His final two reports, released today, reveal the advanced sciences underpin 26 per cent of Australia’s economic activity – supporting 1.2 million jobs and $84 billion in exports each year.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson paid tribute to Professor Chubb for the profound impact he has had as Australia’s national science and research ambassador.
“Professor Chubb’s engaging presence, formidable intellect and relentless enthusiasm has transfixed policy makers and mums and dads alike,” Ms Robinson said.
“The setting of national science and research priorities and international benchmarking of Australia’s science and research capability are just a sample of his many achievements.
Today’s reports reveal that without the advanced biological sciences, the burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia would be 35 and 40 per cent higher and our economy would be 5 per cent smaller.
At a time when Australia faces a growing burden of chronic, often preventable disease, the reports highlight the contribution of science to prevent illness – and not just treat it.
Spray-on skin, the Cochlear hearing device, and cervical cancer vaccines are some of Australia’s best known inventions. Yet the reports highlight that remarkable advances in biological sciences are being used in all sectors, not just health: developments in microbiology have helped create ‘self-healing’ concrete while other advances are being used to build a more resilient Great Barrier Reef.
The two reports underscore the importance of investing in science and research, and reaffirm the Government’s move to put science at the centre of the national agenda to drive future prosperity.
Australia’s universities are striving to produce the next breakthroughs and the next generation of scientists working to solve the nation’s most pressing challenges.
“As Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Chubb has been a phenomenally effective and tireless advocate for science,” Ms Robinson said.
“The national agenda on science and innovation is a testament to his bold vision, pursued with passion, insight, intellect and persistence.”
Universities Australia looks forward to working with Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s incoming Chief Scientist, as he steps into the role from Monday and starts work on his own ambitious agenda in the role.
The two reports on the economic contribution of advances in science can be found on the Chief Scientist’s website.