Science meets Parliament

10 October 2012

Dr Elaine Ryan from the Faculty of Health Sciences recently attended the annual Science meets Parliament event held in Canberra. Organised by Science and Technology Australia, the event is designed to put Australia's foremost scientists face-to-face with the nation's decision makers.

This year's two day event was attended by 170 scientists from across Australia, working and researching in diverse fields, from aquatic science and technological science, to physical and chemical sciences.

Dr Elaine Ryan with Senator Sue Boyce
Dr Elaine Ryan with Senator Sue Boyce


During the meeting, workshops were held to train the delegates in skills required to optimise interactions with the media, and how to communicate their work to the public and to policy makers.

There was an opportunity for each of the attendees to meet with parliamentarians to discuss their research and open up avenues for information and idea exchanges into the future.

Dr Ryan had the opportunity to meet with Senator Sue Boyce, Senator for Queensland and Mr John Alexander OAM MP, Member for Bennelong, as well as other opportunities for interaction with parliamentarians through presentations, Q&A sessions and during the evening dinner event.

Dr Ryan said she found the experience both rewarding and insightful.

"Some of the highlights included the opportunity to attend question time, to see the press club in action and questioning Professor Brian Schmidt the Nobel Laureate for Physics about his research in astrophysics and his passion for wine making."

Science meets Parliament provides a unique opportunity for scientists to get an insight into the competing rationalities of science, politics, public policy and the media, within the grand surroundings of Parliament House.