No venue other than our Parliament House would reflect the special place that science holds in the fabric of our Australian society. Science is not just another industry or another sector. Along with other values such as universal schooling, an independent public sector and the rule of law, science is one of the fundamental platforms upon which we base our conception of a modern advanced society. The objectivity and rigour of science are basic to our existence and success as a community of reason. It is science, more than almost any other pursuit, which has freed humanity from the habits, fears and superstitions of the past. It is science which has inspired greater progress in the past two centuries than all of the previous millennia of human history. And it is science to which we turn for a better understanding of ourselves and the future of our fragile planet.
~Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard