POSTPONED INDEFINITELY Chief Scientists Panel Discussion

ACT Division

Event details

Friday 1 January 2021
Time and Place

The Shine Dome, 15 Gordon St, Acton, ACT.

We thank the Australian Academy of Science for allowing the Shine Dome to be used for this event.


Free to attend, but please advise Danny Llewellyn by email (danny.llewellyn@csiro.au) if you plan to attend, including the number of attendees. Numbers are limited, so an early response is recommended.


If this event is re-scheduled we will make an announcement on our website and via our social media channels.

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ATSE and the UWA Graduates Association ACT are pleased to invite you to attend a Panel Discussion with Australia’s current Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel and two former Chief Scientists, Professors Ian Chubb and Penny Sackett.

Each panelist will speak for 10-15 minutes about an issue that they see as crucial for Australia over the next decade. There will be followed by a question and answer session moderated by our CEO, Kylie Walker.

This is truly a unique opportunity to hear some of Australia’s foremost scientists talking about what they see as Australia’s key challenges for the next decade.

Alan Finkel - new bio
Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE FAA

Dr Finkel commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and for eight years as Chancellor of Monash University. As Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel was appointed in January 2020 as Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel for the CSIRO Report on Climate and Disaster Resilience. He also led the development of the 2019 National Hydrogen Strategy, the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the 2017 Review into the National Electricity Market (“Finkel Review”), and the 2018 STEM Industry Partnership Forum report. He serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

Photo of Ian Chubb
Professor Ian Chubb AC FTSE

Professor Chubb was Chief Scientist for Australia between 2011 and early 2016. Prior to that, he was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University for ten years to 2011 and Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University of South Australia for six years to 2001. He has been the Senior Deputy ViceChancellor at Monash University and The University of Wollongong. He was Chair of the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Council and Deputy Chair of the National Board of Employment Education and Training – both statutory appointments – between 1990 and 1994. In 1999 Professor Chubb was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and in 2006 a Companion (AC) in the order. He was the ACT’s Australian of the Year in 2011. He has six honorary doctorates from Australian universities.

Professor Penny D Sackett

Professor Sackett is a physicist, astronomer, and climate science communicator. As Chief Scientist for Australia (2008-2011), she spearheaded the introduction of long-term, cross-portfolio and cross-disciplinary foresight into the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. Trained in the United States, Sackett has held positions at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands, and the Australian National University. She is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council and a member of the ACT’s Renewable Energy Innovation Business Advisory Board. She currently holds an Honorary Professorship at the ANU Climate Change Institute, and is a private strategic advisor to government, business and NGOs.