This week on the Policy Forum Pod, we put science and science policy under the microscope and wonder where it was in the recent Australian election campaign. We also take a look at whether the long-term vision needed to tackle the big science challenges of our time can ever stand up to the short-termism that dominates the country’s politics.
Australians support science and having policy informed by the best scientific evidence, but in the recent federal election campaign, science was in short supply. So what more should scientists and the scientific community do to encourage evidence-based policy to tackle the big issues of our time? What responsibilities to scientists have to engage directly with the public, particularly in the frequently hostile environment of social media? And how can we tackle the rise of anti-science? On this Policy Forum Pod, we’re joined by two of nation’s leading scientists – Anna-Maria Arabia and Ian Chubb – to put science and science policy under the microscope.
Our expert panel also discuss why science isn’t always at the forefront of national debates, the importance of moving away from short-termism when it comes to implementing robust science policy, and how science is presented and debated.
Anna-Maria Arabia is Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science. She was Principal Adviser to the Hon Bill Shorten. She has worked in senior policy roles in both social and economic portfolios.
Ian Chubb was Vice-Chancellor of both Flinders University and the Australian National University, and has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia. He served as Australia’s Chief Scientist from 2011 to 2016, and is an Emeritus Fellow at Crawford School.
Our presenters this week – Quentin and Martyn – also discuss how the recent raids on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have underscored the importance of transparency and public debate. What’s more, they also go over how you – our listeners – can win a mug. Get listening!
Quentin Grafton is Professor of Economics at Crawford School, an ANU Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Policy Forum.
Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.
Show notes | The following were mentioned in this podcast:
Raid on ABC studios
ABC journalists’ home raided
Whistleblowers and public interest disclosure
Democracy Sausage Podcast
Australia’s research funding is among the lowest in OECD
Fish kills Murray Darling Basin
Labor’s campaign on energy policy
Water buybacks in Australia
Zero carbon 2050 Australia
Cooperative Research Centres Program
Clive Palmer on vaccinations
Medical Research Future Fund
Australia anti-smoking campaign
Reconciliation Week podcast
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