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KERRY O'BRIEN: We may not know exactly how we'll live in the year 2010, but it's clear that science and technology will be the key to a prosperous society. Australian science once led the world in key technologies, but now it's claimed funding cuts and the failure of industry to invest in R & D could destroy the dream of the clever country.

BARRY JONES: We're either going to have to come to terms with the science that surrounds us; we're either going to learn how to dominate and use it for our own individual and national purposes, or in a sense that technology will be applied by others and we will play a passive role.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tonight, our top scientists tell us what Australia needs to do to be part of the science of the future.

Some of Australia's top scientists were recently asked how they imagined the world in the year 2020. They predicted cures for AIDS and cancer, two-hour flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, greater longevity with the average life span for women 92 and for men 86, and even genetically enhanced super racehorses. The papers by a CSIRO scientist will be presented at this week's ANZAAS congress, Australia's annual science summit, which opened in Geelong tonight. But behind the gee-whiz is a sense of foreboding about whether Australian science will be part of the great revolutions in knowledge that lie ahead. The fact is that over the next 15 years, virtually all the new technology in Australia will come from overseas.

The Federal Government has tried to bring science and industry together, but at times, it's been a forced liaison. There have been criticisms that in the rush to gain a commercial advantage, the freedom needed to generate new science has been compromised. A recent study by the Australian National University showed that Australian science is having less international impact with a 25 per cent decline in our share of world citations. Worrying, too, is the failure by Australian industry to sink enough money into basic research. Tonight, we're joined by five of Australia's leading scientific and technological thinkers to discuss the challenges ahead.

Sir Gustav Nossal is one of the world's most eminent immunologists. He's Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, an internationally renounced medical research facility. He's also President of the Australian Academy of Science and chairs the World Health Organisation's global program on vaccines.

Dr John Stocker has been Chief Executive of Australia's premier scientific institution, the CSIRO, since 1990 and he's just announced his intention to leave the job after taking the organisation through a painful process of change. He's a member of the Australian Research Council and a foundation member of the Prime Minister's Science Council.

Dr Peter Farrell is Executive Chairman of ResCare Limited which manufacturers respiratory products. From 1978 to '89, he was Foundation Director of the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he remains a Visiting Professor. He's also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and has just been named Australian Engineer of the Year.

Professor Paul Davies is Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, a special position created for him. An internationally acclaimed physicist, he emigrated to Australia from Thatcher's Britain in 1990, and has published a series of popular books exploring advanced scientific concepts such as the nature of human consciousness and the relationship between science and religion.

Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers is the Director of the Climatic Impact Centre and Professor of Physical Geography at Macquarie University. She's a member of the Australian Science and Technology Council which advises the Prime Minister, and chairs a government advisory committee on women in science, technology and engineering. Welcome to the program.

I'd like to put one question to you all at the start, and starting with you, Sir Gustav - these CSIRO papers that I referred to in the introduction, looking into the future of science, paints some wonderful projections, some of them possibly fantasies. I wonder how each of you feel about what Australian science will have delivered to the world by the year 2020.

GUSTAV NOSSAL: I'm going to go for 85 rather than 86 and 92, with a much smaller gap between men and women for the life span, but one thing that you didn't mention, Kerry, is that that period will be markedly more free of morbidity-causing diseases and a whole heap of smart drugs and biologicals that will come through the new biology, chiefly of course through genetic engineering. And Australia's going to have a big part to play in that revolution which, in fact, we're in the midst of right now.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now, is going to, or you hope it will?

GUSTAV NOSSAL: It's not a question of hoping. I know the young people that make up the cohorts of 25-year-olds, 30-year-olds, 35-year-olds, and believe me, by 2020 they will be so much smarter and more successful than the leaders that you have in the country at the moment, that there'll be no comparison.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Ann Henderson-Sellers, what's you vision for 2020?

ANN HENDERSON-SELLERS: Rather different from most of the CSIRO papers, actually, because they tend to be single-disciplinary, what we do in our division or our institute , and I think things will be rather different because society will have changed and the way in which I see society changing has a lot to do with the very rapid growth of our use of telecommunications. So I think things will be based much more around the home. We'll probably have more free time but we'll have it in smaller bites, and we'll always be accessible to our home computer and our home telecommunications system. We'll do a lot of our work from home; I hope we'll do a lot of it by telecommuting because I would much rather work at home than actually have to fly across the Pacific in a 747-400.

