Dr Alan Finkel AO
In March 2013, Dr Alan Finkel AO agreed to become Australian patron of the Australian Science Media Centre. Since then, he commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016 . He has a long history with science and the media through his own work in neuroscience and engineering and as co-founder of the multi award winning science magazine, COSMOS.
Prior to becoming Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel was the eighth Chancellor at Monash University, President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, CEO of Stile Education Pty Ltd and Chairman of the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics.
AusSMC Chairman Peter Yates said, “We are very privileged to have two such distinguished people as patrons – Alan Finkel as our Australian patron and Professor Susan Greenfield as our international patron”.
Alan was welcomed as AusSMC patron by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill at an event hosted by Flinders University in Adelaide on 27 March 2013.
Biographical note for Dr Alan Simon Finkel AO
PhD FTSE FIE Aust
Dr Alan Finkel has served as Australia’s Chief Scientist since January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to becoming Chief Scientist, he was the eighth Chancellor of Monash University.
Since commencing as Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel has led a number of national reviews, including serving the Chair of the Review into the National Electricity market (“Finkel Review”) and the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. He is leading the STEM Industry Partnership Forum for COAG Educational Council, and he serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.
Dr Finkel is a respected engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Dr Finkel completed his undergraduate and doctoral studies in engineering at Monash University before serving for two years as a neuroscience research fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at The Australian National University. In 1983, Dr Finkel established Axon Instruments, a supplier of electronic and robotic instruments and software for use in cellular neuroscience, genomics and drug discovery. In 2000, Axon was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It was acquired by the US firm Molecular Devices Corporation in 2004. Post Axon, Dr Finkel co-founded COSMOS and G magazines to promote science awareness and sustainability; led the establishment of the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience; fostered initiatives to reinvigorate secondary school science education; and co-founded a company distributing educational toys and books for children.
Dr Finkel was the 2016 Victorian of the Year. At ATSE (Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering), he led the development and implementation of the STELR program for secondary school science, which has been adopted in more than 600 Australian schools. He formerly held governance roles at the ATSE Clunies Ross Foundation in child-abuse research and medical research. Dr Finkel was also Executive Chair of Stile Education Pty Ltd and Chairman of the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).