NAIDOC Week, upcoming events, new podcast on burnout, reports to read, and more.
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July Newsletter

As I write this at the start of NAIDOC week, I encourage you all to ensure you take some time to celebrate the history, culture and remarkable contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Given that the new Commonwealth Government has put constitutional recognition firmly back on the table, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committing to it in his acceptance speech, it’s a good time to look at or share our new video featuring Fellow Megan Davis, reading the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We’d love you to share it.

In early June the Academy's Executive Committee met for our annual strategic planning day. We reflected on the challenges facing academics and universities and our role in interfacing with the new government. We also discussed some of our new outward-facing initiatives such as the Academy’s partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy, and the exciting plans for Social Sciences Week in September that are already well underway. We also noted how ACOLA is acting as a useful coordinating body for the five learned academies—a role that is vital as issues increasingly cut across fields at the national and international level.

July is a busy month with a number of Academy-supported workshops being held. And for those interested in applying for funding for workshops in 2023, our Workshops program will open early next week. You can view the application gudielines and timeframes here.

And if all this makes you realise just how much you have on your own plate, it’s worth pointing you to the latest episode of our Seriously Social podcast on burnout. Please have a listen if you think it might help you or those in your social or professional networks – Fellow Professor Gordon Parker provides some very useful insights. I close by noting that there will be an event at ANU on 21 July to celebrate the extraordinary contribution of Stuart Macintyre, AO FASSA FAHA, who was a former president of our Academy. Further details can be found later in this newsletter.

Richard Holden

New report on data-enabled social science research
The Academy has published a new report on challenges and opportunities for research data in the social sciences. This was supported by the Australia Research Data Commons as one of a series of disciplinary reports across each of the Learned Academies.

Read the report here »

Congratulations: Fellows in the News

Ruth Fincher appointed an ISC Foundation Fellow

Huge congratulations to Fellow Ruth Fincher, recently appointed as one of 66 Foundation Fellows of the International Science Council (ISC) due to her exceptional contributions to promoting science as a global public good. Worth knowing: The Fellowship is the highest honour that can be conferred on an individual by the International Science Council. Learn more here.

Cheryl Saunders wins Tang Prize

In other impressive achievements, Fellow Cheryl Saunders recently won the 2022 Tang Prize in Rule of Law. The award recognises Cheryl’s pioneering contributions to comparative constitutional law, and in particular her work on constitution-building in the Asia-Pacific region.  It comes with a NT$50 million (approx. US$1.7 million) cash prize that includes a research grant of NT$10 million (approx. US$ 0.35 million).

And closer to home, Fellows Peter Saunders AO, Joy Damousi AM, Deborah Brennon AM and William Rubinstein OAM were recognised for their distinguished service to tertiary education and the community in the Queen's Birthday honours list. Read more here

Useful: New COVID-19 report

Are we rolling the dice or planning with confidence? The ISC, alongside the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, launched their flagship report titled Unprecedented & Unfinished: COVID-19 and Implications for National and Global Policy. To learn more, attend the online presentation of the report on 15 July (part of the Euroscience Open Forum).

Stuart Macintyre and the Work of History: 21 July, ANU

Professor Stuart Macintyre AO FASSA FAHA was a leading historian and a former President of the Academy. To coincide with the publication of The Work of History – Writing for Stuart Macintyre, many of his colleagues and collaborators will gather in Canberra to discuss the key themes and dimensions of his work and its consequences. Join us at this free, full-day symposium on Thursday 21 July in Canberra. Register now. 

Upcoming events

Plenty of events to fill your calendar this month.  Here is a selection you may be interested in.

Interested in the future of work?

This event focuses on the future of work in Australia and the opportunities and challenges for building a work and care-centred recovery.

The panel discussion is supported by the Academy and moderated by Fellow Ariadne Vromen and you can register here.

Want to know more about income-contingent loans?
When HECS was introduced in 1989, through the influence of Fellow Bruce Chapman, it was a world first. Never before had an income-contingent loan (ICL) been used in this way. In this day-long conference, attendees will learn more about the history of ICLs, their adoption of ICL in a host of social and economic policy areas and more.
It’s free to register here.

And later this year…

A September conference held at ANU will explore the role of injustice as a historical force and the memories of people who have survived persecution.

Fellow Rae Frances will open the conference.
Bookings here.

Worth noting: Our new position statement on
international social science

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia places the highest priority on the free, respectful, fair and transparent exchange of research knowledge and ideas between social science researchers in our region and worldwide. Our position is fully outlined in this new position statement.

Read, Watch, Listen

Plenty of reading from our Fellows this month. Five of our Fellows contributed to the newly published Lessons from History book. Congratulations Joan Beaumont, Frank Bongiorno, Graeme Davison, Peter Spearritt and David Lowe (co-editor). And if you’ve ever wondered about the life expectancy of politicians, this study from Fellows Philip Clarke, Adrian Barnett and colleagues, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, has the answers.

In this short video incorporating the findings of new research we ask: Is Australia a racist country? With experts to guide us, we unpack the spectrum of racist behaviour seen in Australia today, and consider why, even as racism goes undercover, it's getting worse.

Plus, for those of you who saw the coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in May and started thinking about constitutional monarchies you might like watching or sharing our new explainer on this topic.

Burnout: Feeling burned out? It’s not surprising: experts say we all have a 30% chance of experiencing it. (Sorry to doctors, teachers and others in caring professions: your chances are way higher.) In our latest episode of the Seriously Social podcast, Academy Fellow and founder of the Black Dog Institute, Professor Gordon Parker, explains what burnout is, why it’s often misdiagnosed, and which personalities are most at risk of experiencing this syndrome which can impact our relationships, personality, and brain function.

Where do you find your research software?

If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) would appreciate your help as they try to better understand how researchers find the right software to use. Take the survey here (it’s open until 14 August).

Opportunities for researchers

ARC opportunities (close 17 and 22 July)

The ARC is seeking new Executive Directors for its Humanities and Social Science portfolios. These are significant and important roles – the Exec Director for Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences has been vacant for two (!) years. Applications close 17 July, so please share widely.

Still with the ARC, at 10am (AEST) on 22 July they are holding a webinar for those interested in joining the 2023 ERA Research Evaluation Committee. Register here.

Full tuition for an MBA (closes 31 July)

UNSW’s Emeritus Professor Richard Henry AM & Dr Rachel Oberon Indigenous Advantage MBA (Social Impact) Scholarship is open until 31 July.

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist an Indigenous student to enter the Social Impact postgraduate coursework program.

The scholarship is valued at $60,000, so if you know a worthy candidate, please spread the word.


Emeritus Professor Malcolm Skilbeck AO

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Academy Fellow Professor Malcolm Skilbeck AO last month. Malcolm was a world authority on education and worked in educational policy analysis, curriculum, tertiary and secondary education and more.

Professor Janna Thomson

Also last month, we were saddened to hear of the passing of Academy Fellow Professor Janna Thomson, one of Australia’s most eminent philosophers with expertise in environmental ethics, feminism and global justice.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of both Fellows.

From our socials

Find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. (You can also follow our Seriously Social stories, videos and podcast episodes on social media – find all those links here).

Events schedule
View and register for upcoming events.

Policy and publications
Read recent submissions and other publications.

Listen to the latest Seriously Social episodes.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our national office is located, the Ngunnawal people, and to their elders past, present and future.

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
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Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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