And I think many of us will have more opportunity to, for example, take part in our children's education, again by telecommunication particularly, and that can involve dads as well as mums in the classroom, an electronic classroom, and it'll mean that people will also have an opportunity to, for example, learn in different schools at different times of day, so you'll be able to choose tutors and teachers for your children because they won't have to travel across the particular city where you live or from town to town, they'll be able to do it electronically. So I see a different society but one that I think is very exciting.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But how much of this technology will have been initiated from Australia and how much of it will have been imported?

ANN HENDERSON-SELLERS: Well, I think at the moment we're on the threshold of something that's potentially very exciting. For the first time, perhaps, for Australia, we have the advantage of the tyranny of distance. We've always seen this as a great disadvantage because we're a long way from each other and we're a long way from the rest of the world, as was mentioned recently by our Prime Minister. I think that's now a good thing. It'll be very nice to tempt people to come and live in Australia because it'll be a very pleasant environment. People will want to live here but do their work for their immediate line manager in Tokyo or in Aberdeen, for example, without wanting to live in either of those places or Chicago or somewhere similar. So I think there's great potential for us. I think we have the advantages of being a well-educated population with I think great ingenuity, and I think the potential is there and we should really accept it and go with it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Peter Farrell.

PETER FARRELL: Well, Kerry, I think breakthroughs are really hard to predict, so I'm not going to get into that sort of prediction game. But I do want to touch briefly on medicine which, I guess, is an area in which I've spent a large part of my life, that is the biomedical engineering end of medicine. I think there will be significant advances in medical devices; they'll be cheaper; they'll be better. And I do agree with Gus's comments that gene therapy will come into its own. Whether that's going to be developed here or elsewhere, I think is anybody's guess. But I think with more of a concentration on prevention, we will see those kinds of lifespans that people are predicting. And I think that we have traditionally had a fair amount of strength in agriculture and minerals and mining, and I think that the word is out on the street, if you like, that we need to get into more higher value-added components there. And I think some of the work that John Stocker and his team are doing within the CSIRO is pointing in that direction, of higher value-added components in mineral mining and agriculture.

I think there's little doubt, as Ann touched on, that telecommunications will make great strides, and I have no doubt that we'll be doing virtual reality shopping in our homes and such like. And I do like the concept of being able to fly to San Francisco within two hours. I just had dinner earlier this evening with some friends who flew in from San Francisco this morning and actually put up with a whole day of work, and I think they would appreciate a two-hour journey. And I think, finally, we're going to see some significant breakthroughs in new materials, things like ceramic engines for motor vehicles, electric cars and such like. I think these things are easy to predict.

But let me just finally make a point that the things we've been talking about are really technology rather than science, and the question you asked Ann: Is that going to be developed here or elsewhere? And frankly, I don't think it matters, and I think really what we need to focus on is technology, and technology has been and always will be the turbo-charger of the future. And where I see things lacking in this country right now is we have, on a capitative basis, a fair number of scientists. In fact, we're up in the top league with Japan and the United States in terms of the number of scientists. Where we lack is in the number of engineers, and in fact we're one-third to one-eighth, on a capitative basis, of the engineers that are in the United States, Germany, France and so forth, and the engineers are the people who take technology, adapt it and adopt it and turn it into products, and I think that's where we're lacking, and I just hope we pick up our game in that area.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay. We'll follow some of those points shortly. Paul Davies, your view of the future.

PAUL DAVIES: Yes, well, my interests are, of course, in basic or fundamental research, and it's the very nature of that research that we've got no idea what discovery we're going to make next. That's the exciting thing about it. There are certainly some great goals that I think we're working towards like a grand unified theory of the fundamental forces of nature. I think there will be new windows opening up on the universe, and I hope that Australia with its excellence in astronomy and other physical science techniques can take part in that. I think there will also be a lot more interest in what we might call the interface between physics and biology, the physics of complex systems. So there are all sorts of different frontiers with the very large, the very small and the very complex, which are being pushed back. But of course the great thing about science is that there may be some totally unexpected, totally new discovery around the corner that we can exploit. How much of this Australia is going to take part in is of course anybody's guess.

