ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology


28, Mar 2024

Science Meets Parliament 2024

Six representatives from the Centre headed to Parliament House in Canberra to attend Science Meets Parliament on 20-21 March 2024. The event was attended by more than 360 delegates, making it the largest event to date. 

Over an inspiring and energising two days, the team heard from more than 50 speakers across 15+ sessions, including scientists, parliamentarians, science communicators and changemakers. 

During her Gala Dinner speech, Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley acknowledged synthetic biology as one of the emerging technologies to grow Australia’s economy, drive efficiencies, attract international investment and create a better standard of living for all Australians.  

Other speakers, including the Hon Ed Husic (MP), Minister for Industry and Science, recognised the importance of increasing national investment in research and the value of science and technology in lifting up the nation and improving national welfare. 

STA President Sharath Sriram said failure to act on research investment could cost the nation $100b and 42,000 high-value jobs. 

Other topics ranged from how to pitch and get science stories into the media to how to engage more effectively with parliamentarians. 

The networking session and Gala Dinner were a chance to meet and build connections with like-minded people, exchange ideas and champion one another. At the Gala Dinner, the team was reunited with the Hon Ed Husic, who officially launched the Centre in November 2022.  

Centre Postdoctoral Fellow Paige Erpf, from our Macquarie University node, says it’s up to scientists to tell politicians of our sector’s needs. ‘We must make the solutions known to government. They can’t help if they don’t know! It’ll be hard, but if you want change, we need to make it happen,’ she says. 

Goncagul Baris, PhD Candidate from our University of Queensland node, found it an exciting and productive experience, full of learning and networking opportunities.  

‘I was very happy to represent the Centre, especially with a bunch of female members. It was aligned with Science & Technology Australia’s overall reach and goals too,’ she says. 

Photo: Science & Technology Australia