A report commissioned by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, and the Australian Academy of Science, has found that science directly contributes $145 billion to the Australian economy, which equates to roughly 11% of our GDP. In addition to its direct impact, science indirectly contributes almost $300 billion to our economy. Put simply, investment in the science sector, which employs about 760,000 people in Australia, is vital for the continued growth of the Australian economy.
However, according to Professor Chubb, considering the importance of science to our continuing economic and societal development, often “the role of science becomes invisible to us.”
The report’s primary finding was the ‘new’ knowledge, such as technological advances and new discoveries, drove all other factors contributing to our economic growth, helping to reduce costs and boost productivity. This comes after the Federal Government cut research spending by more than $400 million, which resulted in nearly 500 scientists losing their jobs.
“A future without continued scientific development would involve lower economic growth simply because the proportion of growth that would otherwise come from growth in knowledge would be reduced,” states the report commissioned by the The Centre for International Economics.
A timely reminder of how much of our national economic activity depends on advancements of physical and mathematical science. Without a strong commitment to science it would not be possible to translate scientific developments into economic gains, the report warns. Let’s keep it clever, Australia.
[img source] RDECOM (CCA2.0)