It’s A Two Way Street: Engaging ALL Australians In Science


Imagine the year is 2050…


Kids in rural schools will be doing just as well as those in private colleges.  Aboriginal communities will be driving the process of community improvement, not scientists. Government will employ science communicators to help spread important messages.  This is the dream of Jenni Metcalfe – Director of Econnect communication.

The Brains trust for this session (or should we call them the Devil’s Advocate committee?) is Bruce Walker and Jen Skattebol. Like Jenni, they have seen some of the current projects in action – they’ve seen both the successful and less successful aspects.

Bruce has seen how science of desert living and business systems often mimic one another. Part of the journey in engaging ALL Australians is recognizing that trying to pass on messages from a text book into an urban environment doesn’t always work.  Reconstructing the questions and information for people who live on the margins is his specialty.

Jen works with disadvantaged Australians and has seen first-hand the relationship between the economical status of a student and their success in science at school. It is certainly not that these children are not interested, but we have an issue where these children often can’t see futures for themselves in science careers which often require great levels of economic investment.

But before we can have an answer we have to recognise the problem. The group is asked to split up and come up with their top 3 impediments to engaging ALL Australians in science.  The popular answers were:

  • Language
  • Trust
  • Credibility
  • Leadership

Have your say in what you think the top impediments to engaging Australians as a comment below!

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