Encourage Research Cooperation, Says Atse

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22nd July 2009, 10:58am - Views: 600





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The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

(ATSE)

ATSE is an independent body of 780 eminent Australian scientists and engineers which promotes

technology, science and engineering for a better Australia 

MEDIA RELEASE


22 July 2009


Encourage research cooperation, says ATSE


Scientific research in Australia needs a greater focus on cooperation across research

disciplines, according to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

(ATSE).


ATSE says that many of the major research questions of the future will require an

interdisciplinary approach, but the current research structures and funding do not always

accommodate this need.


The Australian Research Council’s ARC Centres of Excellence program should “overtly

encourage and reward” interdisciplinary research, ATSE says in its submission on the ARC

program, which it describes as “outstanding”.


ATSE also argues that the program should embrace research proposals with a “higher than

normal” element of risk, provided the risk is evaluated against potential reward and any

successful outcome for the research proposed will deliver significant benefits.


ATSE expresses a concern that the objective of the program to require Centres to

demonstrate ‘scale and focus’ may discriminate in favour of problem solving research and

against groups working on complementary enabling technologies (eg: nanoscience,

mathematics, etc) which might find a broad range of applications. The scale and focus

objective would also limit the spread of the program into many humanities and social science

areas. 


It argues that the calibre and reputation of the researchers involved in a proposed Centre of

Excellence is more important than the detail of their proposed research.


“Selecting and supporting centres that are able to attract and retain world-class researchers,

capable of executing whatever research priorities emerge” is most likely to achieve best

outcomes, says ATSE.


ATSE also suggests that “sustainable national benefit and enhanced reputation” will only be

achieved if early career researchers are included prominently in research teams.





Issued by

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

Melbourne

Contact

Bill Mackey, Communications Director



(03) 9864 0902 or 0418 923 370



bill.mackey@atse.org.au

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