Building public support for science, engineering and technology

Presented by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Event details

Wednesday 4 August 2021

4.30pm-5.30pm AEST



WEBPGE-IMG-Building support SET 210804


Wednesday 4 August 2021

4.30pm-5:30pm AEST

What are the lessons to be learned from COVID when it comes building trust and interest in the views and advice of scientific experts?

Breaking down the barriers between research and the public at large has always been a challenge. Researchers look to gain public interest, support, and trust across the research journey, but the public are exposed to multiple communications channels and some are trafficking in miscommunication. How are the public supposed to separate fact from fiction and how are researchers to gain the much-valued public support & trust from concept through to accomplishment?

During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a strong reliance by the public, politicians and media on the advice and research provided by scientific experts. This is in many ways in contrast to the trends of recent years on a range of topics, most notably around climate change but also on future technologies such as artificial intelligence and in public health aspects like potable water recycling.

Through this webinar event we’ll aim to address three key questions:

  1. Using the pandemic as a case study, can we harness this renewed public interest & trust and expand it to other scientific, engineering, and technological areas?
  2. How do we keep the momentum from the pandemic going to instil a sense of value and pride in Australian lead research & development among the public, to grow interest in related professions to attract the future workforce?
  3. Is this (apparent) change in public interest the start for a new entrepreneurial and even ‘pioneering’ spirit among Australians? A spirit supported by the emergence of high profile Australian entrepreneurs globally like Scott Farquhar & Michael Cannon-Brookes founders of global software giant Atlassian, Nick Molnar founder of AfterPay, Catriona Wallace of Flamingo AI and the rise of celebrity entrepreneurs around the globe like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey & Jeff Bezos.

These key questions will be discussed by one of Australia’s most successful engineers and entrepreneurs, Dr Andrew Liveris, former CEO and President of Dow Chemicals. He will provide his views and ideas on these important aspects of influencing the Australian public’s perceptions surrounding the value and benefits of science, engineering, and technology.

Joining Dr Liveris in this robust discussion:

  • Professor Lyn Beazley AO FAA FTSE, biomedical researcher in the field of neuroscience and former WA Chief Scientist
  • Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell AO FTSE FAHA, Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University and Senior Fellow at Intel.
  • Professor Ian Chubb AC FAA FTSE, Australian neuroscientist, and former Australian Chief Scientist

4.30pm — Welcome/Acknowledgement of Country – Kylie Walker, ATSE CEO
4.35pm — Opening Address from Dr Andrew Liveris
4.50pm — Short Address from Professor Genevieve Bell
4.55pm — Short Address from Professor Lyn Beazley
5.00pm — Short Address from Professor Ian Chubb
5.05pm — Moderated panel discussion
5.25pm — Close

This webinar event is open to the public.

Recording of the webinar


Kylie Walker
Kylie Walker

CEO, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Kylie Walker is CEO of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and Chair of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO.

She specialises in connecting technologists, engineers and scientists with governments, business, media and society – skills built over many years in senior federal communication and advocacy roles in the science, technology and health sectors.

As the immediate past CEO of Science & Technology Australia, Kylie led campaigns to increase investment in Australian research and development, and created the acclaimed Superstars of STEM program, championing Australian women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
She’s also been a Press Gallery journalist for Australian Associated Press and the ABC, and is a visiting Fellow at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS).


Dr Andrew Liveris AO FTSE

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company

Andrew N Liveris AO is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company and former Executive Chairman of DowDuPont. A recognised global business leader with more than 42 years at Dow and experience in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management.

Liveris advocates the criticality of manufacturing worldwide. He is the author of ‘Make It in America’ and was tapped by two US administrations to help identify new ways to spur innovation, revitalise the U.S. manufacturing sector and drive economic growth and prosperity. In that regard, he was chair of the Trump manufacturing council and a member of the Apprenticeship of the Future task force. Previously he served as Co-Chair of U.S. President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee and member of his President’s Export Council.

Andrew was the Special Advisor to the Australian National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission. He is the Co-Chair of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission, advising on how to accelerate the Territory’s economic rebound and growth. He is an Independent Member of the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee providing advice on the Industry Growth Centres initiative.

Andrew is a Director at IBM, Saudi Aramco, Worley (Deputy Chairman), Lucid Motors (Chairman), NOVONIX and the Minderoo Foundation. He is on the advisory board of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Teneo (a global CEO consulting and advisory firm), and NEOM (an initiative driven by Saudi Vision 2030). He is Chairman of the BlackRock Long Term Private Capital Fund and a Special Advisor to the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Andrew serves as a Trustee for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and is a member of the Concordia Leadership Council.

In 2018, the Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership was established at the University of Queensland for students to garner a real-life understanding of global challenges and how to create positive change for society.

Professor Lyn Beazley AO FAA FTSE

Biomedical researcher in the field of neuroscience and former WA Chief Scientist

Lyn’s career as a biomedical researcher in the field of neuroscience was followed by her appointment as Chief Scientist of Western Australia from 2006 to 2013. Lyn works to support health, environmental, equity and educational programs within WA and across Australia. Lyn was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to medical research and science policy and in 2015 was named as the WA Australian of the Year. Currently Lyn is a member of several boards and councils as well as being the proud Patron of numerous organisations.  Lyn passionately believes in the importance of sharing the STEM message widely and well across government, industry and the community, her motto being “Do science, translate science and communicate science”.

Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell AO FTSE FAHA

Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University and Senior Fellow at Intel.

Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell AO FTSE FAHA is a renowned anthropologist, technologist, and futurist. Genevieve completed her PhD in cultural anthropology at Stanford University in 1998 and is best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development.

She is currently the Director of the School of Cybernetics and the 3A Institute (3Ai) at the Australian National University and is also a Vice President and a Senior Fellow at Intel Corporation.

Genevieve joined the ANU in 2017 after spending 18 years in Silicon Valley guiding Intel’s product development and social science and design research capabilities. In 2017, Genevieve was appointed the inaugural Director of the 3A Institute, co-founded by the ANU and CSIRO’s Data61. The Institute’s mission is to establish a new branch of engineering to responsibly and sustainably scale AI-enabled cyber-physical systems. In 2021, she was appointed Director of the new School of Cybernetics at the ANU, which in addition to housing the 3A Institute, will build capacity in Systems and Design.

Ian Chubb
Professor Ian Chubb AC FTSE FAA

Australian neuroscientist, and former Australian Chief Scientist

Professor Ian Chubb was Chief Scientist for Australia from May 2011 to January 2016.

Prior to that, Professor Chubb was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University from January 2001 to March 2011; Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University of South Australia for six years and the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash University for two years.

He was Chair of the Commonwealth’s Higher Education Council from September 1990 to December 1994 and was, until mid-1994, Deputy Chair of the National Board of Employment, Education and Training.

In 1999 Professor Chubb was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and in 2006 a Companion (AC) in the order for “service to higher education, including research and development policy in the pursuit of advancing the national interest socially, economically, culturally and environmentally, and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy”.

Professor Chubb was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001, and was the ACT’s Australian of the Year in 2011.

He was elected a Fellow of the Australian College of Education in 2008 and a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 2014. He was Awarded the Academy Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 2016 and elected Fellow of the Academy in 2017. Em Professor Ian Chubb AC MSc DPhil (Oxford) FAA, FTSE, FACE, FRSN.