Two scientists represented ACEDD at the 2018 STA Science meets Parliament event. Dr Libby Rumpff and Dr Daniel Harris. Dr Rumpff is from the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA), at the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences (SEFS), and the School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne and Dr Harris is a lecturer in Geography in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland. They were among 200 Scientists who who gathered in Canberra to participate in a range of activities over two days. The event is designed to provide professional development to scientists in media and political engagement.
Both found the event was an invaluable opportunity to network with fellow scientists, get some perspective and inspiration from leaders in the STEM field, and to communicate their work at the science-policy interface, as well as to gain an understanding of the day to day life of politicians in Australia. Highlights from the event included:
- Hearing from scientists who have had experience at the science-policy interface, talking through their role as advocates, science communicators, and their perspectives on the integration of science in policy.
- Getting various perspectives on communicating science, either to the media, the public or directly to politicians
- Working to improve my 2 minute-30 second pitch!
Both Libby and Daniel found Science Meets Parliament a valuable experience in developing an understanding of the approaches that lead to science based environmental policy and the skill and effort required to effectively communicate the crucial aspects and findings of science to high-level stake-holders. This experience has helped develop a wider vision for their roles as environmental scientists in Australia to not just report results to the scientific community but to engage the public or to relevant science communication organisations where possible if the issue is indeed important.