Science, policy and government

Parliament House, Canberra

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.

Contact theme convenor Dr Will Grant for more information or click on the other tabs to find relevant people, projects and events.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Academic staff

  • Sessional Academic (CPAS), Director and Principal Consultant (Double Arrow Consulting)
Project Status
A history of satellite-based remote sensing in Australia 1971-1989 Completed
An evaluation of the regulation of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in Australia Completed
Boundary-spanning the knowledge and policy networks of sustainability transition: insights from the diffusion of accounting innovations Completed
Frameworks for evaluating public engagement with science Completed
From invention to innovation: commercialisation of publicly-funded research Completed
Global approaches to local issues: UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme - a multilateral instrument for natural resource management Completed
Institutionalising the agora: investigating the evolution of public accountability in Australian medical research institutes Completed
Longitudinal science and society study: climate change communication and intersect with policy in Australia (1987-2001) Completed
Nuclear Power - what does the world think? Completed
Outstanding Linkage Grant Success - What Contributes? Completed
Providing useable knowledge for decision making on climate adaptation issues Completed
Public involvement in decision-making about science and technology Completed
School-Based DRR Program in Disaster Prone Areas Completed
Science communication capacity building needs for Pacific NGOs - a response to the new strategic direction for UNESCO Completed
The public life of numbers Current
The uptake of science into policy-making: a case study of salt risk mapping and its influence on the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality Completed
Types of evidence cited in Australian Government publications Completed
Understanding the Relationship between Science and Advocacy Potential
What can Australian universities do to improve the mobility of scientists between academia and industry? Completed
What would a 'scientifically engaged Australia' look like? Completed