Office of the Chief Scientist (Australia)

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The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is part of the Department of Industry and Science. Its primary responsibilities are to support the Chief Scientist and the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC).

Chief Scientist[edit]

The Chief Scientist is responsible for advising the Government of Australia on scientific and technological issues.

The Chief Scientist chairs the Research Quality Framework Development Advisory Group,[1] the National Research Priorities Standing Committee[2] and is a member of other key Government committees:[3]

Chief Scientists[edit]

Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council[edit]

The Office of the Chief Scientist provides secretariat services to the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC), announced by John Howard on 18 December 1997.[14]

Prior to 1997, the council was known as the Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council (PMSEC), and had 15 meetings from 6 October 1989 to 10 December 1997.[15] It was established by Ralph Slatyer, the first Chief Scientist.[5]

The Chief Scientist holds the position of Executive Officer to the PMSEIC.

Council Membership[edit]

As of 2011, the council membership was:

  • Prime Minister Hon Julia Gillard (Chair)
  • Deputy PM and Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan (Deputy Chair)
  • Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
  • Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
  • Minister for the Environment and Heritage
  • Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Minister for Health and Ageing
  • Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

Ex officio members[edit]

Members appointed in a personal capacity[edit]


The council usually holds two meetings held each year, facilitated and advised by the OCS. In 2003, the council only met once.[16] The OCS undertakes the establishment and support for the Council's ad hoc working groups.

The Council has in the past met to discuss:

Past members[edit]

Recipients of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science, previously known as The Australia Prize becomes a member of the Council for the following year.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Assessment Panel for Co-operative Multi-Media Centres". National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  6. ^ "Pitman, Michael George (1933–2000)". Bright Sparcs Biographical entry. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  7. ^ "Michael George Pitman 1933–2000". Australian Academy of Science Biographical memoirs. 2002. Archived from the original on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  8. ^ a b W.J. Peacock (4 June 2004). "Submission to the Inquiry into the Office of the Chief Scientist". Australian Academy of Science. Archived from the original (RTF) on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  9. ^ "CSIRO welcomes Chief Scientist". 22 November 1996. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Batterham, Robin John (1941 – )". Bright Sparcs Biographical entry. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  11. ^ Barlow, Karen (17 May 2005). "Australia's Chief Scientist gives up Govt position for mining giant". ABC AM program. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  12. ^ Percy, Karen (1 March 2006). "New chief scientist makes waves". The World Today. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  13. ^ "ANU astronomer named new chief scientist". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  14. ^ "The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council". Retrieved 2007-01-29. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council (PMSEC) 1989–1997". 20 May 1998. Retrieved 2007-02-02. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b Tom Noble (9 August 2003). "When seeing red is a measure of intelligence". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  17. ^ William Birnbauer (30 October 2005). "Nano could be a huge future health crisis". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  18. ^ Charlie Sherwin, director of the Victorian National Parks Association (2 January 2005). "Facing our dubious distinction in extinction". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  19. ^ Peter Ellingsen (4 December 2005). "Scandal of the elderly who go hungry". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  20. ^ Brendan Nicholson and Phil Dickie (14 December 2003). "Green for danger". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  21. ^ "PM asked to join fight against salinity". ABC. 15 December 1998. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  22. ^ "Australia slips back by degrees". The Age. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  23. ^ "Australia Prize gets new name". ABC. 24 November 1999. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  24. ^ "The passing of a hero". ABC. 8 February 2000. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  25. ^ Garry Barker (29 March 2002). "IT industry loses a fine strategist and friend". The Age. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 

External links[edit]