Article by Tim Dodd. Published in The Australian, November 7 2023.
CSIRO chief scientist Bronwyn Fox says the organisation continues to make extraordinary breakthroughs to match the ones that have passed into Australian legend, such as myxomatosis to control rabbits, environmental improvement using dung beetles, and the invention of Wi-Fi and plastic banknotes.
As evidence she points to more recent work including the creation of precisely-engineered polymers, building metal organic frameworks which can store hydrogen, catalyse reactions and purify water, as well as LANDTEM, a device that uses quantum effects to find the magnetic signatures of ore bodies.
Fox says the CSIRO’s science excellence is driven by four factors – its people and infrastructure, a clear future-focused purpose, collaboration, and translation of research into applications.
She says that science is a team sport. “Complex challenges require diverse thinking and diverse teams to solve them. We are all currently focused on how we can break down any barriers to collaboration. Collaboration is not only essential, for me, it’s the most fun part of being a scientist.”
Fox says much of the CSIRO’s work is a part of large-scale science and research initiatives which rely on collaboration. “The benefits of coming together around a shared purpose means we bring together a broad range of perspectives and interests.”
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