A message from Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton and President of Professional Scientists Australia Katie Havelberg’s as the Coronavirus crisis continues to unfold…
As the Coronavirus emergency plays out and the short and longer-term impacts unfold, a number of things have become very clear.
What is most evident is the critical role scientific, technical and research expertise have played in ensuring an effective public health response to Covid-19.
Just as importantly, the need for credible sources of information and the effective communication of containment strategies to the public have become obvious.
That high-level medical advice can be contested and that this brings with it the potential to strengthen the robustness of advice has also become evident.
What has also never been clearer is the importance of strong investment in the science and R&D sector and medical research in particular, as well as in public health capability across the public sector at the federal and state levels.
Support for the effective translation of research discoveries into clinical trials has also been front-row-centre as researchers work towards a safe and effective vaccine.
Our indebtedness to STEM professionals is profound as scientists working in a range of fields aim to maintain high-quality services as they continue in their role or are redeployed to other areas of key need. The day-to-day risks to scientists on the front line such as medical scientists, medical physicists, pharmacists, veterinarians, computer scientists and many others – often in areas deemed essential services – are clear as they balance maintaining high-quality care and services with keeping themselves and their families safe. We are grateful for your diligence, compassion, commitment and courage.
As we are all involved in public health measures to contain the spread of the virus, we will also be involved in doing what’s required to assist economic recovery and allow the global community to regain its equilibrium as we rebuild capacity and productivity on the other side of the crisis. What the new normal will look like and what will be asked of us is as yet unknown but we do know that STEM professionals will be a vital part of the solution as the consequences of the various waves of the health and economic crises unfold.
Over the longer term, your ability to regroup and develop solutions to the global, national and local challenges we face will be fundamental to effective economic recovery.
Professional Scientists Australia will ensure your interests are protected as changes at the workplace level occur. We will help you maintain your momentum and agility as you face new ways of working, competing priorities, reactive modes of operation, reallocation or redeployment, contingent schedules and other frustrations and disruptions to your operating environment.
This is a responsibility we take just as seriously as you do your work as a scientist.
Chris Walton, Professionals Australia CEO & Katie Havelberg, President Professional Scientists Australia