I think, if I look forward to the year 2020 and ask what would I like to see in Australia - I think the answer is that we should have at least one institution of the calibre of MIT or Caltec or San in Europe, just one institution of this sort of calibre, a sort of international facility, a place where people can come from all over the world that is recognised to have the sort of excellence that is found in these northern hemisphere institutions.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And, of course the great irony of tonight, when we're talking about whiz-bangery and breakthroughs in science, we've in fact lost John Stocker because our link to Geelong has gone down. I hope that he's still able to hear from his end and that he'll be able to join us shortly. But in the meantime, we'll unfortunately have to press on without him.

Sir Gustav, when we are looking to the future in the context of what we've just been talking about, what to you are the main challenges for Australian science, what are the hurdles in the way of your dreams?

GUSTAV NOSSAL: I'd say there are two huge challenges which are occupying my mind a great deal as President of the Australian Academy. I think the first is that we have to get this balance right between pure and applied. You know, Paul Davies is so ineffably right when he says that the real breakthroughs, the really fundamental paradigm shifting changes almost always come out of pure or fundamental research. We must sustain that flame and the pressure on Australian academics in universities, and CSIRO, to move away from that fundamental research into short-term, tactical research have been extreme. We have to get that balance right.

Another thing which is perhaps a little bit of a personal interest and persuasion is that I think we have to get the north-south situation into better balance. I'm always amazed at the literally jillians of dollars that the First and Second World spent on cancer, on chronic degenerative diseases, on heart disease, when diseases such as cholera and malaria are still unconquered when we have very, very grave Third World health problems needing to be addressed.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That includes just basic feeding, too, apart from anything else. But in terms of Australia, on your point about getting the balance right between basic research and applied research, are scientists in .. are you worried that scientists are being forced to become too commercially oriented?

GUSTAV NOSSAL: Forced is, of course, a very strong word, and I think most university academics would deny that anyone could force them to do anything. But the pressures on universities and CSIRO to engage in this shorter-term, tactical work have been very real, for example, the 30 per cent external earnings imperative on CSIRO. Now, look, I'm the first to admit that 10 or 15 years ago, our science was perhaps a bit too much bunched up in the left-hand of this research and development continuum, because it is a continuum and a very dynamic one. I think, in the last two or three years, those pressures have become so intense that there are almost no voices raised for the continued protection of pure science, and as President of the Academy, I just feel I have to be one of those voices.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay. Can I pursue this question of the commercial pursuit of science, if you like? I'm told that John Stocker can hear us but we still aren't going to be able to hear him. Hopefully, we'll come to him. Ann Henderson-Sellers, what's your view about whether Australian science is going down the road of being too commercial or whether it's not commercial enough?

ANN HENDERSON-SELLERS: Well, if you'll forgive me, Kerry, I think it's the wrong question. I think it's an interesting question, and it's one that people like to debate, but I really wonder whether it's one that has essentially been and gone. I don't much care that we don't, for example, have a large investment from the private sector because we don't have a large manufacturing base. I think we understand the reasons why we invest more taxpayers dollars into science and technology, and I think those are good reasons, and I think that should probably continue.

I think the question that we should be asking is not whether we should be doing pure or applied or where on the continuum we should be, but whether we should be undertaking more holistic or more societally-based research, and by science and technology. And I accept Paul Davies' point that we really can't tell where the next breakthroughs will come from, but I think also if we look at an institution like NASA, for example - in the Apollo era, we all thought it was very exciting, everybody wanted to see the first man on the moon, but nowadays, I think many of us wonder what on earth billions of dollars that go into NASA are really generating.

And I think there's a great tendency for us to put money into big science and for it just to continue because it turns into a juggernaut. Everybody needs a bigger and bigger thingatron, but why do we? What sorts of things do we benefit from doing those sorts of studies. I don't mean that there aren't benefits, but just that scientists, and often technologists too, have forgotten that they should answer those questions and society and governments have forgotten to ask those questions.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Paul Davies, I think this one falls right into your court because it's your belief that there is no real capacity for Australia to deal with big science.

