Academy statements, awards, opportunities, diary notes, and more
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President's Message
Last week I spent some time in the National Office, talking to our team about the amazing breadth of activity going on. Walking there I listened to the latest episode of the Seriously Social podcast titled “I’m not racist, but…” – it was a great reminder about the fascinating range of issues on which our Fellows work, and the power of the social sciences to illuminate some of the most fundamental issues we face.

We discussed a number of other outward-facing activities of the Academy, including Social Sciences Week (in September) and our school engagement collaboration with the Museum of Australian Democracy. Both will help showcase the social sciences to school students and help spark interest among the next generation of scholars, and one day Academy Fellows.

I also had the good fortune to participate in the media budget lockup at Parliament House. It was a more subdued affair than in some years, due to ongoing COVID restrictions, meaning that satellite lockups were still conducted in other capital cities. That said, there was lively discussion about everything from additional government spending and petrol excise cuts to how low unemployment can go and what to do about a $40 billion structural budget deficit.

It was disappointing to see spending on higher education decline in real terms by about 2.5% per annum across the forward estimates. At a time when Australia needs to boost productivity to improve living standards and fund important social programs, it doesn’t strike this economist as a great time to cut spending on higher education. You can read the Academy's take on the 2022 budget here.

I look forward to seeing some of you at upcoming Academy events, and encourage you to check out the Seriously Social website.

Academy Election Statement
The Academy has released a statement on high-level priorities that should be central to the agenda of the next Australian Government. These include:
1. Economic and social recovery and resilience from the impacts of the pandemic
2. Future-focused diplomacy
3. Ambitious and long-term climate mitigation and adaptation
4. Forward-looking investment in knowledge generation and innovation.
5. Improved framework for coordination within and across governments
Read the full election statement
Do you know the next ASPIRE prize winner?
Do you know a young researcher whose work has the potential to impact a more balanced, sustainable society? Then ensure they are nominated for the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) Prize for 2022.

The theme for this year’s ASPIRE prize is "Innovation to achieve economic, environmental, and social goals": surely right up the alley of someone in the Academy’s networks. The deadline for nominations is Monday 9 May and more information about the award, the prize and the application process can be found here.
Paul Bourke Lecture - 28 April 3-5pm (AEST), University of Queensland
Are Indigenous Rights Inconsistent with Australian Political Traditions?
The Academy's 2020 Paul Bourke Award recipient and Lecturer in Law at the University of Queensland will address and contextualise the ongoing debate over the integration of Indigenous rights and Australian politics; embodied most clearly in resistance to the Indigenous Voice to Parliament incorporated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The lecture will take place at the University of Queensland (no online attendance), and guests will be welcomed by Vice-Chancellor and Academy Fellow Professor Deborah Terry AO FASSA.

More information and registration can be found here, and a recording will be available on the Academy website following the presentation for those not able to attend in person.

Opportunities for researchers - Japan Science and Technology Agency 'Mirai' Program grants for social challenge research
Grants of up to 35M Yen ($380,000 AUD) and up to 2 1/2 years are available for small-scale projects in a range of priority areas including AI and the information society, new social challenges, social diversity and low-carbon society. Applications from Australians must involve partnership with Japanese collaborators with proposals due 25 May. More information and grant guidelines are available here.  
New look for Social Sciences Week 2022 (5-11 September)
Check it out and register your interest (or even an event) here.
Have your say on the intimidation of scientists
Academy Fellow David Peetz and two of his colleagues from Griffith University are undertaking an international study on ‘voice and intimidation of scientists’ and they’d like to hear from you.

The survey is designed to collect data on pressure, intimidation or harassment in scientific work, including the extent of these phenomena, their causes and their effects, or their absence. All researchers, from the physical through to the social sciences, whether in the public or private sectors, are eligible to take part. 

The study has been funded, by the Australian Research Council and has approval of the Human Research Ethics Committee at Griffith University. Responses are confidential and the survey link can be found here.
Joint statement on Ukraine
The Academies and ACOLA worked together to release a statement condemning the recent and ongoing military action by the Russian Government towards Ukraine. The statement points out the devastating and long-term effects of war and notes that while the war continues, researchers in Ukraine and Russia are prevented from progressing their work – work that ultimately seeks to better our world through new knowledge and innovation.

The group expressed solidarity with members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, colleagues in Ukrainian Universities and the people of Ukraine more broadly.
Katie Holmes awarded Harvard Chair
Well done to Fellow Professor Katie Holmes, who was recently appointed to the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor in Australian Studies for the 2023-24 academic year. An internationally renowned environmental historian and humanities scholar, Professor Holmes is known for her transformative research into the experience of Australian settlement and how individuals interact with their culture, society and the environment.

