Dr Rod Lamberts

Associate Director of Science and Education
BA (Hons), Grad Dip App Psych, PhD ANU

Content navigation



Dr Rod Lamberts is Associate Director of Science and Education at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University and a former National President of the Australian Science Communicators (retired injured in 2013). 

He has more than 20 years experience as a science communication practitioner and researcher and designed and deliiered some of the first university science comunication courses in Australia. Rod has provided science communication advice to a wide variety of private and public science-related agencies in Australia and overseas (including the CSIRO, UNESCO & APPEA) and is a regular public commentator on science, science communication, and science and public policy. When not lurking at the ANU, he can be heard around the ABC radio network doing things like Research Filter and Nightlife, read in places like The Conversation, and every week on The Wholesome Show podcast. 


  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Public Policy and Outreach, 2015
  • ANU Top Supervisor Award 2010
  • ANU Top Supervisor Award 2009


  • ANU Media Award- ‘Best emerging talent’ 2010
  • ANU Media Award- ‘Best leverage & engagement through a public event’ 2010
  • ANU Vice Chancellors award for supervision 2009
  • ANU Vice Chancellors award for a program that enhances learning 2009
  • ANU Vice Chancellors award for teaching excellence 2007
  • ANU College of Science teaching excellence 2006

National committees

  • Conference Chair: Australian Science Communicators National conference (2012)
  • Chair: research committee: Australian Science Communicators National conference (2012)
  • Chair: research committee: Australian Science Communicators National conference. September 2009 - February 2010
  • Chair: Expert Working Group (University Research) June – December, 2010 . A working group of the National Steering Committee on Developing an Evidence base for science engagement in Australia. Inspiring Australia
  • Report - Developing an Evidence Base for Science Engagement in Australia: Expert working group recommendations (March, 2011)
  • Chair: Pacific Science Association Taskforce on Science Communication. December 2007 – May, 2010.


Research interests

His professional and research interests include: science communication and public intellectualism/activism; science and ethics; perceptions of expertise in science; risk perception and communication; and science and public policy.

Research student projects

PhD Panel Chair (completed)

  • McKinnon, M Science teaching self-efficacy: An examination of the effects of science centre styled professional development intervention in primary school teachers.
  • Cerini, B  Heroes in Science - public images, inspirations and impacts
  • Donald, T  Reinvigorating the deficit model: a practical case approach
  • Rayner, C Communicating Organisational Outcomes using Simple Performance Indicators: A case study using ACT Elective Surgery Waiting Lists
  • Smith, C Involving the Public in Prioritising Research.
  • Thulstrup, H Global Approaches to Local Issues: UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme - a Multilateral Instrument for Natural Resource Management.

PhD Supervision (completed)

  • Searle, S  Scientists & Science Communication: An Australian Survey
  • Taylor, M Longitudinal Science and Society Study: Climate Change Communication and Intersect with Policy in Australia (1987-2001)
  • Gates-Stuart, E  Cracking the finger codes. Fingerprints, art and science communication
  • Moon, B Visualising Science: Scanning the Science Society Horizon: Using social media to monitor public discussion of science controversies
  • Young, C  Evaluation of artists experiences as participants in the Field Studies, art and environment program.

MPhil Supervision (completed)

  • Kirk, L  Science Communication Capacity Building Needs for Pacific NGOs: A response to the new strategic direction for UNESCO. Completing in 2011

MSciComm Supervision (completed)

  • Anzu, S E-agriculture in Papua New Guinea
  • Bell, C (2011) Using Autobiography in Science Communication Completed
  • McAlester, J (2010) The use of video material in science classrooms Completed
  • Harcourt, D (2009) Communicating Anti-matter with general audiences: The Centre for Matter Antimatter Studies Completed
  • Williams, K (2009) Science communication in Australian agriculture; A study of communication between scientists and farmers on the issue of salinity in Harden, New South Wales
  • Hammond, T.J (2008) Survey of Science Communication in Developing Pacific Island Nations
  • Coulter, L (2008) Global Carbon Project communications: agents of dissemination.
  • Sengere, R (2007) Communicating information to coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea.
  • Mclean, M.J, (2007) What do people think about GM Pasture Grasses?: An assessment of public attitudes to a new technology developed by the Molecular Plant Breeding CRC
  • Hislop, M, (2007) Evaluating the Learning Outcomes of the Science Centre Education Programs at the CSIRO Discovery Centre.
  • Ratcliff, F (2007) Science meets Parliament: A study on the effectiveness of the program.
  • Abbott, S (2006) Communicating Bioprospecting Information to Indigenous Communities: Insights from the Experts.
  • West, M (2004) Evaluating the Pilot Pacific Science Exchange. Completed

