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18 August 2015 Statement

"It's time for our scientists, who are the brightest and best there are, to breakout and really push the importance of the work they do, the effect their work has on all Australians every day, and also the importance of innovation," CSIRO General Manager of Communication, Oona Nielssen said.

Known as the CSIROseven, the group comes from different areas of the organisation’s science and also from across its 54 sites around Australia.

"There is an imperative for change in the way innovation and the research world is viewed and as this is Science Week, we thought it was time to bust a few of our scientists out of their labs and get the message out," Ms Nielssen said.

"I think CSIRO and Australia needs to have a sharper approach, in that we need to act and we need to be bold and we need to make sure we have the best people working on big problems and big ideas.

"CSIROseven is about taking that message and attitude and busting a few perceptions, both externally and internally, about what CSIRO does and how we go about it."

Jane Bowen, one of the CSIROseven, said a key part of our future will be taking care of people.

"Our population is aging and obesity is on the rise, our health system will be swamped. We're working on sensors for remote patient care and diets that are individually tailored to your unique DNA," Jane said.

Energy emissions and our finite resources will also be critical challenges for Australia and the world, CSIRO's Dr Matthew Hill is working on the answer.

"We're working on crystals that act like super sponges, soaking up carbon emissions. We can then turn the pollution into something useful, like plastic or more energy," Matthew said.

The CSIROseven work across a vast portfolio of research areas from advanced materials, computational linguistics, wearable technology, nutrition, ecology and oceanography.

"We hope that by sharing our stories and our research we will inspire others to start thinking about working in science and technology; these careers are growing 1.5 times faster than any other," Jane said.

"There is no better feeling in the world than getting up in the morning knowing you’re helping to make life better, and easier for people."

Learn more about the CSIROseven.


Mibu Fischer, Fisheries, Brisbane. “I grew up with a strong cultural connection to the land and ocean.” Mibu is working to ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fisheries, educating Australians on the importance of keeping Australia’s ocean ecosystem thriving for future generations. Her childhood affinity with the sea has developed into scientific endeavours in her adulthood, where she now hopes to educate people on both a community and institutional level.
Matthew Hill, Advanced materials, Melbourne. “At the heart of it for me, it’s about doing something that can possibly help people.” Shaping an energy efficient future, Matthew is working on crystals that clean gas, water and air – and sponges that soak up pollution. With the potential to completely transform the way we dispose of gases like carbon dioxide, Matthew’s studies are also focused on designing more cost effective solutions when it comes to energy.
Jane Bowen, Nutrition, Adelaide. “It’s so rewarding to work on things that really can make a difference to people’s lives.” Jane’s unique holistic approach to how we eat allows her to design solutions that succeeded where many diets have failed. From approaching the language around dieting, to drawing on her own parenting experiences, Jane and her team have shown that getting different results requires different thinking. Jane believes that in the future, diets could be tailored to people’s DNA, providing unique and tailored programs for every individual.
Stephen Wan, Digital, Sydney. “Looking beyond the videos of cats and celebrity Twitter battles, public social media can tell us so much about who we are as a community.” With over 100 million tweets posted every 24 hours, Stephen can take the pulse of Australia to learn about public opinion on the topics of the day. He creates algorithms that can turn the bottomless sea of social media data into something that is useful, developing programs that are sensitive to the subtle nuances of language.
Nick Roden, Oceans, Hobart. “Some think it’s just trees that give us the air we breathe, but the oceans also generate oxygen. So even if you live in the middle of the desert, you still have a connection to the ocean.” From the greens of the golf course to the bright white of Antarctica's snow fields, Nick has traded in life as a pro-golfer to research one of the most misunderstood environments known to man - the ocean. Nick is investigating how the ocean can supply oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and the impact this has on the earth’s environment.
Samaneh Movassaghi, Wearables, Sydney. “I believe there is infinite potential in using technology to connect people to each other.” Every second counts in an emergency. Samaneh is working on new life-saving body sensor technology that could one day transmit your heart rate, temperature and blood pressure through to your doctor in real-time. Samaneh hopes the technology will relieve financial, resource and accessibility barriers in healthcare.
Vivek Srinivasan, Futures, Melbourne. “Knowing just a few different future scenarios can help us all better prepare, and understand the role innovation will play.” Tapping into the knowledge of 5,000 CSIRO experts, Vivek is helping to forecast how Australia, our industries and our economy will change over the next 20 years. With a background in engineering and deep interest in technology, management consultant, Vivek, spends his days asking the big question, ‘What is coming next and what can we do about it?’
The CSIROseven.

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