Posted by: bluesyemre | April 17, 2013

The crowded chasm: the place of science in the Australian government

Julia Gillard


The lead-up to the last federal election was a time of unusually high drama for the Australian government. Just two months ahead of the poll, prime minister Kevin Rudd stood down after losing the support of his party, and was replaced by his deputy Julia Gillard. Bitter debate raged about the science and politics of climate change, with Rudd having retreated from a planned emissions trading scheme. And an ambitious public service reform agenda, driven by Rudd and the secretary of his department, Terry Moran, was parked while the focus shifted to campaigning and voting.

In this context, the Australian Academy of Science issued a science policy election statement in August 2010. Among its priorities was an emphasis on the importance of science in government policy. According to the academy:

“Relatively few Australian politicians or public service leaders have had formal training or background in science. This potentially compromises the proper consideration of scientific evidence as a normal part of administrative and planning practice.”


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