Government and governance, Science and technology | Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World, Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia

17 August 2018

On this week’s Policy Forum Pod, a physicist, a psychologist, an engineer, and a climate scientist discuss how to break down the barriers standing between science and good public policy.

Can scientists make facts great again in an era of fake news? How can we get more young people and women studying STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths? Is humanity heading towards a science utopia or dystopia? It’s National Science Week in Australia, and on this podcast we hear from four scientists working across physics, psychology, engineering, and climatology: Susan Scott, Eryn Newman, Elanor Huntington and Mark Howden. In a wide-ranging interview, hosts Maya Bhandari and Sue Regan lead a discussion on how researchers can make themselves heard by the public and respected by policymakers, why science must find more common ground with the humanities, and why we need a new engineering for the 21st century. Listen here:

Professor Susan Scott specialises in gravitational physics at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. Susan was part of the team behind the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves, winning awards for the way the science was presented to the media.

Professor Elanor Huntington is Dean of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University. Elanor is leading a project to reimagine a new type of engineering and computing, fit for the middle of the 21st century.

Professor Mark Howden is Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. Mark was a major contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports for the UN, for which he shares a Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr Eryn Newman is a researcher at the ANU Research School of Psychology. Eryn’s research focuses on distortions of memory and cognition, looking at how people can succumb to ‘truthiness’ – using feelings and pseudo-evidence to decide what is real, instead of drawing on facts.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Trapped in a culture of happiness by Brock Bastian

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesStitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was written and produced by Maya Bhandari, Cherry Zheng, Nicky Lovegrove and Edwina Landale.

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