The Australian House of Representatives at the Australian Parliament

Science, policy and government


Science is integral to governments and evidence-based policy, and scientific research and communication is vital for many government bodies and agencies, from local government all the way to the Commonwealth.

This research theme focuses on the nature of communications between these two very different entities, their different requirements, expectations, cultures and institutions. CPAS researchers are also regularly consulted by government institutions seeking external advice or research.

Our research investigates:

  • How do governments use scientific research?
  • How is scientific evidence used in political rhetoric?
  • What is the influence of government policy on science?
  • What happens when the goals of science and government clash?
  • How do scientists and policymakers communicate?
  • How can science communication benefit government activities and communication efforts?
  • How can science communication tools be used to evaluate government communication activities?

Relevant CPAS courses are: 



Students also undertake research in this theme for undergraduate coursework, postgraduate coursework and higher degrees by research.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


This research describes the early history of satellite-based remote sensing in Australia.

This project examined the Australian policy framework regulating preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and discussed the gaps and ambiguities present in the regulatory framework in the mid-2000s.

The intent in this project is to contribute to the emerging field of sustainability communication by asking ‘Who says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect?‘ (Lasswell 1948) within this three-networks model of transition.

The project will surface congruences and incongruences in role constructions, and how scientists and judges navigate differences in their expected and actual tasks in legal proceedings.


  • Dr Will Grant
  • Professor Joan Leach

This project addresses the issue of how to evaluate the processes by which decision-makers engage with science.

30 Years After the Bay-Dole Act: Rethinking the Australian Research Commercialisation Experience


Academic staff

Dr Wendy Russel

Sessional Academic (CPAS)
Director and Principal Consultant (Double Arrow Consulting)


Blue background with cover of book on left, ANU logo in the middle and bolded words, "New release" on the right.
Wed, Feb 8 2023, 5 - 6:30pm

Please join us for the launch of How Government Experts Self-Sabotage: The Language of the Rebuffed by Christiane Gerblinger - to be launched by CPAS.

View the event