Agricultural Chief Scientist

The Agricultural Chief Scientist provides leadership and coordination on agricultural science activities and high-level independent advice to senior executives and government on matters relating to agricultural science, technology and innovation.


The Agricultural Chief Scientist has a scientific leadership role including:

  • Coordinating relationships with internal and external agricultural science stakeholders
  • working with the Science Council to strengthen the department’s scientific credibility and integrity and increase the department’s scientific capability
  • ensuring that high-quality science remains an integral part of the evidence base used in departmental decision-making.

The Agricultural Chief Scientist represents the Australian government in:

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) Meeting of Agricultural Scientists (G20 MACS)
  • International Agriculture Research and Development Group
  • Other scientific groups as required.

Strategic priorities:

  • Provide leadership and coordination to agricultural science activities
  • Lead the activities of the International Agricultural Research and Development Coordination Group
  • Provide support to the CSIRO–Department strategic research agreement
  • Champion the department’s Science and Innovation Awards
  • Represent Australia in international forums e.g. at the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS), as part of the Group of Twenty (G20) international forum for cooperation on global economic governance annual meetings.

About the G20 MACS

The Meeting of the G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) is an initiative that was endorsed by G20 Leaders under Mexico’s G20 presidency.

In total, nine G20 MACS meetings have been held in Mexico (2012), Russia (2013), Australia (2014), Turkey (2015), China (2016), Germany (2017), Argentina (2018), Japan (2019) and Saudi Arabia (2020), each with a particular focus.

National Science Exchange

The department's annual National Science Exchange conference has been hosted by the Agricultural Chief Scientist. It allows effective dialogue and exchange between departmental and external scientists and is a catalyst for driving collaborative scientific partnerships.

Last reviewed: 22 January 2021
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