Conference Theme

Conference Theme

How good is science!?

The role of science plays an increasingly crucial role in the environmental opportunities and challenges we face today. The double punctuation in this year's theme is deliberate and invites presenters and participants to decide on how they will approach the theme.

  • How good is science! draws on an expression commonly used by a current Australian political leader. It invites delegates to share the success stories of science and illustrate how it has resulted in good environmental and social outcomes.
  • How good is science? is more complex. For example, despite an overwhelming number of scientists concluding that humans have contributed to climate change, some high-profile politicians and media commentators are still not convinced. Concerns have been raised about the extent to which experiments in scientific papers can be replicated. In Australia, 65,000+ years of Indigenous scientific knowledge is largely ignored.

Conference sub-themes

  • Contribution of science to policy, planning and decision-making: Where has it been effective and why? Where has it not been effective and why? How do we turn science into policy?
  • Quality of science: How do we ensure that we produce good quality science? How do we define good quality?
  • Relevance of science: Is scientific research focusing on the most important issues? How do we prioritise in an age of limited budgets while still encouraging innovative science?
  • Translating science and expertise into action: How does good science have an impact and create value? How can we use science in environmental management? How effective is science in supporting compliance?
  • Communicating science: As a profession, do we do enough to communicate good science? Do we do enough within our own profession? How can we better influence / inform mainstream scientific communicators? How do we improve media coverage of science?
  • Contribution of Indigenous knowledge to science: How can we create better synergies between scientific evidence and Indigenous knowledge? What are the challenges in using and communicating Indigenous knowledge and how do we overcome them?
  • Limitations of science: How do we balance science against community concerns and perceptions? How do we deal with uncertainty and natural variability, (e.g. climate change)? What limitations does science have?

The themes invite a wide-ranging discussion on the role of science in environmental best practice. Call for papers addressing the above sub-themes are being accepted until Friday 25 June.