Senator Kim Carr - Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research – has appointed Professor Penny Sackett as Australia's new Chief Scientist.
Sackett is the former director of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and a member of the International Astronomical Union, the Association for Women in Science, and the Australian and American Astronomical Societies.
She is also a director of the Giant Magellan Telescope project and helps govern the Gemini Observatroy and the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute.
The role of the Chief Scientist is to advise the Government on matters of scientific interest, foster relationships with science organisations and industry groups, and stimulate community thinking on important scientific issues.
The Rudd Government has elevated the position to a full-time role.
"Professor Sackett will have a vital role in raising awareness of emerging issues in science, engineering and innovation. She will encourage young Australians to see science as an exciting career option," Senator Carr said.
"Professor Sackett is an outstanding scientist. I congratulate her on her appointment and look forward to working with her.
"I would also like to acknowledge our outgoing Chief Scientist, Dr Jim Peacock, and thank him for his contribution over the past two and a half years," he said.
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