Deakin Science and Society Network
To meet the great challenges of this century, scientists and humanities and social science researchers need to work together. No single academic field can bring about the changes we need to see in the world. Bridging disciplinary divides is the key to finding new solutions to the problems we face.
Climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss, food and water security, and global health are among some of humanity’s biggest challenges. These issues are interconnected and require social researchers and scientists to work together to develop solutions. The Deakin Science and Society Network reaches across the disciplinary divides of our universities and institutions, and the divides between research, policy and practice. We emphasise the effective communication and translation of research, as the benefits of knowledge can’t be fully realised unless information is shared widely across different audiences.
The Deakin Science and Society Network supports science-literate social research and socially-engaged science that makes an impact.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Human cultures and the environment are deeply intertwined across scales from the microscopic to the global. Current pressures, including climate change, industrial pollution, and widespread biodiversity loss, mean it is vital that we better understand how we are shaping and being shaped by our surrounds. The Environmental Challenges theme brings together ecologists, criminologists, anthropologists, psychologists, historians, economists, educators, legal scholars and others. Through collaborations and conversations across these disciplines we will address environmental issues and linkages including: biodiversity conservation; renewable energy; air pollution; mental and physical health; natural hazards management; and sustainable resource use.
Advances in genetics, medicine and public health have helped to extend healthy human lifespans in many societies. Such advances have made it possible to prevent and alleviate illnesses and injuries that devastated previous generations. However, our greater longevity, climate change, conflict and rapid changes in human lifestyles pose novel challenges. New technologies also raise ethical, legal and social questions about topics such as cognitive enhancement, advanced reproductive technologies, genome modification, and early life prediction of ageing and chronic disease risk. This theme brings together laboratory, public health and social scientists, philosophers, bioethicists, lawyers, historians and health professionals, plus policy makers and the public, to help build healthy and equitable futures for all.
Australian First Nations Peoples have developed diverse and complex Knowledge systems deeply embedded in local environments with situated values and relational dynamics. Recognising Indigenous Ways of Knowing is crucial to developing long lasting understandings and solutions to ecological, social and health crises affecting Indigenous communities and Australia as a whole. The Indigenous Knowledges theme brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars working at the interface of science and Indigenous Knowledges on questions of environment, sustainability, livelihoods, health and wellbeing.
Theme leaders: Associate professor Toija Cinque
The advent of Big Data (and small data) technologies and the reach of social media have increased connectiveness while altering the boundaries between private and public life. The ‘datafication’ of societies promises enormous upstream/downstream data access and enablement. There is a concern too for disruption as well as cognitive capitalism with subsequent challenges and risks. Bringing together researchers in artificial intelligence, data science, human-computer interaction and IT with sociologists, anthropologists, artists, and policy scientists, the Data Cultures theme engages with digital intelligence and machine learning systems for what issues are raised in regard to data ethics, security and the value of privacy; wearable, intimate and surveillance technologies; “fake news” and the democratisation of data.