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UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston has taken on the role of President of Science & Technology Australia, the peak body for the country's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.

A leading marine ecotoxicologist, Professor Johnston is also a board member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and a well known science communicator, co-presenting the Foxtel/BBC television series, Coast Australia.

She was confirmed as President at the STA annual general meeting in Sydney today, taking on the role from outgoing President Emeritus Professor Jim Piper AO.

Professor Johnston said that there was much unrealised potential in Australian science and technology and the organisation would be "unabashed" about promoting the value of STEM at the next election.

“Science & Technology Australia will work tirelessly to ensure that knowledge creation and application are at the forefront of Australia’s future economy," she said.

“I am also proud of our strategy to support and enhance a diverse and inclusive workforce in STEM – that makes the most of Australia’s genuine breadth of passion, creativity, and brainpower.

“We will work hard to secure better job security for scientists and technologists, to see them better resourced to achieve great things, and highlight the vital need for basic research in Australia to underpin the commercialisation of our ideas."

UNSW Medicine geneticist Dr Darren Saunders is STA Secretary. For information about other members of the STA Executive, please see their website.