Newsletter Volume 31 Issue 4, Apr 2019
From The Editor
“What do former mandarins think about the Australian Public Service Review so far? Quite a lot, and not all of it is flattering. So, when a group of 21 mostly former department and agency heads produce a succinct, three-page response to the review panel’s interim report, it is worth paying close attention” The above quote is from a 24/4/2019 article in The Mandarin, by Verona Burgess, summarizing the Centre for Strategy and Governance (CSG) response to the APS Review Panel’s interim report. See below, The Centre for Strategy and Governance shares its views (succinctly and politely) on the APS Review
“The authors asked a group of 61 geoscientists to draw a picture of how they imagined science migrating through society and leading to policy decision making. Within the drawings, key elements where research was provided or needed for decision making were identified and labeled. The team assigned the key elements in each drawing specific codes for use in their statistical analysis.” This quote is from an April 15, 2019 ScienceDaily summary of research by the Geological Society of America. Using the above codes, the team “found five different ways scientists viewed their roles in science-policy decisions: a beacon informing decisions, a collaborator working alongside policymakers to co-produce knowledge, an educator enhancing the capacity of society in the classroom and media, an outcast whose efforts to inform are rejected, or an investigator whose research may or may not be used depending on how others interpret it.” See below, Leveraging scientists’ perceptions for successful interactions with policy makers.
“State governments may run schools, but federal decisions still make a big difference to the education of Australian children. Whoever the federal education minister after the May 18 election, he or she needs to put these three things first:
- fixing school funding
- establishing a national evidence institute to find out what works best in the classroom, and
reinforcing the government’s commitment to reform of initial teacher education” This quote is from an April 17, 2019, article in The Conversation, which notes that “This issue is not new, and it is being addressed. Since the 2014 Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) review, the Commonwealth has tightened the accreditation requirements for initial teacher education courses, and made a number of other sensible changes such as ensuring all would-be teachers have strong literacy and numeracy skills.” See below, Three things Australia’s next education minister must prioritise to improve schools.
All of the Sydney Universities now offer Blockchain as part of their courses and most of the attendees at the QESP Blockchain Workshop on 14th March were University students. A number of Sydney Blockchain Meetup groups are now welcoming new members. The groups range in size from a handful of member to thousands of members and there are Meetups taking place every month. The following are a few examples, any of which will provide links to other Meetup groups. See below, Sydney Blockchain Meetups.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“Wide understanding of the role of the APS as the impartial and ethical institution that advises the government of the day on its policies and programs, and implements those programs, is crucial to maintaining the trust of ministers, parliament and the Australian people.”
In particular, understanding how to best train geoscientists for policy interactions could be especially helpful to the next generation of researchers, says Kalafatis. “I find that my undergraduate students have been told their whole lives that the world is under threat from global environmental challenges,” he says. “They are hungry to learn practical ways that they might be able to contribute to addressing these challenges in ways both large and small in their professional lives.”.
“ It’s a lot to ask a Commonwealth education minister to get school funding right, strengthen the evidence base, and ensure initial teacher education is delivering the goods. They certainly can’t do it all on their own. But what the minister chooses to prioritise will affect the life outcomes of Australia’s schoolchildren, and the future economic prospects for the whole nation.”
“Researchers want to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from flooding the market. They have recently published a blockchain protocol that could do just that.”
“Hello friends, welcome to our latest Honest Government Ad. I was mid-way through writing an Aussie election episode when news broke of the US Government unsealing an indictment against Julian Assange. I wasn’t planning to make a video about this, but after seeing the sheer avalanche of bullshit that followed in the media, I just had to. Please make sure to read the Sources and Links I pasted in the video description. EDIT: Thanks to everyone who has translated the video! x Giordano”
The above message came from The Juice Media, introducing the 2 minute youtube satire which castigates the British, Australian, Ecuadorian and US Governments for their complicity in the arrest of Julian Assange. (Warning, this video is deliberately very foul-mouthed.) See Honest Government Ad | Julian Assange.
2019 Consensus Awards
Come and see the latest innovative technology at the 2019 Consensus Awards on the evening of Thursday 9th May. The ticket price includes two-course buffet dinner and drinks. The Awards Presentations are kindly hosted by PwC at their prestigious offices in Barangaroo, Sydney. Ticket price: $80. To book, go to https://www.trybooking.com/489732
Quote of the Day
“Instead of five hundred thousand average algebra teachers, we need one good algebra teacher. We need that teacher to create software, videotape themselves, answer questions, let your computer or the iPad teach algebra… The hallmark of any good technology is that it destroys jobs.” – Michael J. Say
Quote from Yesteryear
“Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes” – Edsger Dijkstra