Science and Australia's place in the world

Global pressures, trends, shocks and risks

Page 2 of 10

Stephen Chu, the US Secretary of Energy, observed when he was talking about climate change 'For the first time in history, science is making predictions on how our actions will affect how we live 50 -100 years from now.'

In this future we are all connected. Globally we face the challenges of securing our food, water and energy needs in a world of finite resources. 

These challenges are coming from the significant pressures on global systems such as population growth and rapid urbanisation. The global challenges of food, water and energy security are connected. They cannot be dealt with in isolation. 

Individuals, communities, industries and nations are seeking to understand these connections and the inevitable trade-offs necessary to achieve a sustainable future.

At CSIRO, we already allocate about one third of our investment to working on complex connected questions. And now this means tightening our focus on the top challenges and opportunities that face the nation and building national pictures of the systems that connect them. It means an even deeper commitment by our scientists and partners to working together in mission-based teams across and between all disciplines.


Chu S. 2009. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s address at Harvard’s Afternoon Exercises, Harvardgazette, viewed 15 November 2010, [external link].

Walker B. et al. 2009. Looming global-scale failures and missing institutions. Science. 325. 5946: 1345-46.