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Science must be made more attractive, says Nobel laureate

Australia risks being left behind in global science unless efforts are made to make a research career more attractive to the country’s youth, Nobel prize-winner Brian Schmidt has warned.

Schmidt, who won the 2011 physics prize, has urged that Australians elevate teaching and see science as a creditable career path, The Australian newspaper reported on 18 August.

“I don’t like it when I hear people say ‘My parents don’t want me to become a scientist because it is a bad job’”, he said.

Nadia Rosenthal, director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, echoed the call for a stronger national research focus.

“If you were able to redirect scientific funding into well-defined pathways to lure youth into a scientific career and bring people from overseas, you would really see a change in the capacity for Australia to lead the world in science”, she told the newspaper.