Science, technology, engineering and mathematics have been at the forefront of the political agenda this week with the annual Science meets Parliament week in Canberra.
This has given Parliamentarians the valuable opportunity to engage with the country’s best scientists in Parliament House.
I'm impressed by the great success these scientists are achieving and have immense respect for their fields. It’s clear science and technology is leading the way in productivity, innovation and biosecurity in the agriculture sector.
From improving the quality of our soil and water resources to producing unique and innovative ways to value add to agricultural products, the contribution of scientists has revolutionised the agriculture industry.
It also underpins the responses to challenges in the industry particularly through research, diagnostics, surveillance and in the response to biosecurity outbreaks.
For our aspirations in the agriculture sector to be met, it is vital we nurture emerging scientists and ensure we don’t lose their valuable intellectual capital.
The work of these scientists cannot be underestimated.
We need to be wary of policies that risk jeopardising scientific corporate knowledge. That’s why I continue to implore Barnaby Joyce to cease the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), an illogical move that has prompted a mass exodus of highly specialised and experienced scientists from the Authority.
The world we know today would not exist without our scientists. We need to encourage young people to pursue careers that require skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
To progress sustainable and profitable productivity in agriculture, we must acknowledge that science will underpin many solutions.