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Science meets Parliament 2014

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Science meets Parliament (SmP) brings together about 200 of Australia’s top scientists and puts them face to face with the decision makers in Canberra.

The 14th annual Science meets Parliament will be held on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 March 2014.

View the list of speakers, panellists and special guests for SmP 2014 here.

View the draft program here.

SmP 2014 is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry.

Registrations are now open. Only STA members are eligible to attend.


SmP 2014

SmP aims to help you understand how politics, policymaking and the media work, and gives you an opportunity to look at your science from a different perspective!

Capital Hill lives and breathes science for the day at this annual event (that began in 1999), as scientists keep our parliamentarians informed on the big issues.

This annual forum aims to:

  • give scientists unique personal development opportunities,
  • help scientists 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 wellbeing,
  • improve the understanding of science through the wider community,
  • build links between scientists, politicians and policymakers 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.

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

In 2004, the founder of SmP, Professor 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 policymaking by discussing policy material with lobbyists, parliamentary staffers, politicians and journalists, and become equipped with the knowledge, skills and networks that continue to serve them well into the future.

In the evening, guests attend a formal dinner at the Great Hall in Parliament House.

Past guest speakers at the formal dinner include:

  • Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science & Research (2012)
  • 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), The Australian National University (2007)
  • Professor Ian Fraser, 2006 Australian of the Year (2006)
  • Dr Caroline Kovac, President of Life Science IBM USA (2005)

On the second day of the event more than 100 formal meetings between small groups of scientists and individual parliamentarians occur.

View the SMP 2014 speaker list here.

If you’re interested, you can view last year’s program here.


Over the years SmP 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 (NTEU)
– 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


Registration Type AUD$

Delegate Registration 875.00
Early Career Scientists Postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers (five years post-PhD experience) have their dinner and registration fees subsidised by STA, as an additional benefit of membership. 565.00

Delegate Registration Excluding Dinner 670.00
Early Career Scientist Excluding Dinner 410.00

Further information

Every Science & Technology Australia (STA) member is entitled to register two people to attend SmP 2014! So, let the President of your scientific society (which is a member of STA) know that you’d like to be there.

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.

Enquiries: E and T (02) 6257 2891


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