Before entering parliament in 1977, Mr Jones had a varied and often high-profile career ranging from high school teacher to Australian Quiz Champion (1960-68) and pioneering the first Australian two-way public affairs radio program. During his parliamentary career, Mr Jones was Minister for Science from 1983 to 1990 and chaired the OECD Meeting of Science Ministers in Paris in 1987. He has been ALP National President since 1992.
His publications include: Sleepers Wake!: Technology and the Future of Work (1982); Managing Our Opportunities (1984) and Barry Jones' Dictionary of World Biography (1994).