Science and research are integral to the advice, decisions, policies, guidance, information, regulations and legislation considered, developed and provided by NSW Government agencies.
NSW Government institutions are important repositories of scientific knowledge and a key component of the state's research fabric. These organisations contain equipment, specimen and data collections, and research libraries. Through the work of their researcher staff, they provide information and expert technical advice to Government to inform policy, standards and practice,as well as supporting and partnering with industry, schools and the wider community.
Below are the major NSW institutions with a role in science and research.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Though recognised for its collections, exhibitions and lectures, the Art Gallery's library and research tools also provide links to international scholarship, institutions and collections. The Gallery has a leading scientific role in identifying the provenance of works and conserving the collections.
Australia's first museum houses scientific and cultural collections, and provides public exhibitions, education services, reports and specialist advice. It is home to the Australian Museum Research Institute, the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, the Lizard Island Research Station and hosts the prestigious annual Eureka prizes. The Australian Museum is currently closed to the public, reopening in Spring 2020.
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
The Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) is a museum of science, technology, design, decorative arts and social history; providing interactive exhibitions and educational programs. Specialist research centres, collections and services range from the Mars Lab, the Migration Heritage Centre and Lace Study centre, to agricultural equipment and conservation resources.
In July 2020 it was announced by the Berejiklian Government that the current museum would be retained at the Ultimo site, with the new Powerhouse Parramatta scheduled to open in late 2024.
State Library of New South Wales
A world-leading library and centre of digital excellence, the State Library specialises in Australian history, culture and literature, spanning social and applied sciences, Aboriginal studies, Antarctic exploration, family history, biography, business, law and health. The Library collects and preserves contemporary and heritage print and digital works, including manuscripts, maps, pictures, photographs, newspapers, prints and recordings. Collections include specialist and rare books, and reference libraries.
Taronga Conservation Society
The Sydney and Dubbo zoos play an international role in the care and conservation of native and exotic species, including breeding programs and research. Scientific projects include population dynamics, wildlife health, marine science, and terrestrial and behavioural ecology. The Sydney zoo also hosts the Australian Shark Attack File, with over 30 years of information and trends on shark-human encounters.
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The oldest scientific institution in Australia, in addition to public gardens, herbaria and educational facilities, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney houses scientific samples and libraries, and the science program includes evolutionary ecology, plant diversity and pathology research. It is home to the Australian PlantBank, a world-class scientific facility with a seed bank and laboratories specialising in research and conservation of native species. Research into the Wollemi Pine ('dinosaur tree'), one of the great botanic discoveries of modern times, is conducted at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.