"The beginning of my term coincided with one of the most momentous scientific breakthroughs in a century: the detection of gravitational waves... As I finish my term, the contribution of Australian scientists to that discovery has just been recognised in the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. As chair of the Prizes selection committee, this was a nice bookend for me. More importantly, it’s a reminder we are playing the long game."

Dr Finkel reflected on his term as Australia’s Chief Scientist in an article in the Conversation, published on Wednesday 9 December 2020.

"The hard-won gains made by women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are at risk, especially if employers of people with STEM skills do not closely monitor and mitigate the gender impact of their decisions."

On the release of the Australian 2020 STEM Workforce Report and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; Dr Finkel and Prof. Harvey-Smith, Women in STEM Ambassador; reflected on its unique impact on women in STEM.

Woman in laboratory facing away from the camera

" ...We saw good reason for confidence. The states and territories have boosted investments and readiness, and their handling of the pandemic is effective. What they need to know is that their neighbours are similarly prepared."

Dr Finkel published an editorial in the Herald Sun newspaper on Saturday 14 November 2020.
The full editorial is available below.

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

The science of climate change is not in doubt. Global warming is due to human activity, and must be arrested as a matter of urgency by reducing global emissions. But how do we reconcile a dramatic reduction in emissions with a prosperous economy?

forest

"As Australia’s Chief Scientist, I have long advocated the need for a common set of advice to school students about the importance of studying core subjects.

Mapping University Prerequisites in Australia front page of report

Australia's Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has responded to an open letter from a group of Australian climate scientists as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on 25 August 2020.

Alan Finkel

"We truly are at the dawn of a new industry that can contribute to jobs, export income, energy storage, and, vitally, global emissions reduction."

Following the delivery of the National Hydrogen Strategy in November, Dr Finkel shared his winding journey from hydrogen sceptic to hydrogen supporter.

"For the anxious, progress towards a hydrogen future is too slow. But look back a few decades from now and history will record the hydrogen industry as an overnight success."

Following the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy, Dr Finkel looks at the history and future of hydrogen as a fuel - from the realm of science fiction to the stuff of today's science fact. The full article is below, and was first published in The Conversation on 25 November 2019.

“Imagine a zero-emissions fuel that exists on Earth in abundance, can be easily extracted using basic chemistry and offers jobs and investment in Australia f

“Our focus has to shift from quantity to quality…we must abandon the assumption that a passive apprenticeship system wo