Alan Simon Finkel is Australia's Chief Scientist. An Australian neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, he served as Chancellor of Monash University in 2008-2016.
Finkel was educated at Monash University, receiving a doctorate in Electrical Engineering in 1981. He then served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University, before leaving academia to found Axon Instruments, a global science and technology company based in the US. During this time, he invented a commercially successful device which substantially speeds up drug research.
Since then, he has used his wealth to found the science magazine Cosmos, an environment magazine called G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine and contribute towards a number of research institutes. During a speech at Monash University's 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, he announced that he would be endowing a Chair in Global Health for the University.
In 2006 Finkel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE). In 2008 he was inducted as an honorary member of the Monash Golden Key Society to recognize his achievements. In 2009 Finkel was appointed as the Chief Technology Officer of Better Place Australia. In 2012 he co-founded Stile Education, an education technology company based in Melbourne, Australia, where he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. In 2013 he was appointed President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). Since 2013, Finkel also serves as the Patron of the Australian Science Media Centre.
He was the 2015 winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology Mountbatten Medal, for his promotion of electronics or information technology and their application.
He is married to Elizabeth Finkel, an Australian science journalist.
Since assuming his role as President of ATSE in 2013, Alan Finkel has advocated for the consideration of nuclear power in Australia in newspapers, at speaking engagements and in digital media broadcasts. Following his appointment as Australia's Chief Scientist in 2015, Finkel suggested nuclear power should be considered as an option for potential inclusion in Australia's future low carbon energy mix.