What will the future hold for us all?
If hindsight is such a wonderful thing, surely foresight would be better?
What if we could see what was coming at us and could position ourselves, our organisations and society to make the most of it?
In 2009 we asked itself this question and came up with a set of global megatrends. A megatrend is a particularly important pattern of social, economic and environmental activity that will change the way people live.
That megatrends foresighting work has proven valid and today we are releasing an updated version, Our Future World 2012, which details six megatrends. The six megatrends all have impacts on how we innovate, what we focus on and how we optimise our efforts.
The centre of gravity is shifting to our region, economically and in a research and development sense. Australia can’t meet the level of investment of our regional neighbours but we can be smarter and more focused about bringing the best we have together.
We know we cannot compete on sheer volume of investment but we can bring the very best that Australia has together and we can connect with the very best in the world to ensure our innovation is visible from Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, Jakarta and New York.
One researcher can make a breakthrough but to have a profound impact on the challenges that face this nation and humanity it takes a team, or if you want to build the next Silicon Valley it takes a whole ecosystem. There is no reason why, as we head into what is undoubtedly the Asian Century, that Australia should not be a source of excellence in the region, in science, research and innovation.
Dr Megan Clark
Dr Clark will be addressing the National Press Club today at 1230 EST on the 'Innovation Imperative'. Tune in to ABC1 or stream live via ABC News 24.
Top of the news
Crash test cow helping farmers
A new type of cattle gate aimed at preventing farmer death and injury has completed rigorous testing and development by the CSIRO.
SaferGate, designed by farmer and inventor Edward Evans, has been put to the test by a CSIRO-developed ‘crash test cow’.
Hundreds of farmers and cattle handlers are injured in Australia operating cattle gates. Our 60kg test cow, which boasts authentic horns and hide, is designed to simulate the force of a bull or cow charging a cattle gate, used on farms, feedlots, in trucks and abattoirs across Australia.
Watch our famous crash test cow in action here.
Saving blindness in our sights
Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma, are diagnosed with a visual examination of the retina.
But this diagnosis gets tricky in rural communities where there often isn’t a specialist in the vicinity.
Remote-i is a low-cost eye care technology using high-speed broadband to give patients in outback areas access to qualified specialists in big cities.
Our marine ecosystems assessed: pass or fail?
The 2012 Marine Climate Change in Australia Report Card was launched recently and clearly demonstrates that climate change is having significant impacts on our marine ecosystems.
The report card provides information about the current and predicted-future state of Australia’s marine climate and its impact on our marine biodiversity.
It also outlines actions that are underway to help our marine ecosystems adapt to climate change.
To access the report go here. Our research scientist Alistair Hobday also wrote about the 'ocean winners and losers' in this article for The Conversation.
We've been working with Chinese company Nuctech to commercialise a world-first cargo scanner that is now installed and in use at Abu Dhabi Airport in the United Arab Emirates and at Nikola Tesla Airport in Serbia.
Recently our Chief Dr Megan Clark visited the Nuctech facility near Beijing where the cargo scanners are built.
“We are here to celebrate a successful ongoing collaboration with Nuctech and to view the latest model of the world-first cargo scanner, which will transform border security worldwide,” Dr Clark said.
The scanner was developed to solve an urgent global need for the rapid scanning of air cargo. It can also be adapted for scanning sea and truck cargo.
Our world-first technology combines neutrons and gamma-rays to detect the composition, shape and density of an object, helping identify suspicious materials such as explosives, drugs and other contraband.
On The Record
The above is Jason Edwards' 'First documentation of a humpback whale mating' and the winning entry in this year's New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography.
To add a little wow to your day, have a look at the top ten entries in this album.
Imagine a future where doctors take a strand of your hair or a drop of your blood and tell you your DNA predicts a 78% risk of developing heart disease.
On the plus side, it also predicts exactly which treatments will work best for you.
Emma Huang ponders the future of genomics in this article for The Conversation.
There's nothing good about flies. They're either filthy or desperately annoying, or both.
But are they all like that? And if they aren’t, who are the real culprits?
Kim Pullen from our National Insect Collection reminds us all why summer in Australia can be painful in this blog post.
Four tonnes of ore must be processed to produce a four gram wedding ring.
Get more #4oclockfact
Division gets addition
We're thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr Bronwyn Harch to Chief of Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics (CMIS).
Bronwyn is currently Deputy Director of the Sustainable Agriculture Flagship and has over 15 years experience at CSIRO.
She will take up her new role in early October and will be based at the Ecosciences Precinct in Brisbane.
Eureka! It's a double.
Two of our scientists were awarded prestigious Eureka Prizes last week for their innovative research.
Dr Matthew Hill (above) and Adjunct Professor Yonggang Zhu, who both work in our Materials Science and Engineering division, have been named winners.
Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication.
A Quick Aside
A whopping twenty cadetships up for grabs to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolled full-time in a diploma, advanced diploma or degree course.
Looking for cadets in ecosystem and marine science, finance, communication, IP, minerals processing and property management.
Available all over Australia. Applications close September 21st.
School of the Air
Marine and atmospheric scientists took to the Queensland outback recently as part of the Oceans in the Outback program.
The tour to Dalby, Roma, Charleville and Longreach was part of National Science Week and was aimed at bringing an ocean experience to the communities.
In Longreach, Dr Simon Torok (above) from our division of Marine and Atmospheric research in Melbourne took a class via radio at the Longreach School of Distance Education. Students on properties and in isolated communities across QLD and South Australia took part in the class.
Don't Miss It
Thurs 6th September 1400 EST
To celebrate Australian Biodiversity month, Dr John La Salle from the Atlas of Living Australia is hosting a live Q&A session via Ustream at the above time.
He’ll be talking about Australian plants and animals, so if you’ve seen something interesting in your back yard, or have a question that’s been bugging you, then email firstname.lastname@example.org and tune in to find out the answer!
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