To many Australian Mathematicians, the Australian Academy of Science may seem to be as remote and irrelevant as the far side of the moon. This article aims to dispel that impression.
The Academy has about 300 Fellows, from diverse areas, ranging from mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology, to biology and the many branches of medicine, most of whom are (or were) employed in Australian universities or C.S.I.R.O. Each year another twelve Fellows are elected, on the basis of the recommendations of nine specialist committees, including one responsible for the Mathematical Sciences. The President of the Academy is currently Sir Gustav Nossal.
The Academy has a number of rôles. It offers advice to the federal government on science policy. Amongst the issues of current concern, the Academy stresses the need to increase funding for infrastructure and research in universities, and proposes strategies to promote innovation, strengthen research-industry links, and to enhance research productivity. Copies of public comments and submissions are available from the Academy's web site
The Academy also liaises with international scientific bodies, through its membership of the International Council of Scientific Unions, and coordinates the various National Committees, including the National Committee for Mathematics. The recent review of the discipline of mathematics was funded by the Australian Research Council through the Academy of Science, and the Academy gave the finished product an enthusiastic launch. In addition the Academy runs a number of international exchange programs. Science Education is another area in which the Academy is active: in recent years, both Primary Investigations, a program for primary schools, and Environmental Science, a text for senior high school, have moved from the drawing board into the classroom. For more information about these and other activities, see the Academy's web site.
The Fellows of the Academy who are also involved in
Mathematics include: B.D.O.~Anderson (ANU), M.N.~Barber (UWA),
E.S.~Barnes (Adelaide, Em), R.J.~Baxter (ANU), R.P.~Brent (ANU),
G.~Brown (Sydney), H.A.~Buchdahl (ANU, Em), M.G.~Cowling (UNSW),
E.N.~Dancer (Sydney), R.L.~Dewar (ANU), W.J.~Ewens (Monash),
J.M.~Gani (ANU), H.S.~Green (Adelaide, Em), R.H.J~Grimshaw (Monash),
P.G.~Hall (ANU), A.K.~Head (CSIRO), C.C.~Heyde (ANU),
C.A.~Hurst (Adelaide, Em), J.~Imberger (UWA), G.M.~Kelly (Sydney, Em),
H.O.~Lancaster (Sydney, Em), K.J.~Le Couteur (ANU, Em),
A.G.R.~McIntosh (Macquarie), B.H.J.~McKellar (Melbourne), S.~Marcelja
(ANU), O.~Mayo (CSIRO), J.H.~Michael (Adelaide, Em), J.~Moore (ANU),
W.~Moran (Flinders), B.H.~Neumann (ANU, Em), B.W.~Ninham (ANU),
M.R.~Osborne (ANU), J.R.~Philip (CSIRO), R.B.~Potts (Adelaide, Em),
C.E~Praeger (UWA), D.W.~Robinson (ANU), E.~Seneta (Sydney),
L.~Simon (Stanford), I.H.~Sloan (UNSW), A.W.~Snyder (ANU),
R.H.~Street (Macquarie), G.~Szekeres (UNSW, Em), C.J.~Thompson (Melbourne),
N.S.~Trudinger (ANU), E.O.~Tuck (Adelaide) and G.E.~Wall (Sydney, Em).
School of Mathematics
University of New South Wales