New Australian PM Leads To New Australian Science Minister

The recent Liberal Party reshuffle in Australia produced a new Prime Minister, and PM Malcolm Turnbull has since announced his cabinet ministers.

Among them is MP Christopher Pyne, who leaves his education portfolio to become Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.  Pyne takes over for Ian Macfarlane, who no longer has a ministerial position.  Pyne has been involved with Australian science policy through his participation in the Commonwealth Science Council.  He remains Leader of the House in the Australian Parliament.  This is the government minister that runs how the government (the executive branch) manages its business in the legislature.  (For those in parliamentary systems, pardon the pedantism.)

Pyne’s training is not in science or engineering – not a particular surprise for a position like this.  He’s been in Parliament for 22 years, and between that tenure and his current legislative position, he stands in a good place to insert science policy into the legislative agenda.

Whether he will is unclear to me.  As the recently departed Yogi Berra has said, you can observe a lot by watching.


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