Honours Supervision

  • Jones, C (2007) An evaluation of the regulation of preimplementation genetic diagnosis in Australia Completed
  • Pollari, J (2008) Using online science resources in the classroom: Development of a science website search and evaluation tool for primary school teachers. Completed
  • Carter, A (2004) Evaluation of the Photonics outreach program
  • Garrington, C (2005) Evaluation of Action for Autism outreach




Peter Baume Building 42a


Lamberts, R (2017) The Australian Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Science Survey – 2017. The Australian National University. Canberra, Australia   https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/the-australian-beliefs-and-attitudes-towards-science-survey-2017

  • Lamberts, R (2017)  The Australian Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Science Survey – 2017: Data Tables. The Australian National University. Canberra, Australia https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/the-australian-beliefs-and-attitudes-towards-science-survey-2017

    Lamberts, R & Rayner, C (2014) Methodological issues in assessing effective science communication practices

    In Tan Wee Hin & R Subramaniam (eds.) Communicating Science to the Public: Opportunities and Challenges for the Asia-Pacific Region. Netherlands, Springer.  

    McKinnon, M, Orthia, L, Grant, W & Lamberts, R (2014), 'Real-world assessment as an integral component of an undergraduate science communication program', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (formerly CAL-laborate International), vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 1-13.

    Dobos, A.R., Orthia, L.A., Lamberts, R (2014) Does a picture tell a thousand words? The uses of digitally produced, multimodal pictures for communicating information about Alzheimer’s disease. Public Understanding of Science. 24(6) pp712-730 https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662514533623

    McKinnon, M., & Lamberts, R. (2013). Influencing science teaching self-efficacy beliefs of primary school teachers: a longitudinal case study. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement. Prepublished online 16 May 2013. DOI:10.1080/21548455.2013.793432

  • Lamberts, R (2012) Ethics and accountability in science and science communication, in JK. Gilbert, B. Lewenstein & SM Stocklmayer (eds.) Communication and engagement with science and technology: Issues and dilemmas. London, Routledge.
  • Reid, J., Lamberts, R., Young, C and Tambiah, C (2010) Engaging Visions: Engaging artists with the community about the environment. Canberra, The Australian National University.
  • Lamberts, R., Tambiah, C., Young, C., Reid, J (2010) The engaging visions guide: A practical guide for engaging visual artists in environment dialogues with rural communities. Canberra, The Australian National University.
  • van Leeuwen, B., Lamberts, R., Newitt, P., & Errington, S (2009) What do ethics have to do with teaching undergraduate science courses?. Chemistry in Australia. 76(2) p.4-6 March. Royal Australian Chemical Institute.
  • Lamberts, R., Grant, W.J & Martin, A (2010) Public opinion about science. ANUpoll No.8, Canberra, The Australian National University. http://www.anu.edu.au/anupoll/content/publications/report/public_opinion_about_science/
  • van Leeuwen, B., Newitt, P., Lamberts, R. & Errington, S (2007) Ethics, issues and consequences: conceptual challenges in science education. Proceedings of the Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium September 28 & 29, 2007, The University of Sydney, ISBN: 978-1-74210-005-0. (refereed) http://science.uniserve.edu.au/pubs/procs/2007/
  • van Leeuwen, B.H, Lamberts, R. and C.L. Jones (2008) Public awareness and regulation of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in Australia. RBMonline 16, suppl. 3, April (Proceedings of 8th International Symposium Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis).
  • Lamberts, R (2002) The Seductive Statistician, or: how controversy sells books. Book Review of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” by Bjorn Lomborg. 13/5/2002 The Australian Review of Public Affairs - http://www.australianreview.net/digest/2002/05/lamberts.html
  • Lamberts, R (2003) Review of “Sharing Knowledge: A guide to effective science communication” by Julian Cribb and Tjempaka Sari Hartomo. ANU Reporter, 2003.

Opinion and comment piece, popular articles

Previous grants

Title: Engaging Visions: Configuring a model for cultural practitioners to assist catchment communities in addressing natural resource management issues.
Type: ARC Linkage (2006-2011)
Partners: CPAS, ANU School of Art & the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Conferences appearances

