Australian Innovation

Inspiring Australia: A national strategy for engaging with the sciences

Sharing knowledge powers innovation. To fully realise the social, economic and environmental benefits of our significant investment in science and research, we must communicate and engage the wider community in science. Australia aspires to an innovative society with a technologically skilled workforce, a scientifically literate community and well informed decision makers. The ‘Inspiring Australia’ strategy aims to build a strong, open relationship between science and society, underpinned by effective communication of science and its uses.

This Inspiring Australia report on communicating science in Australia proposes a national strategic initiative that will help realise the goals articulated in Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st Century.

Inspiration is simply too important to leave to chance. Now is the time to motivate and inspire young Australians to get involved with science and science‐related issues to help solve the environmental, economic, social and humanitarian problems facing our country and the world.

This initiative will establish, for the first time in Australia, a national approach for community engagement with the sciences; it will increase the return on investment in research institutions, infrastructure and programs now and into the future.

This report acknowledges that the sciences—comprising the natural and physical sciences, the humanities, the arts and the social sciences—are fundamental elements of a 21st century creative economy. They underpin the continuing improvements in living standards that Australians expect and deserve.

The aspirational goal is for a scientifically engaged Australia—a society that is inspired by and values scientific endeavour, that attracts increasing national and international interest in its science, that critically engages with key scientific issues and that encourages young people to pursue scientific studies and careers.

If the communication of science is to be effective, it needs to recognise the audiences to be engaged. Activities need to be appropriate and relevant to local communities, and contextualised to acknowledge and value local perspectives. Activities need to build on each other, providing pathways to develop awareness and involvement.

Read the full report

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