Plibersek’s human touch for supporting science

Labor education and training shadow Tanya Plibersek positions research as service in an astute address to a tech conference today

Ms Plibersek plans to talk about the mission of engineers, developers and scientists, “to improve human life and society and to free people from the burdens weighing them down.”  She will point to past innovations in the ordinary that improved past lives, like the s bend in plumbing and the washing-machine and more exalted ones needed now, in green energy and a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I know that there’s been a lot of debate about technology and jobs. But the truth is, the best progress is about enhancing human capacity,” Ms Plibersek is expected to say, pitching Labor as a supporter of science, from funding UG teaching to building public confidence in research.

This is smart politics. Education Minister Dan Tehan speaks up for science as generating jobs and growing the economy. Ms Plibersek is creating space for Labor by making the case for research to do both these but also as a community good.