Entry for:2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
Public policy directs funding and frames research activities across Australia. Conversely, STEM research provides essential information for policy development. However, STEM training rarely includes policy engagement, and a large gap exists between the research and policy-making communities.
In partnership with the Australian Academy of Science, I have written an evidence-based Science Policy Handbook to assist STEM researchers to effectively communicate their research to policy-makers. The handbook also includes a detailed overview of the STEM policy landscape and key drivers of research. This is critical information for increasing researcher awareness of, and engagement with, a range of research, funding, and collaborative opportunities outside of academia (e.g. Cooperative Research Centres).
I am now: (1) replicating the overview of the STEM policy landscape and drivers of research at a state level for Queensland; and (2) converting the handbook from a static one-dimensional pdf into a freely available and interactive digital platform.
2. Additional Details
My background is conservation science and I’m currently completing a PhD on the tangible conservation outcomes of Australian ecotourism enterprises through both ecological and social sciences. I grew up in South East Queensland and saw the incredible outcomes of individual advocates in preventing the destruction of local forests, rehabilitating ecosystems, and turning a small Reptile and Fauna Park in Beerwah into the world class Australia Zoo, allowing the owners to fund extensive local, national, and international conservation projects.
Individuals can, and do, make a difference. But their capacity to do so is greatly enhanced by an understanding of the policy, political, and practical contexts that they’re working in. This information helps us to be strategic, to target our communications, and to have the most convincing argument rather than the loudest voice.
**Please note that some of the images included in the video are not mine.
Cassandra is a PhD student in the Griffith University School of Environment, the HDR representative for Griffith University, and an intern at the Australian Academy of Science. Through her PhD she ...