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Australia’s Chief Scientists from CSIRO

The forerunner of the Chief Scientist position was the position of Chairman of the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC), a new body set up by the Federal Liberal Government in 1982 as a ‘think tank’, on science and technology.

The position of Australia’s Chief Scientist was created by the Federal Labor Government in 1989. The Chief Scientist chairs or is a member of several key Government committees. Since 1997 the office of the Chief Scientist provides secretariat services to the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC).

Prior to 1997, the council was known as the Prime Minister’s Science and Engineering Council (PMSEC). The Chief Scientist holds the position of Executive Officer to the PMSEIC.

The first five Chief Scientists (1989 to 2008) were CSIRO staff or former CSIRO staff.

CSIRO staff appointed as Chief Scientist are:

2006-2008 Dr Jim Peacock
1999-2005 Dr Robin Batterham
1996-1999 Dr John Stocker
1992-1996 Professor Michael Pitman
1989-1992 Professor Ralph Slatyer