The first part of this year’s event was Science Meets Parliament Online: a professional development program that took place between 7-9 March.
Below is a summary of quotes and takeaways from speakers related to our department.
Science Meets Parliament Online takeaways
The Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science
The minister delivered the opening address on 7 March during which he discussed the importance of the event to federal parliamentarians.
‘Science Meets Parliament crowds the corridors of power in Canberra with hundreds of inspiring scientists and technologists. This event connects the worlds of science and technology with our elected representatives… and it puts science on the radar of Parliament in a powerful way.’
Meghan Quinn PSM, Secretary
On 7 March, Meghan participated in a panel discussion on how STEM experts can engage effectively with policymakers. Her advice to delegates was to think about the broader context in which a government is operating and to ask yourself whether an idea is compelling. She reminded attendees that to find the right person to talk to on an issue ‘the government online directory (GOLD) is literally gold!’.
Duncan McIntyre, Deputy Secretary - Science and Technology
Duncan delivered the foundation partner address on 8 March, discussing how the event is a great opportunity for scientists to connect and share knowledge with decision-makers across government.
‘This engagement is invaluable. It helps the government better understand how science and research can contribute to strong, evidence-based policy. By participating in this event, you are creating opportunities for improving policy outcomes.’
Dr Cathy Foley AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist
Cathy chaired an expert panel discussion on how to develop the skills, network and mindset to take promising science on to translation and commercialisation phases on 9 March.
During her introduction, Cathy quoted a recent research study reported by IP Australia. The study looked at the impact on the success rates of young companies depending on if they have protected their intellectual property or not.
‘Companies that filed 3 types of IP rights in any given year were 235% more likely to achieve high turnover growth and 91% more likely to achieve high employment growth over their peers that filed no rights. Intangibles matter.’
Science Meets Parliament On The Hill
The second part of this year’s event was Parliament On The Hill on 22 March. Minister Husic’s address to the National Press Club was followed by a gala dinner.
Some of the highlights of the minister’s address included:
- discussing the importance of recognising our First Nation’s scientists and engineers
- praising the work of Science and Technology Australia (STA) to bring scientists to Canberra to meet with parliamentarians
- noting the record-breaking number of MPs, Senators and advisers from all political parties meeting with scientists, amounting to 40% of parliamentarians
- announcing the appointment of the first person with Indigenous heritage to the CSIRO board, Professor Alex Brown.
Minister Husic’s National Press Club address is available to watch on ABC iView.