AQ – Volume 86, Issue 3

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Glass Ceilings and Monastic Men: Keeping Women in Science

Approximately 30% of research scientists world-wide are female. Yet unpack this percentage and you find that at PhD level science in Australia, well over 50% of students are often female! But the higher up the chain you climb, the lower the rates of female participation become, often resulting in no women present in senior management roles. What is happening to stop women progressing to the heights of science leadership and what can be done to stop some of our country’s best minds from bumping against the glass ceilings of old?

Kate White, Carola Vinuesa, Veena Sahajwalla

 

State of the Nation: Earth, Sea and Sky

Western Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken, becomes the inaugural author of AQ’s new State of the Nation section. The new column will invite each of the country’s Chief Scientists to appraise the situation for science in their state; what are the strengths, what are the weaknesses and what opportunities are each of the states going to capitalise on? With Western Australia’s dominance in mining innovation, unique biodiversity assets and the world’s most exciting radio astronomy project coming to their shores, WA is looking towards a prosperous future of world-beating science.

Peter Klinken

 

To Create, not Cut: 15 Years of the Young Tall Poppy Awards

Fifteen years ago the Australian Institute of Policy and Science created the AIPS Young Tall Poppy Award – a unique science prize that recognised not only research excellence but also a scientist’s dedicated passion for science communication. These ‘Tall Poppies’ of Australian science are now annually recognised in every state and territory, and the award has grow to become one of the country’s most respected science accolades. AQ looks back at these fifteen years and the value of fostering Australia’s science young guns.

Camille Thomson and Pat Buckley

Ergonomics and Human Factors: More than Bums and Backs

This August, Melbourne will see an influx of about 1200 human factors and ergonomics specialists from around the world. The attraction is the Triennial International Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). Ergonomics is more than just bums, backs and funny kneeling chairs. It promotes an awareness of human-centred design that can, and should, infiltrate every aspect of our lives, from the human-computer interface to the cars that we drive. Yet why is the field of Ergonomics still so misunderstood?

Verna Blewett