New Chief Scientist

29 September

Media Release from Senator the Hon Kim Carr

30 Sep 2008

PROFESSOR PENNY SACKETT AUSTRALIA'S NEW CHIEF SCIENTIST

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, today announced the appointment of Professor Penny Sackett as Australia’s new, full-time, Chief Scientist.

"Professor Sackett will provide high-level advice to Government, foster relationships with science organisations and industry groups and stimulate community thinking on the big scientific issues of our time.

"Boosting the role from part-time to full-time demonstrates the store the Rudd Government places in high-calibre, independent, scientific advice.

"Professor Sackett comes to the position with a long list of professional achievements and credibility in the innovation, science, engineering and technology communities."

Professor Sackett was Director of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories (2002 – 2007) and remains a Professor in the School.

She is a member of the Australian and American Astronomical Societies, the International Astronomical Union and the Association for Women in Science. She is an Elected International Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and is involved in governance of the Gemini Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. She is also currently a director of the Giant Magellan Telescope, a project to build the world's most powerful optical telescope.

"Professor Sackett will have a vital role in raising awareness of emerging issues in science, engineering and innovation. She will encourage young Australians to see science as an exciting career option," Senator Carr said.

"Professor Sackett is an outstanding scientist. I congratulate her on her appointment and look forward to working with her.

"I would also like to acknowledge our outgoing Chief Scientist, Dr Jim Peacock, and thank him for his contribution over the past two and a half years," he said.

Source: Office of Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research

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