Twinkle Finkel, science star  

Just when CMM was wondering if Karen Andrews had taken a vow of silence, the new Industry and Science minister  announced Alan Finkel’s term as chief scientist is extended to end 2020. Dr Finkel stood down as chancellor of Monash U to take the job in October ‘16.

This is a smart move. Dr Finkel’s respect for science is contagious in pandemic-proportion. He expands the national discussion of what new science can accomplish in his own addresses and through work undertaken and commissioned by his office. Dr Finkel not only talks about building STEM in schools, he has created a online product to do it. And he is the science communicator of the age – a Finkel speech is engaging and informative, erudite and amusing.

Granted he has had policy failures, not all aspects of his review of the national electricity market were huge hits with the government. The call in the three Fs (one being Finkel) review of the research and development tax for incentives to encourage industry and research agencies to work together did not get up. Overall however his voice is heard in the corridors of power and among policy opinion shapers.

Did CMM mention that this is a good move?


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