Australia last week (September 18) released its first 'snapshot' of national research capabilities, from astrophysics to zoology. The picture — a compilation of reports from Australia's 40 universities — shows how each institution is directing its research efforts and where it believes its strengths lie.

In a summary prepared by the Commonwealth Department of Education Science and Training the universities identified a total of 513 areas of research strength. Of these, 35% were in science and technology, 13% in health and medical science, 40% in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and 12% in cross-disciplinary areas.

But because the universities used a variety of approaches in identifying their strengths, the results are being viewed simply as guidelines. Still, "it's always useful" to have information about the distribution of research expertise, said Jim Peacock, President of the Australian Academy of Science.

To push universities to file the so-called 'Research and...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?