Australia appoints Chief Scientist

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Australia appoints Chief Scientist

Former ANU vice-chancellor fills vacated role.

Neuroscientist and former ANU vice-chancellor Ian Chubb has been appointed Australia’s new Chief Scientist following the resignation of Penny Sackett in February.

Chubb was expected to begin his three-year term on 23 May 2011, advising the Gillard Government on science and technology issues impacting Australia and the world.

Prior to his decade-long stint at the Australian National University, Chubb worked at Flinders University, Monash University and the University of Wollongong and held various positions on research councils.

Announcing Chubb’s appointment today, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the 2011 ACT Australian of the Year was an “outstanding leader” who ”understands that government needs frank and objective advice and communities need strong advocates”.

Chubb’s predecessor Penny Sackett was only halfway through her five-year term when she resigned for “personal and professional reasons”.

At the time, ABC reported that Sackett had briefed former prime minister Kevin Rudd only once during his tenure, and had never briefed Prime Minister Gillard.

Sackett was Australia’s sixth Chief Scientist since the role was created in 1989, and the first to be employed on a full-time basis.

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