Abstract: Research and Development in the rangelands of Australia has typically been reductionist in nature, focussing on segments of what is in reality a deeply integrated system of interaction containing social and natural elements. For example, work on production and productivity has been poorly integrated with the issues of social systems (markets and marketing) and ecological sustainability, biodiversity and lately carbon storage and sequestration. The landscape’s main resource has been seen as based in agriculture, and this in turn has been driven by the issues of production and productivity Agriculture faces increasing economic pressures in terms of long term net returns; in terms of political and social influence and in terms of wider community values surrounding natural resource management, food production systems and responses to climate change. Accommodating this new and exciting future, it is argued that there needs to be changes in both community attitudes and the direction of scientific research. Community attitudes need to be imaginative, proactive and recognise the changed economic, social and environmental context that rangelands inhabitants now find themselves in. For scientists, the challenges are similar, but also include the need to work in an interdisciplinary manner, to see research and development as underpinning and informing management as well as integrating research more fully with all areas in which it has an impact.