Head shot of Dr Clarke in the pop art fashion.

Dr Megan Clark, our own Marilyn.

By Lou Morrissey

ABC’s Tony Jones once described her as ‘Australia’s Chief Nerd’, and we tend to agree. Our Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark has had an invaluable impact on our organisation in the six years she’s been with us.

But now, a farewell is in order.

This morning it was announced that Megan would be taking on a board role at Rio Tinto and finishing up with us. We wish Megan all the best in this endeavour.

But before we let her walk out the door, we asked Megan one final, and crucial, question; why is CSIRO critical to Australia and the world?

Here are her seven reasons.

    • People’s lives are better because of CSIRO. CSIRO is Australia’s largest patent holder and can boast more than 728 inventions that help people at work and at home.


    • It’s the secret weapon for Australian business. CSIRO partners with more than 1800 Australian companies every year to help them solve problems, create new products and services, and save money.
    • Science is different from what it was. It’s not the individual in a white coat and a Eureka moment anymore. It’s big, multidisciplinary collaborative teams that are answering questions for society today. In Australia, the answers to our water resource challenges will come from experts across a range of fields, including mathematicians, chemists, engineers and biologists.


    • CSIRO is one of Australia’s greatest exports. CSIRO collaborates with more than 440 overseas companies every year to help companies innovate and develop new techniques and approaches to solving their business challenges – from aviation to biomedical fields.


    • The world will need to feed 10 billion people by 2100 with constrained resources. CSIRO’s research on food production, biosecurity, land management and disease prevention will be critical if we’re to meet this need.
3D printed titanium heel implant

Image of a 3D printed titanium heel implant, with two other non-metallic versions

The 3D-printed titanium heel implant

    • CSIRO’s research breakthroughs in Australia are breakthroughs for the world. For example, our 3D-printing technology used to print a heel bone and save a man from leg amputation has the potential to be used around the world – the possibilities are mind-boggling.


  • The next Wi-Fi could be just around the corner. CSIRO scientists invented the technology that underpins Wi-Fi that is now in more than 5 billion devices around the world. We’ve earned more than $440 million in royalties from this work, which originally started in our astronomy field. Who knows where our current astronomy work, which includes extraordinary new receivers on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder project, could take us?Indeed, who knows what the future holds when it’s in the hands of great science?