  • Workshop Convener Evaluating science communication (June, 2011) 22nd Pacific Science Congress. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Invited panelist Developing an evidence base for science engagement (April, 2011) Inspiring Australia: inaugural conference. Melbourne, Australia
  • Communicating Risk The Australian Science Communicators National Conference (February, 2010) Canberra, Australia
  • Science and art: in each others shoes, in each others faces The Australian Science Communicators National Conference(February, 2010) Canberra, Australia
  • Science communication & Challenges for Veterinary Medicine in Australia (April, 2010) The Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority – Current and future challenges. Canberra, Australia
  • Strategies for knowledge translation and communication (November 2009) Australian Association of Gerontology. Canberra, Australia
  • Public lecture Why science is failing to communicate (August, 2009) Australian Skeptics Science Week Lecture. Canberra, Australia
  • Communicating climate change and other controversial topics. (July, 2008) Public Communication of Science & Technology – Biennial Conference. Malmo, Sweden.
  • Engaging Visions: Science communication, art and natural resource management in Australia’s Murray-Darling River Basin (July, 2008) Public Communication of Science & Technology Biennial Conference. Malmo, Sweden.
  • An Introduction to Framing. (July, 2008) Public Communication of Science & Technology Biennial Conference. Malmo, Sweden.
  • Science communication and science journalism in the Pacific (May, 2008) Workshop on the UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education for Developing Countries.Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
  • Engaging Visions: community, art, environment. (September, 2007) 10th International River Symposium. Brisbane, Australia.
  • Science & Technology Policy in the Pacific Islands: A Science Communication Perspective (June, 2007) in “Strengthening Linkages between Science and Policy” session hosted by the United Nations University – Institute for Advanced Studies. 21st Pacific Science Congress. Okinawa, Japan.
  • Science communication in the Pacific.(June 2007) 21st Pacific Science Congress. Okinawa, Japan.
  • Science communication overview. (June, 2007) 21st Pacific Science Congress. Okinawa, Japan.
  • The Pacific Science Gateway: PacSci.Net. (June, 2007) 21st Pacific Science Congress. Okinawa, Japan.
  • Science and technology policy in the Pacific. (September, 2006) Pacific Islands Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC), Science and Technology Resources network (STAR) annual session. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
  • PacSciNet – the Pacific Science Gateway (September, 2006) Pacific Islands Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC), Science and Technology Resources network (STAR) annual session. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
  • Science Communication for Scientists (June, 2005) Public Communication of Science & Technology Working Symposium,. Beijing, China.
  • Science communication and social change(September, 2004) The Australian Science Communicators/ Australian Medical Writers Association conference. Coolangatta, Australia.
  • Maximising social participation in science communication: Some lessons from anthropology and psychology(June, 2004) Public Communication of Science & Technology Biennial Conference. Barcelona, Spain.
  • Promoting Science Awareness in the Pacific: The creation of the Pacific Science Communication Network (December, 2002) Public Communication of Science & Technology Biennial Conference. Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Environmental journalism & working with scientists (May, 2002) The Pacific Environment Information Network program for Pacific environmental journalists. Apia, Samoa.
  • Workshop Science communication: the basics (August, 2001) Pacific Regional Science Communication Forum. A joint initiative of CPAS and UNESCO. Apia, Samoa.
  • Workshop Science communication: the basics (February, 2001) Science Communication for Small Island States workshop on Science Communication for Pacific Island journalists. A joint initiative of CPAS, UNESCO, & COSTED. Canberra, Australia.
  • How Many Publics? Science communication and lay impressions of mental illness expertise in Australia. (January, 2001) Public Communication of Science & Technology. Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Communication of Mental Illness Information to the Public: Lay Source Preferences and Professional Expectations (July, 1999) 19th Pacific Science Congress, July, 1999. Sydney, Australia.
  • Implementing Learning Strategies and Enhancing Learning Outcomes: The Role of Experiential Learning.( December, 1995) 7th Annual Convention and Conference of the Australasian Association of Engineering Education. Sydney, Australia.

Expert commentary in media 2009-2011

Date May 21, 2011
Medium Television
Outlet ABC News 24
Details ABC Science panel program on Café Scientifique:“Twitter, blogs and talkback: the psychology of having your say”.

Date April 11, 2011
Medium Newspaper
Outlet Sydney Morning Herald
Details Comment on federal budget and science funding (Giant hole sets up savage budget).
Date April 11, 2011

Medium Radio
Outlet ABC Radio National/ ABC 666 Canberra
Details Comment on proposed Federal budget funding cuts to medical research budget

Date April 11, 2011
Medium Radio
Outlet ABC Radio Darwin
Details Comment on proposed Federal budget funding cuts to medical research budget
Date May 7, 2011

Medium Radio
Outlet Radio Australia
Details Interview on public impressions of climate change and the carbon tax debate
Date April 27, 2011

Medium Radio
Outlet ABC612 (Brisbane drive time)
Details Interview about public use of social media, particularly on critical science matters like climate change
Date November 25, 2010

Medium Radio
Outlet ABC Radio South East NSW, “World View” segment
Details Conversation on science, research and Relevance to society
Date August 10, 2010

Medium Newspaper
Outlet The Canberra Times
Details Interview on the broader state of science in society in context of National Science Week
Date April 8, 2011

Medium Electronic/ print
Outlet Education Review
Details Interview about budget cuts to science education