The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) is the pre-eminent science advisory body to government. Chaired by the Prime Minister and with a membership comprising of Ministers, the Chief Scientist and a select group of experts, PMSEIC provides advice to government on scientific and technological developments.
Revised PMSEIC arrangements
With the appointment of a new Chief Scientist in 2011, the Government considered how PMSEIC would function in the future. The new arrangements will keep PMSEIC relevant and able to maintain the best connection between scientific advice and policy. The Australian Government announced the revised arrangements on 20 January 2012.
New membership structure
The new structure will:
- make membership more streamlined.
- meetings will be more regular at three times a year.
- ensure that the work program includes short-term and long-term projects requiring disinterested scientific advice to government.
The new arrangements will ensure that the work program is more relevant to the needs of government, especially when considering longer-term policy outcomes.
The PMSEIC membership was revised in January 2012 to ensure it remains relevant and able to respond quickly. It includes:
- Prime Minister (chair)
- Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research (alternate chair)
- Minister for Industry and Innovation
- Other Ministers relevant to the meeting, at invitation of the Prime Minister
- Australia's Chief Scientist
- CEO of the Australian Research Council
- CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council
- Six individual standing members, chosen for their contributions to science and research:
- Dr Megan Clark
- Dr Cathy Foley
- Dr Ben Greene
- Professor Robert Saint
- Professor Fiona Stanley AC
- Professor Graeme Turner.
Learn more about PMSEIC membership.
The Chief Scientist will draw on expert advice to provide further scientific advice to government on an immediate or short-term policy response. The relevant Minister will assist in an advisory role. The Chief Scientist would normally report back to PMSEIC within the next meeting cycle.
The Chief Scientist will commission the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACoLA) to undertake in-depth, interdisciplinary research and produce a report on long-term issues requiring further research and advice. The relevant Minister will provide advice and the Chief Scientist will report back within 12 months.
ACoLA brings together the four Learned Academies:
Terms of reference
The Council's terms of reference are:
- To advise on important issues of science and technology, broadly defined, including issues related to Australia's economy, public good, education, future industries and employment, security, and sustainable development in a modern world
- To undertake a key fore sighting role, anticipating and reporting upon likely or emerging needs of, threats to, or opportunities for Australia and its people that may benefit from a response grounded in scientific evidence or technological innovation
- To assist in the evolution of Governmental research and innovation priorities by identifying any gaps that are uncovered in the fore sightingRemoved TOC and role
- To advise on the adequacy and effectiveness of Australia's resources and infrastructure for supporting science, technology and its innovative use for the benefit of Australia
- To enhance awareness in the community of the importance of science and technology to Australia's economic and social development.
Information from all past meetings of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council is available from the PMSEIC meeting page. Here you will find links to each meeting which include a meeting summary as well as links to related reports, associated presentations and media releases.
Edited versions of papers presented to PMSEIC meetings to date are available from the PMSEIC publications and papers page.
For further details about PMSEIC contact:
Office of the Chief Scientist
Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research
GPO Box 9839
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 6276 1232