PAUL DAVIES: Yes, yes, that's right. I'm astonished to hear Ann saying this because I'm asked all the time why we're spending this sort of money. The truth of the matter is Australia doesn't spend any money at all on what we now call big science. When you look at the sort of sums of money that are spent on science in this country, on individual projects we're talking about a very small number of millions. For example, Germany, I'm told, sets aside each year $1 billion Deutschmarks. That's $1 billion Deutschmarks for big science projects per year, and that doesn't come out of its general science budget, that's just set aside for major projects. The equivalent here would be, say, one or perhaps $200 million a year set aside for major projects. We don't have anything like that at all, and so something which costs, say, $50 million, or even $10 million, it's really very hard to see how such a project can be funded.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But in blunt terms, what's the practical yield for setting up projects like the gravitational wave pull observatory that you're supporting in Western Australia, projects that do chew up tens of millions? And while that might not measure up to the billion dollars of Germany, in terms of the total science budget in Australia, it's still significant.

PAUL DAVIES: Yes. You can try to justify these sorts of things on the basis of spin-off and improvement in technology and so on, and people try to do that, and there's some reason to suppose that you do get a return on that investment, but of course that's not the reason we want to do it. The reason we want to detect gravitational waves is to test Einstein's theory of relativity and to use gravitational observatories as a new window on the universe, to enable us to look at things like collisions of black holes and so on. The whole purpose of that is to find out what the universe is like and what our place is in the great scheme of things. And although $15 million sounds like a lot of money to you or me, compared to almost any other human activity, it's actually not so very great. It would buy you two or three footballers, for example, in Europe, or it might buy you an old master painting. You compare that with the $3 billion lost by the State Bank of South Australia for which we see absolutely nothing at all, and I think that gets it in perspective.

I think these things are worth doing because I think they're part of glorious human adventures, part of what makes us human, and if we can't set aside some small fraction of the GDP to take part in that glorious quest, then I think society is going to become very mean-spirited and, at the end of the day, we will all be disadvantaged.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Peter Farrell, how much of the responsibility should public research institutions and, for that matter, the taxpayers, have to bear, given the continuing poor commitment from the private sector to research and development in Australia?

PETER FARRELL: Well, I think that's a fair point or a fair question to ask, Kerry. I think we've got to .. just following on from Paul's comments there, I think we've got to remember that this year our GDP is going to be $450 billion, and I think it's also important, and I hate to be the guy who throws water on the flames of scientific interest, but we actually spend, relative to our GDP, about equal to what the rest of the world does in terms of percentage basis, in terms of basic science. Where we fall down is in the business enterprise R & D, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics has just recently released some figures, and we're at about .7 per cent of GDP in terms of business enterprise R & D, whereas Japan is around 2, the United States is 1.8, Germany is 1.7, France is 1.5, and so forth. So we're nowhere .. and whilst I agree with Gus's initial comment saying we need a balance between pure and applied, that's absolutely correct, but we are so far behind the eight-ball in business enterprise R & D that it's just not funny.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Yes, but how do you put a bomb under business to get them to do it?

PETER FARRELL: Well, I think, Kerry, I think it's happening. We've had a compound annual growth rate in business enterprise research and development of about 20 per cent. Now, you'd like to see that figure go up; I certainly would like to see it go up; but I think business is starting to respond. You've got to remember that we have come out of a period of huge protectionism, where the CSIRO is allowed to flourish and organisations like that. It's interesting, as Tom Quirk pointed out recently in the Financial Review in a letter, that neither Japan nor the United States has equivalent big science-type institutions, and one has to wonder whether or not in this day and age we can really afford this.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay, well, just on that point, in fairness, John Stocker, we can actually talk to now. I'm sure he's been sitting there champing at the bit.

PETER FARRELL: He probably has, but let me give him some more to answer to.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, if you make it very, very brief because he hasn't had a go at all.

PETER FARRELL: Let me just make two points here, and that is that government expenditure and higher education expenditure on research and development does not correlate with economic growth. It's good, we ought to be doing it, as being citizens of the world, but it doesn't correlate with economic growth. Business enterprise development and expenditure and R & D does correlate with economic growth, so we've got to decide, you know, if you don't have economic growth, you can't afford social justice. And basic science is universal; technology's local; we do not spend enough money on technology per se in this country.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay. John Stocker, you must have a bank of points you want to make there. Go for it.

