Pandemic underscores need for strengthened national approach to research

Professor James Whisstock
Professor James Whisstock

An opinion piece in the Herald Sun by ARC Laureate Fellow at the Monash BDI, Professor James Whisstock, has called for a re-think on research funding, with the current pandemic showing the current approach is no longer sustainable.

Professor Whisstock, who is the Scientific Head of EMBL Australia, said that the threat of the next pandemic should be sufficient motivation to build the nation’s scientific capacity. In the article, also posted on EMBL Australia’s website, Professor Whisstock called for the establishment of a well-integrated national approach for funding a diversity and depth of research “we hope we might never need”. At the same time, we must develop a strategic plan to deploy such research capabilities in the event that we do, he said. This would rapidly bring relevant scientific teams around the nation together in times of need, thus concentrating effort and avoiding duplication.