Cobi researches participatory and deliberative methods of science communication. She is interested in theories of participatory governance, deliberative democracy and collaborative learning. She has led or facilitated deliberative processes about science and technology policy for universities, government departments and non-governmental organizations. Cobi is interested in science and technology supporting sustainable development and environmental security.
In 2014 Cobi is a Visiting Scholar at Melbourne Law School, where she is completing writing her PhD.
Cobi worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation while completing degrees in journalism and international studies. After working as a newsreader she headed abroad to produce media about youth-led development. She returned home to work for the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics before moving to Cambridge, UK, where she worked on science media projects ranging from podcasts to books. In the UK she worked with organisations ranging from the University of Cambridge to the Science and Development Network.
She was living in South America when a position at the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) lured her back to Australia. She was employed by RiAus with government support to strengthen communities and networks, as well as facilitate, produce and evaluate activities through the Inspiring Australia initiative. While at RiAus, Cobi began producing science/theatre projects focused on physics and mathematics. These included a busking show with circus performers about the physics of unicycles, a concert celebrating debate in mathematics, and storytelling about the mathematics of Alice in Wonderland. After leaving RiAus Cobi continued to experiment with participatory theatre and improvisation themed around science and technology, including Science Impro in the 2013 Adelaide Fringe. Cobi was part of The Ada Initiative’s first AdaCamp and is an open access activist.
Cobi became an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development with the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact in 2013, where she combined her interests in environmental security, sustainable development, human rights and participatory governance in a development context. She supported indigenous peoples to understand and assert their rights using diverse methods including comic books, posters, videos, dance, social media and participatory workshops. Her experiences with indigenous peoples in Asia reinforced her interest in international and environmental law, leading to her current involvement with Melbourne Law School.
- Participatory governance.
- Deliberative democracy.
- Public participation.
- Science and technology policy.
- Environmental law.
- International law.
- Media law.
- Technologies for sustainable development.
- Participatory action research.
- Science communication.
- Upstream public engagement.
- Program evaluation.
- Philosophy of science.
2012 public presentations
- Stirring the Possum, 26 November 2012, at Adelaide Zoo (Aus)
- Panellist for deliberative forum: Climate Denial: is it rational?
- Science Rewired, 11 October 2012, at the Royal Institution of Australia (Aus)
- Facilitator of Gaming for Good workshop with Deb Cleland.
- Panellist for session: Is Social Media the Panacea for Science Engagement?
- Evaluation in a Changing World, 31 August 2012, at Adelaide Convention Centre (Aus)
- Chair for symposium on the evaluation of public engagement with science in Australia.
- CPAS seminar series, 5 July 2012, at Australian National University (Aus)
- Presenter on evaluating impact in public engagement.
- China Research Institute for Science Popularization (CRISP) seminar, 24 May 2012, in Beijing (China)
- Presenter on evaluating science communication in Australia.
- 12 International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference, 18-20 April 2012, at Palazzo dei Congressi (Italy)
- Presenter on participatory evaluation of science communication.
- Panellist for session: Latest developments in evaluation practice.
- Australian Science Communicators (ASC) National Conference, 27-29 February 2012, at Sydney Masonic Centre (Aus)
- Faciitator for workshop: Participatory evaluation of the ASC conference.
- Panellist for session: Inspiring Australia.
- Chair for session: The consultancy game.