JOHN STOCKER: Well, I feel like a rather frustrated fly on the electronic wall at the moment, I must say, Kerry. I'd like to make a few points. Firstly, I think that the debate about whether we should be doing basic science or applied science is vacuous. We clearly need to do both. The society of 2020 is going to be entirely a knowledge-based society in which knowledge is crucially important to all the things we do - the way we enjoy our recreation, the way we work, the way we think, the way we play. So there can be really no discussion about whether we need to do one or the other, we clearly need to do both. We need to have a creative environment, a basic research which will attract bright people, bright students into the excitement that Paul Davies was talking about and that Gus Nossal has fostered so successfully in his own basic research institute, but we also need some people to make bridges, to make sure that the technology that spins off this enterprise and this investment is useful and is used.

And I'd have to agree with Peter Farrell that I think that that is an element that's been sadly lacking in Australia. CSIRO is just learning, I think, to form effective links with industry. With big industry it's been easier than it has with small companies, and we've invested a lot in the last couple of years in finding out what are the special needs of small and medium businesses and how on earth we can do things for them. And when they tell us they're not after breakthroughs at all, they're after small incremental benefits, they're after a window into the world of technology and it doesn't matter a hoot to them whether that comes from Australia and is invented here or it's interpreted for them from the vast bank of world knowledge which will obviously always be greater than anything that we're going to be able to mine from the local community, no matter how fertile it is.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You have a very strong view that we should be in the business of picking winners in science.

JOHN STOCKER: Yes, I think we should ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: And that's not fashionable generally in industry today, is it, about governments picking winners?

JOHN STOCKER: Well, I can't help it whether it's fashionable or not. It's just clearly plain sense in a tiny country like Australia, which has about one per cent of the developed world's population, produces a disproportionately high output in science terms, we have to decide where it is that we're most likely to get a return on our investment, and that applies across the whole spectrum of science. I think Paul Davies pointed earlier to the excellence that Australia enjoys in astronomy. Gus Nossal represents a community that's been fantastically successful in terms of its ability to contribute in biomedical science. There are areas like that that Australia's good at, and in order to stay good at them we need to be able to attract the best people to them, and that means getting behind these people and funding them adequately.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And yet in that ANU study that we referred to in the introduction, on the state of science, co-author - this is the ANU study - co-author, Paul Burke, said that the scientific community in Australia is ageing and there's been no replenishment in that generation of very distinguished scientists of the '50s and '60s. If that's accurate, then science, in some areas at least, is withering on the vine, and I think at least some of you would acknowledge that the bright kids of today, in the main, are not turning to science. Now, why is that?

JOHN STOCKER: Well, if I can make a point, I think it's an over-simplification. There are very many bright, fairly recent recruits to the science scene in Australia, but there is a problem of getting the perception across to children, particularly primary school children, that there is not only intrinsic excitement in science and technology, there's a job at the end of it. And I think those of us who work in the field are going to have to convince decision-makers that these jobs need to be promoted and they need to be real.

ANN HENDERSON-SELLERS: I think it isn't only that, if I can come in, Kerry. I think it's society's perception. I think if you talk, it isn't just the kids in kindy. If you talk to their parents, as many of us do - I certainly do - the parents' perception is that they don't particularly want their children to go into science or technology. And if a child is very, very persistent, particularly a boy, then they may let him go ahead and do that, but really parents can see that there might be better jobs - there's certainly going to be better paid jobs, which I think was part of the point that John Stocker was making - there are going to be jobs that are more exciting. I mean, science isn't seen as something which produces benefits for society. It's seen as something that produces Chernobyl rather than something that produces, as we're always told about the space race, non-stick frying pans.

Now, I'm not saying that's correct, I'm just saying that's what you hear when you go out into schools and communities. And I certainly spend a lot of my time as one of these supposed role models trying to encourage girls, especially in high school, to do science, and I would like, very much like, more girls and women to be interested in science and technology, but really we're asking the question the wrong way around. It's not: What is wrong with girls and women that they're not interested in science and technology? It's: What's wrong with science and technology that it does not attract and engage the interests of girls and women? And I would also say a whole lot of boys as well.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I'm also interested in a point that Paul Davies makes, and he argues that we should be investing in people rather than in projects, that we've become project-obsessed, that the bean-counters, if you like, that the people who determine what funds you should have and where and why, will centre on projects rather than people. Paul Davies, where can you point to and say this works, investment in people, and what exactly do you mean by it? How would you do it?

