The guest for this episode is Professor Elanor Huntington, Executive Director for Digital, National Facilities & Collections at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - CSIRO, Australia's national science agency.
We discuss the challenges of attracting a diverse cohort to take up STEM careers, and the need to focus on lateral career moves and life moves, as well as early interventions.
The recommendation is that the focus should not only be on filling the pipeline with new STEM talent, but also on finding ways to get back those who have already left the field. There are reviews already underway, and many people with ideas, but that the Australian government needs to carefully consider which interventions will have the greatest impact.
We also touch on the role of science communication and Australia's open science policies in advancing scientific research and the need for systemic interventions to address societal challenges such as climate change and the aging population. CSIRO Publishing is already committed to open access publishing and aims to make its content as widely available as possible.
CSIRO's 'missions' program is given as an example of a quantifiable, impactful approach to addressing these challenges.
Overall, this conversation highlights the challenges and opportunities facing STEM and science communication in Australia, and the need for systemic interventions to address these challenges.