Science the key to State's economic future

Tuesday, 2 May 2000

Scientific research will play a key role in determining South Australia's economic future, Adelaide University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary O'Kane said today.

Welcoming the launch of National Science Week, Professor O'Kane said science and its related disciplines had played a crucial part in the State's development and would be even more significant in shaping its future.

"We need to encourage students, employers and the community at large to think more deeply about research and development," she said.

"Our future as a State will depend on the decisions we make today about investing in knowledge. We need to develop stronger linkages between government, business and the universities to ensure that higher education acts as a driver for economic and social development.

"As an engineer/scientist myself, I may be accused of bias, but we need only look at the development in South Australia of our high-tech defence industries, our leading edge wine industry, and our pioneering work in plant and medical biotechnology to see the value of science to our community.

"Adelaide University has a long and distinguished record of scientific achievement.

"Our two Nobel Prize winning graduates ­ Howard Florey and Lawrence Bragg - made lasting contributions to science and humanity and one of our more recent graduates, Dr Andy Thomas, has achieved distinction for his space mission research.

"Scientific endeavour takes place across many faculties of the University. This research - in the physical, chemical, earth, biological and agricultural sciences, in medicine, engineering and elsewhere - is expanding our knowledge of the world and helping to shape our futures. It is vital that it is supported by industry, government and the community at large."


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