PAUL DAVIES: Almost nobody does do it this way. Mostly what happens in research is that you have to dream up some sort of project, often in quite a lot of detail, that is you have to say what you're going to discover, when, and how much it's going to cost, and then you put this to a research council or an organisation that will have a limited amount of funds, and it will be in competition with other similar projects. Most countries do it that way, but I think the better way of doing it is to try and identify, if you like, the clever people or the clever groups, people who have a good track record, and give them enough money to get on with the job without having to spend so much time thinking up about what the next project is going to be or trying to justify it in competition with others.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So, effectively, you say: We trust you; here's your money; come out when you've got something.

PAUL DAVIES: That's right. That's right. Of course, you must review the situation after a number of years, and if people aren't producing interesting things, then you give the money to somebody else. But I think it's much better to direct it towards productive people rather than specific projects.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Gus Nossal, what do you think of that?

GUSTAV NOSSAL: I think Paul Davies is describing a world in which I'd very much like to live, but I don't think I'm going to see it in my lifetime and I don't think we'll have it back by 2020. But, Kerry, I've got an eye on the clock, as I'm sure you do. I want to say that one of the things for the future that I would like to see and I think that we will see, is very much more emphasis on preventive medicine. I think you're going to have a lot more vaccines, including vaccines for diseases other than communicable disease; I think you're going to have earlier diagnosis and I think you're going to have people taking much more care of their own health, based in part on genetic screening of their individual disease susceptibilities. So, as far as the health sciences are concerned, I can see a future that really is beckoning and full of promise.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And how much faith do you have in human capacity to work out the moral dilemmas connected with genetic?

GUSTAV NOSSAL: I think that commonsense will prevail because, of course, most of the risks and the Frankenstein scenarios are conjectural and they tend to inhabit more the world of good electronic journalism than they do the world of real doctors and real people, in my opinion.

KERRY O'BRIEN: John Stocker, what do you think of Paul Davies' point about investing in people rather than projects?

JOHN STOCKER: I think there's a lot of merit in it, and in fact in many of the great centres of learning in the world, that's exactly what does happen. And if it doesn't happen because of a deliberate policy by somebody, it happens de facto because the best students know who are the best professors and the best researchers, and they gather around them. And so I have a strong sympathy with that idea, particularly at the basic curiosity-driven end of the research spectrum.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Peter Farrell, we're just about out of time, but I feel I've got to give you one more go because we haven't heard from you for a while.

PETER FARRELL: Thank you, Kerry. Look, just very quickly then, I think that we're probably all in agreement that people make the world go around and whether it's in pure or applied science, and it's people at the marketplace, and I don't want to sound like the only commercial person here, but it's terribly, terribly important when one's developing products, that the research must be directed at meeting the need of the marketplace, and in that sense, one has to back people, and that's people in individual firms.

And I'd like to come back, and really in a way ask John Stocker a question. I thought his remarks were absolutely excellent - his introductory remarks - but the picking of winners worried me, and I was just wondering who was going to start picking those areas of science which we ought to be concentrating on. I'm a great believer in the people end of things that Paul pushed, and I think Gus was in agreement with that, and I'm certainly in agreement with that. I'm concerned about picking winners because the question then has to be asked: Who's going to pick them?

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay, John Stocker, and we're going to have to make this the last answer, I'm afraid.

JOHN STOCKER: Well, it happens now. Everywhere that science is funded, decisions have to be made about what is going to be funded, and individual scientists are already making decisions about what areas they're going to work in and what are most likely to be productive. I believe that these decisions in industrial research need to be driven by the people who are actually going to be commercialising the results of science and technology, and that the process of setting priorities in these areas needs to be an interactive one, predominantly driven by the people who understand the development process and the ultimate markets.

PETER FARRELL: I agree with you.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Okay. Well, on that note, we'll wind it up, but thanks very much to all of you.