Dr Alan Finkel

Australia’s Chief Scientist
'Planned Obsolescence – managing the transition to the electric planet'
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm
Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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Energy is essential to our civilisation and foregoing it is not an option. But we also need to reduce emissions from carbon-based fuel sources as quickly as possible, while ensuring a future for our children that continues access to today’s, and the future’s, technology advances.

There’s fear and uncertainty about how or if we can take the steps needed to achieve these goals. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, sees reason for hope, particularly if we follow a strategic pathway.

In November 2019, Dr Finkel presented the National Hydrogen Strategy to the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council. It contains a national framework that supports the individual state and territory strategies, which along with the Commonwealth, will guide the development of a hydrogen sector that is safe, cost-effective, and of benefit to all Australians.

In addressing the National Press Club, Dr Finkel will discuss how the Strategy can be a springboard for using technology to achieve a low emissions future.


Dr Finkel commenced as Australia’s Chief Scientist on 25 January 2016. He is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and for eight years as Chancellor of Monash University in Victoria, Australia.

As Chief Scientist, Dr Finkel led the development of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019 at the request of the Council of Australian Governments. He also led the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, the 2017 Review into the National Electricity Market (“Finkel Review”) and the 2018 STEM Industry Partnership Forum report. He serves as the Deputy Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

Dr Finkel has an extensive science background as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator. He was awarded his PhD in electrical engineering from Monash University and worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in neuroscience at the Australian National University.