed the recently announced independent Diversity in STEM Review. The Minister welcomed advice from the Council in engaging with the science and research sector. Council members discussed the importance of communication, and articulating Australia’s strengths and successes.

Dr Foley led a discussion on the Council’s work plan. The Council noted support for the continued work on critical minerals, and a review of career pathways for the development of STEM skills.

Timing for the next Council meeting is to be confirmed.