Science meets Parliament

The 13th annual Science meets Parliament was held on 17 & 18 September 2012.

The 14th annual Science meets Parliament will be held on a date to be advised.


SmP 2012

Science meets Parliament brings together about 200 of Australia’s top scientist and puts them face-to-face with the decision makers in Canberra.  Understand how politics, policymaking and the media work and look at your science from a different perspective!Every Science & Technology Australia member is entitled to register two people to attend SmP 2012!

So let the President of your scientific society (which is a member of STA) know that you’d like to be at SmP 2012.

Not sure if your scientific society is a member of STA?  Check our list of members here.

Interested in becoming an STA member?  Click here to find out more.

Science & Technology Australia (STA) is providing two travel grants for Early Career Researchers to attend Science meets Parliament 2012 in Canberra. The Early Career Researcher Travel Grants are generously sponsored by Charles Darwin University.  One of the two grants will be awarded as a “Rural & Remote Travel Grant” to encourage young scientists who reside outside capital cities to attend SmP.

Capital Hill lives and breathes science for the day at this annual event that began in 1999. Scientists keeps our parliamentarians informed on the big issues.

This annual forum aims to:

  • give scientists with unique personal development opportunities,
  • allow scientists to understand the competing rationalities of science, politics; public policy and the media,
  • stimulate and inform Parliament’s discussion of scientific issues that underpin Australia’s economic, social and environmental well-being,
  • improve the understanding of science through the wider community,
  • build links between scientists, politicians and policy makers that open up avenues for information and idea exchanges into the future, and
  • give scientists an outlook for opportunities that may require the input of scientific knowledge to further the interests of the nation.

In 2004, the founder of Science meets Parliament, Dr Ken Baldwin, was awarded the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science – which is awarded to individuals or groups for outstanding works of science communication.

What can I expect?

On day one, expect to get tips on how to successfully engage politicians and expand your professional development. Scientists get a feel for government policy-making by discussing policy material with lobbyists, parliamentary staffers, politicians, and journalists. Scientists get equipped with the knowledge, skills and networks that continue to serve them well into the future.

In the evening, guests attend at formal dinner at Parliament House’s Great Hall.

On the second day of the event more than 100 formal meetings between scientists and Parliamentarians occur, usually 2-3 scientists speaking with an individual MP.

Past guest speakers at the formal dinner include:

  • The Hon John Brumby, former Premier of Victoria (2011)
  • Mr Peter Yates; Chair Australian Science Media Centre (2010)
  • Professor Penny Sackett, Australian Chief Scientist (2009)
  • Professor Neville Nicholls, Lead author Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2008)
  • Professor Will Steffen, Director, Institute for Environment and PVC (Research), Australian National University (2007)
  • Professor Ian Fraser, 2006 Australian of the Year (2006)
  • Dr Caroline Kovac, President of Life Science IBM USA (2005)

Then annual event is strongly supported by the Government and Opposition, engages most MPs and a large number of scientists.


Over the years Science meets Parliament has received strong support from many sponsors including:

– Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education
– Australian Research Council (ARC)
– National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
– Australian Academy of Science (AAS)
– Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
– Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
– Australian Technology Network (ATN)
– Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
– Group of Eight Universities (Go8)
– Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
– National Tertiary Education Union

– Australian Synchrotron

– Bio21 Cluster

– Taylor and Francis

– Research Australia


– Charles Darwin University

– LaTrobe University

– Australian Astronomical Observatory

– National Climate Change Adaptation Research facility

– ANU Colleges of Science