|Minister for Science and Technology|
11 March 1983 - 4 April 1990
(Small Business and Customs)
|President of the Australian Labor Party|
1 January 2005 - 28 January 2006
6 June 1992 - 31 July 2000
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
10 December 1977 - 31 August 1998
|Member of the Victorian Parliament|
June 1972 - November 1977
|Born||11 October 1932|
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
(30 June 1961 - her death June 2006)
|Profession||Teacher, writer, politician|
Barry Owen Jones, (born 11 October 1932), is an Australian polymath, writer, teacher, lawyer, social activist, quiz champion and former politician. He campaigned against the death penalty throughout the 1960s, particularly against the execution of Ronald Ryan. He is on the National Trust's list of Australian Living Treasures.
Barry Jones was born in Geelong, Victoria, and educated at Melbourne High School and the University of Melbourne, where he studied arts and law. He began his career as a schoolteacher at Dandenong High School, where he taught for nine years, before becoming a household name as an Australian quiz champion in the 1960s on Bob Dyer's Pick a Box, a radio show from 1948, televised from 1957. He was known for taking issue with Dyer about certain expected answers, most famously in response to a question about "the first British Governor-General of India", where he pointed out that Warren Hastings was technically only the Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal Presidency. Jones' appearances on Pick a Box lasted from 1960 to 1968.
He famously claimed that in the future there would be more computers than cars in Tasmania. The sceptisim provoked by the claim was highlighted by former prime minister Julia Gillard as an example of a lack of imagination about the future.
Jones also tried his hand at broadcasting on Melbourne radio in the mid-1960s. He was one of the pioneers of talkback radio, working at 3DB in Melbourne. His show Talkback to Barry Jones and Mike Walsh's show on Sydney's 2SM were Australia's first talkback shows. Jones believes that modern talkback shows have a much narrower focus than the original shows. He says "I was trying to convey to people a sense of what they didn't know rather than simply talk about football or pets. My emphasis was on using talkback as an instrument for exposing people to new ideas and challenging them, rather than just reinforcing the ideas they already held." Jones was a panelist on 3DB's popular program, Information Please.
Jones's political career began in the Victorian Parliament where he represented the electorate of Melbourne as a Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 1972 to 1977, when he resigned to go into federal politics.
In 1977, he was elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor member for the Federal seat of Lalor in Victoria, which he held until his retirement in 1998. He was Minister for Science in the Hawke government from 1983 to 1990, in which role he presided over the growth of organisations such as the CSIRO, the creation of the Australia Prize, Questacon and the Commission for the Future. Jones lost his place in the ministry when he failed to gain the backing of his centre-left faction.
In 1992, upon the resignation of Stephen Loosley, to whom he had lost the position in a split vote in 1991, he was elected National President of the ALP, serving until 2000. He became National President again in 2005-06.
Jones was the chief architect of the ALP's Knowledge Nation education concept, as chair of the Chifley Research Centre's Knowledge Nation Taskforce. During this time he was also a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.
Jones attended the selective Melbourne High School in South Yarra before continuing to the University of Melbourne where he graduated with Bachelor of Laws and Master of Arts degrees. Jones holds the honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters from the University of Technology Sydney and University of Wollongong, Doctor of Science from Macquarie University and Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne.
In 1999 he was appointed an adjunct professor at Monash University and became a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne in 2005.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA); a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA); a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA); and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE): he was the first (and so far the only) person elected Fellow of all four Australian learned academies. In 1999 he was elected a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Victoria (FRSV)., and a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (DistFRSN).
Jones chaired the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission from 2001 until 2005. He chaired the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority from 2000 to 2005 and serves on the boards of several medical research institutes. Jones was the founding Chair of the Advisory Board to In2science, a peer mentoring program that builds enthusiasm of Victorian secondary school students for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) . On 31 October 2008, Jones was appointed to serve on the board of the Victorian Opera.
He appeared regularly as a member of the Brains Trust on the television quiz show The Einstein Factor. He mentioned on an episode of the show that he likes to watch his popflock.com resource page grow.
On 9 April 2010, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, announced the formation of the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) with Jones as chair. The group submitted its report in September 2011.
Barry Jones Bay in the Australian Antarctic Territory and Yalkaparidon jonesi, an extinct marsupial, were named after him. He is the owner of the largest private autograph collection in Australia.
Jones's stated position on voluntary euthanasia in the past has been inconclusive but in the Australian parliament he has voted against euthanasia-enabling laws in the Northern Territory. He has noted that popular support is not of itself a compelling reason for its adoption. In the same frequently cited speech from 1996 he noted that "No other issue has troubled me so much because I am not sure that I am correct".
Jones claims to have been an early advocate for action on climate change, first advocating for his cabinet colleagues to support action in 1984.
Jones has been a prolific author of political and sociological books, including:
| Minister for Science (and Technology)/
Minister for Science, (Customs)
and Small Business
11 March 1983 - 4 April 1990
Simon Crean (Science)
David Beddall (Small
Business and Customs)
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Lalor
10 December 1977 - 31 August 1998