Sarah Harvey

Science earns big bucks for Aussie economy

SCIENCE could be one of the nation's biggest economic hitters, with a new report showing advanced maths and science contributing $292billion to the nation's economy.

The Academy of Science report quantified the economic impact of physics, chemistry, earth science and mathematics on Australia's gross domestic product.

It found the sciences accounted for 22% of GDP, and about 7% of total employment, with 760,000 jobs across 27,000 businesses.

The nation's Chief Scientist Ian Chubb told the National Press Club that he had the numbers to prove the value of science in the community.

He said the report showed the importance of science to economic growth and the need for continued investment for Australia's future.

The report also confirmed the need for scientific research to grow Australian agriculture, mining and exports, with science directly or indirectly helping generate $74 billion a year, or about 28% of national exports.

It also revealed the specific impact of science and maths on individual industries, with science contributing half of the $32 billion value of oil and gas mining, and 40% of the $19 billion general insurance industry. Other key sectors reliant on maths and science included information technology, finance and banking.

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