Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb spoke about the need to engage the community in science, at the new South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), last week.
Monday, 26 May 2014
Professor Chubb identified science as vital to Australia’s future, and outlined a number of the challenges facing STEM professionals; including poor community recognition, an aging workforce and the decline in graduate numbers.
The recent Federal Budget was discussed, measuring cuts to federal science agencies against an apparent increase in research funding. While there are arguably good and bad elements in the budget, Professor Chubb made it clear that what is most important is investment in the people performing research and STEM.
Perhaps most notable were Professor Chubb’s comments around recognition, and how scientists can achieve power to be heard politically.
“The only way you get change from politics is if you get community support for it,” said Professor Chubb.
He called for a holistic strategy for investment in science which brings the community and scientists together, and urged scientists to become involved, because “the risk of not doing something is really great. We need to say this is too important”.
For South Australian medical scientists, these statements will sound familiar.
Building our professional voice, telling the stories of the importance of our work and engaging with the community are the very principles on which we are building the Medical Science Matters campaign. It was fantastic to hear similar sentiments from Professor Chubb.
Members have told us that without improved investment in medical science, South Australia is on a path leading towards higher health costs and poor patient outcomes. Medical scientists must join together for a stronger voice, for the good of our profession, and the good of our community.
SA Pathology review
Following an open market tender process, a review of SA Pathology is set to commence. Professional Scientists Australia understands that the purpose of this review is to ensure that state wide services are delivered efficiently and consistently across South Australia.
We will be actively involved during the review process to ensure that investment in skills, capability and the professional needs of our members is given consideration when discussing ‘efficiency’ and ‘consistency’.
Medical Science professionals are central to the provision of quality healthcare to the South Australian community, and we will ensure that members receive appropriate support and representation during the upcoming review.
Enterprise Bargaining – Negotiating your Employment Conditions
Negotiations have commenced with Public Sector Workforce Relations (the representatives for the Government during bargaining), and various representatives from across the public sector have put forward proposals to vary conditions of employment.
Professional Scientists Australia is now awaiting confirmation of a meeting with PSWR to discuss the issues specifically facing our Medical Scientist members, and how we may be able to address them through EB negotiations.
Members will receive updates on the negotiation process, and will have the opportunity to provide input and feedback. Now is the time to join Professional Scientists Australia to create a strong professional voice.