Four University of Adelaide experts have been chosen to forge stronger ties between the science and technology sector and public policymakers as STEM Ambassadors for Science & Technology Australia.

Dr Jodie Avery, Professor Rachel Burton, Dr Nina Wootton, and Dr Angela Noack will meet regularly with South Australian Federal Parliamentarians to share their expertise on evolving opportunities.

Their role is to help politicians gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Australia.

Dr Avery, a social researcher with a background in radiology and public health, will be the STEM Ambassador to SA Senator Marielle Smith.

Professor Burton, a molecular biologist and plant scientist, will be STEM Ambassador to the Member for Boothby, Louise Miller-Frost.

STEM Ambassadors. Jodie Avery (top left), Rachel Burton (top right), Angela Noack (bottom left), and Nina Wootton.

Dr Wootton, a marine researcher, will be STEM Ambassador to Senator Karen Grogan and Dr Noack, Institute Manager for the Robinson Research Institute, will be STEM Ambassador to the Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie.

They are four of 26 new STEM Ambassadors around Australia. The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations.

The prestigious program – which began in 2019 – creates opportunities for science experts to share their expertise to assist evidence-based policymaking.

The University of Adelaide has the highest number of STEM Ambassadors from any university in this year’s record intake of 26 nationally.

University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Dr Jessica Gallagher welcomed the appointment of the four ambassadors.

“The University of Adelaide is proud to have four of its leading researchers appointed as STEM Ambassadors, working alongside federal politicians to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics research in decision making,” she said.

“As the state’s highest ranked University for STEM and a member of the Group of Eight, finding solutions to national and global challenges is at the core of our research.

“Science holds the key to creating a stronger future for South Australia and the diverse expertise of our researchers will ensure politicians have access to the latest STEM developments and research to inform policymaking.”

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert congratulated the four South Australian STEM experts on being selected for the Ambassadors program.

“South Australia’s future will be powered by science and technology,” she said.

“We’re at a remarkable point in history where an explosion of complex science and technology advances are about to dramatically reshape our economy, our lives and our jobs and what we’re seeing in response is a strong surge in the need for expert advice as lawmakers seek to keep pace with those developments and learn more about new technologies and their implications.

“Through this unique program, we match MPs and Senators with their own STA STEM Ambassador to give them regular access to a powerful network of Australian STEM experts to inform policy development.

“We’re delighted to welcome our 2023 STA STEM Ambassadors and thank them in advance for sharing their expertise and developing a strong working relationship with their MPs and Senators.”

This article was originally published by the University of Adelaide Newsroom on July 13th 2023. 

Media contacts

Jessica Stanley, Media Officer, The University of Adelaide. Mobile: +61(0)422 406 351.

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