HSV Submissions – February 1993

High Priority Subjects for Research

The Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) invited HSV to submit for consideration high priority issues for research. We submitted:

  1. The optimal size of population in Australia — on the basis of sustainability and environmental aspects related to land use, forest resources, water, top soil degradation etc.
  2. Science Education — to impart the understanding and ability to cope with modern life. Early, positive introduction to this subject; improved teaching methods and standards; resolving gender problems in coeducational classes in science; the low participation of females in scientific studies; fostering critical examination of statements and scepticism towards dogma; fostering [an] ethical approach and the sense of social responsibility were are [sic: our] supporting comments.
  3. The Health of the Nation — Effective preventative measures for diseases of rising incidence; specific research into prevention of permanent disability; some practices of alternative medicine; a more holistic approach to disease; cost-effectiveness of such approaches were our main points.

Published: Victorian Humanist, May 1993: 3

Addendum: Feedback from ASTEC

The following is a summary of the recommendations on strategic research in Australia, Bridging the Gap.

As the humanities and social sciences have a strong ethical component and powerfully influence our view of the world and society, a stronger relationship with the natural sciences and technology would be of mutual benefit.

The report finds that teaching and research institutions do not encourage the necessary interaction between these fields of knowledge and gives eight detailed recommendations on ways of improving communication, achieving trans-disciplinary research, having input into government policies and developing programs of activity towards networking with learned societies and academies.

Published: Victorian Humanist, July 1991: 4

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