The rhetoric was all about change and getting it right finally. So, what have we learned? Well, not a great deal, it seems, if the foreshadowed cuts of staff at CSIRO are anything to go by.
It's not the fact that the organisation's head, who has just settled in the job, decided to give the CSIRO ship a new direction - that is why he was chosen: young, dynamic, with entrepreneurial credentials under his belt, and possibly a touch radical.
But if some had wished for an Alexander the Great of Australian research who could shake up things a bit and get rid of the cobwebs, they may now wish there was proper oversight from an independent board with teeth. As it stands, he is about to rip out major planks from the ships haul in the illusion of providing perspective for the organisation's future.
In reality, not only will this cause major pain for many of CSIRO's climate scientists, although most will be spared the sacking, while being told to re-train in the 'apply-thy-research' field.
Most likely this decision will also result in more pain than gain for the nation.
CSIRO is not a start-up, it builds capacity over a long time, supported with considerable public investment.
And the decision to do away with the experience of 350 scientists, who over 40 years have built internationally recognised capacity in climate science, comes at a time when we need more insight into our climate future, contrary to what CSIRO's chief executive Larry Marshall wants us to believe.
In his email to staff, in which he explains the cuts, he writes that CSIRO having pioneered climate research, "cannot rest on our laurels as that is the path to mediocrity".
Who could argue with that?
But change within such a major organisation, important not just to a few shareholders but to the nation - and in many respects (given our unique position in the Southern Hemisphere) to the world - requires a mature and much more conservative approach than can be afforded within a smaller enterprise that lives by the principle of swim or drown.
There is a difference between successfully floating a few sailing boats and running an ocean liner.
Importantly, the signals Mr Marshall sends are political, if he likes it or not, and in the current environment they aren't good. Australia is already on notice internationally for the confused leadership its political leaders have presented to the world over the past years.
Now its chief research organisation calls climate science suddenly settled:
"That question has been answered, and the new question is what do we do about it, and how can we find solutions for the climate we will be living with?"
The realisation that human activities are responsible for driving global warming is one thing, understanding how this change will play out over the future is another.
Just last year, we reported on CSIRO research providing groundbreaking insight into the likely changes to the El Niņo/La Niņa pattern. We are only just beginning to understand these complex systems that have a major impact on our local climate, and we know very little about how climate change will effect Australia on a micro-climate level.
Adaptation to climate change will require more sophisticated knowledge than: 'It's going to get a lot warmer'.
Public debate on climate change is also far from settled - not even among our leading political class - and CSIRO is a voice of authority without match. Many people in Australia are sceptical of climate scientists and their motives, but they respect CSIRO as the premier provider of scientific knowledge.
Importantly, and in contrast to universities, its researchers are far less vulnerable to the vagaries that come with having to sustain their research with short term competitive research grants.
CSIRO can build long term expertise and pursue research in a way that would not be sustainable within universities, especially as these increasingly transform into enterprise-like organisations - and are recognised as such by the public.
Any move CSIRO makes carries weight beyond that of any other research organisation in Australia. Hence, any major decision on its research directions requires an understanding of its longer term impact, beyond CSIRO's immediate business objectives. Such understanding is painfully missing in Mr Marshall's announcement.
This is not to say that there is no merit in what he wants to achieve, and it is also not the end of climate science at CSIRO.As Mr Marshall clarifies in a statement on Monday, in an almost desperate attempt to correct the public record on the changes, "CSIRO's Oceans and Atmosphere business has about 420 staff, not 140 as reported by some media, and after these changes we expect to have about 355".
He also assures us that CSIRO's capacity for climate measurement through the Cape Grim air pollution monitoring station and the RV Investigator vessel are not under threat from these changes.
Also, Australia needs to adapt to a likely scenario of a future climate that poses great challenges, and the CSIRO is the major organisation we will look to for solutions. However, this message is in danger of getting lost, as CSIRO's leadership finds itself caught up in the convoluted politics of Canberra.
Even if we for a moment forget the sensitive political nature of climate science, CSIRO's move does not bode well for the direction Australia will take to improve its science and its general innovation performance.
Mr Marshall seems to see a need to show 'agility', the new buzzword of the political fashion leaders.
CSIRO is not a business, it is a core element of the Australian innovation system.
Nations with great success in their science and innovation output - Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are stand out examples - are so successful because they treat their innovation system with care.
High-impact science, and its proxy innovation, requires long term vision and measured decisions.
CSIRO's ham-fisted approach, blowing up long term expertise in the hope that its people can just 'reinvent' themselves, is everything but that. In fact, it's a great example of what is wrong with the Australian way.
As a major ACOLA report has just recently highlighted, Australia's innovation malaise is rooted in short-termism and lack of strategic continuity.
As the general political wind changes in Canberra, and who could doubt that it will, CSIRO may have to crawl back on the basic climate science train, by then having greatly diminished its world class expertise.
And it will come at a cost we all will have to pay for.