The Australian House of Representatives at the Australian Parliament

Public policy and science advice


Science is integral to societal decision making, but the communication between the producers of knowledge and governmental decision making is not always smooth.

This research theme focuses on the nature of the communication between these two very different entities, including 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?

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.

This project is examining the relationship between the global objectives of a United Nations protected area and research network programme and the perception of the programme among scientists, local communities and authorities at its participating sites.


Visiting staff

Headshot of Dr Liz Killen.

Visting Fellow


Headshot of a man in a suit and tie.

PhD Researcher


A model of socialisation of science-policy, incorporating drivers of contextualisation. The model is three smaller circles connected via arrow inside a larger circle. The three circles are 'Scientific research and its products', 'policy interface', and 'societal impacts'.

Read blog from PhD Researcher Indy Strudwicke on reshaping science communication and engaging scientists and policymakers with the public. 

Read the article
Cover of a publication, blue background with pink contour lines. White text in the middle that reads, 'THE CONTEXTUALIZATION DEFICIT: Reframing Trust in Science for Multilateral Policy'

When trust in science is compromised, the capacity for cohesive global policy action is further diminished. How can the multilateral policy interface engage effectively with science in ways trusted by populations?

Read the article