Professor Holmes will Chair alongside artist and curator Professor Brenda Croft, from the Australian National University. 
Can you help build a picture of Australia’s China knowledge capability and needs?
Our friends at the Australian Academy of the Humanities need our help with a project that aims to fill in gaps in our understanding about the capacity of our universities to build Australia’s China knowledge capability.

Interested Fellows are requested to answers six questions, outlined here. The deadline for responses is 15 April and all answers will be incorporated as soon as they are received.
Time on the bench pays off for Isabel
Huge congratulations to our Policy Analyst Isabel Ceron who was recently granted her PhD. Isabel’s multidisciplinary thesis was in Science and Technology Studies and Urban Planning. Safe to say too that while few PhD’s can claim time spent on an outdoor bench is productive work time, Isabel is the exception.

Pictured are Isabel and her supervisor Professor Emeritus Fred D’Agostino FAHA, former President of the the Academic Board and Executive Dean of Arts at the University of Queensland (UQ). Fred, who also supervised Isabel’s internship with the Academy, was part of the Steering Group for the State of the Social Sciences report which Isabel worked on alongside the last stages of her PhD.

The pair recently met at the UQ campus to celebrate and spent some time on “Fred’s Bench”. Yes, Fred has been such an active presence on the UQ campus and engaged in so many conversations with passers-by while sitting on a bench outside the Social Sciences and Humanities Library that it was named in his honour.

Read, Watch, Listen
There’s been a lot of newly published material from our Fellows, including:

In politics, there was the long-awaited second volume in Stuart Macintyre’s definitive history of the Communist Party of Australia. We also saw the publication of Graeme Gill’s Bridling Dictators: Rules and Authoritarian Politics at the end of last year.

Gareth Evans' book on the case for Australia being a good citizen is detailed in his new book, Good International Citizenship: the case for decency, and Brian Head tackled some of our most pressing policy challenges in Wicked Problems in Public Policy.

Nick Enfield's recently released Language vs. Reality - Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Bad for Scientists
is a fascinating examination of how we are both played by language and made by language: the science underlying the bugs and features of humankind’s greatest invention.

We also understand Deborah’s latest book, COVID Societies: Theorising the Coronavirus Crisis, will hit the shelves in April. Congratulations to all and happy reading everyone!
In case you missed it, check out the University of Sydney’s recent seminar ‘Can the humanities and social sciences survive the Covid crisis?’ featuring past Academy President Professor Jane Hall and others.

The Seriously Social podcast is back!
Our production team have been working hard in the background and the 2022 season of the Academy’s Seriously Social podcast (Season 5) has now kicked off.

We launched the season with an engaging and thought-provoking episode titled “I’m not racist, but…”. The episode features Fellow Professor Fethi Mansouri speaking to research in his co-authored book, Racism in Australia today. We also worked with Fethi to place a story in The Conversation on the same topic (with the podcast embedded for all Conversation readers to find). Read the story here and listen to the podcast episode here. As the newsletter went to press the episode had already been downloaded more than 1400 times: joining the 75,000 downloads of the Seriously Social podcast since we launched mid-2020.

Adelaide Writers’ Week 2022

Several of our Academy Fellows including Larissa Behrendt, Gareth Evans, Barry Jones, Martin Parkinson and Pat McGorry participated in the Adelaide Writer’s Week last month. Check out their podcast here if you couldn’t make it or want to relive your favourite moments.
Diary Notes
Paul Bourke Lecture (Queensland)
Queenslanders may be keen to hear Paul Bourke Award winner Dr Dylan Lino deliver his talk titled Are Indigenous Rights Inconsistent with Australian Political Traditions? The event will be held in person on Thursday 28 April – yes, you read correctly, in person! – on campus at The University of Queensland. Bookings here.

Hugh Stretton Oration (Adelaide)
South Australian Fellows have an opportunity to attend the upcoming Hugh Stretton Oration on Wed 4 May and hear from Natasha Stott Despoja AO. Natasha will consider whether or not the playing field (in every sense: from sport to politics), is genuinely fair for women.

National Reconciliation Week
Don’t forget National Reconciliation Week is coming up soon – 27 May to 3 June. The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Keep an eye out for an event from the Academy during Reconciliation Week.
From Our Socials
The Academy is increasingly active on social media, and you can follow 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.)
Wish more people understood the social sciences? Introduce them to Seriously Social.
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
ABN: 59 957 839 703
Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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