History

The Australian Institute of Policy & Science (AIPS) is an independent and not-for profit organisation. Established in 1932, the Institute has undertaken diverse activities to achieve its aims over its long history. For decades, the AIPS was a premier forum for engaged Australians to debate, explore and become more informed on issues of contemporary significance.

Many prominent and active Australian citizens have been¬† members of AIPS over the last decades, and many still are. A watershed in our history was then Chair of the Board, Jack Best AO’s decision in 1998 to launch the Tall Poppy Campaign to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Howard Florey, which eventually grew into a campaign to recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers.

Formerly known as the Australian Institute of Political Science, the organisation changed its name in 2006 to the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, to reflect its new vision and contribution.

Current activities which reflect our history include:

  • AQ – Australian Quarterly the Institute’s flagship publication first published in 1929 which is a thought leadership and reflective publication focusing on issues where today’s science has relevance to current political, economic, social and cultural issues vital to Australia and the world.
  • The Tall Poppy Campaign which promotes awareness and recognition of Australia’s outstanding intellectual achievers, especially in scientific endeavours, and to encourage younger generations to follow in their footsteps through undertaking further study and careers in the sciences. The Campaign incorporates the biennial Florey Medal, annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards, the Tall Poppies Reaching Students Program and other activities to promote public understanding of and engagement in science.
  • Public forums for discussion and debate on contemporary public policy issues, including the Post Budget Health Briefing; an annual event at which the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing briefs the health and medical policy sector following the announcement of the Federal Budget, alongside other policy related discussions.

In 2009 the Institute undertook a strategic review with extensive stakeholder consultation.  Many contributors to our review believed that over coming decades, critical and challenging public policy and regulatory issues as well as industry directions will require scientific input as well as engagement with the community and science and technology experts. They also identified a specific niche for the Institute in enhanced policy engagement while continuing our current activities to promote science excellence and to inspire the younger generation and the broader public through our Tall Poppy Campaign and associated activities which aim to enhance scientific literary and engagement .

As a result of this process, in September 2009 we adopted a new and ambitious set of strategic priorities for 2010 – 2013. To achieve our aspirations, we aim to form innovative partnerships.

Our key Values, which inform all our work, are:

  • Integrity
  • Inclusiveness
  • Innovation
  • Inspiration
  • Inquiry
  • Independence and impartiality