Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Dr Alan Finkel AO appointed as Australia's next Chief Scientist

27 October 2015

Prime Minister

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

Leader of the House

The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP

Dr Alan Finkel AO has been appointed Australia's next Chief Scientist and will commence in the role in January 2016.

He succeeds Professor Ian Chubb AC who has served with distinction since May 2011. Professor Chubb's term concludes at the end of 2015.

Dr Finkel is a prominent engineer, respected neuroscientist, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist with a personal commitment to innovation and commercialisation. He is currently the Chancellor of Monash University and is President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). 

His experience in science and the commercial sector means he is uniquely qualified to act as one of the Government's key advisers on science and innovation, and on ways to translate our great scientific research into real, tangible outcomes for Australians and the economy.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said science and innovation are at the centre of the Government's agenda and key to Australia remaining a prosperous, first world economy with a generous social welfare safety net.

"The Australian Government recognises the importance of science, innovation and technology to our future prosperity and economic security as a nation in a rapidly expanding and diversifying global economy," the Prime Minister said.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP congratulated Dr Finkel, who was selected from a high calibre field following an international search.

"Dr Finkel is renowned for his outstanding research, industrial and entrepreneurial achievements in Australia and overseas, his leadership and service in the university and education sector, the academies and national science bodies, and his experience in providing high-quality expert advice to government." Mr Pyne said.
"His will be a vital role in shaping Australia's economic future and leading our national conversation on science, innovation and commercialisation across the research, industry and education sectors and with the wider community," he said.

The new Chief Scientist will provide independent high level advice to the government on science, innovation and commercialisation and lift the profile of Australian scientific endeavour domestically and internationally.

Dr Finkel said he was thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to framing Australia's participation in the agile 21st century.

"My personal experience across research, business and STEM education will guide my ability to formulate relevant advice," Dr Finkel said.
"We exist in competitive international environment and to compete effectively, business needs science, science needs business, and Australia needs both."

Mr Pyne also praised the current Chief Scientist for his landmark achievements in the role.

"Professor Ian Chubb has made an incredible contribution to science in Australia and we thank and commend him on his outstanding contribution as Australian Chief Scientist, but also as an eminent university administrator and academic over the course of his distinguished career," Mr Pyne said.

For more information, including Dr Finkel's biography and information about the role of the Chief Scientist visit the science website.