Name: Simon Copland

Position: Science Communication Officer

Australian National University

Area of study: Science Communication

What does that mean?

I work and study in science communication at the ANU, working in the Joint Colleges of Science and studying at the Centre for Public Awareness of Science. Science communication is the study of how we can communicate complex scientific concepts with the public and engage with the public and policy makers in scientific debate. It covers science and public policy, the media, politics and a whole range of other areas. I am in particular interested in the role of science in politics, in particular thinking about environmental issues such as climate change, water resource policy etc.

How did I get here?

I studied environmental science (Science) and development studies (Arts) in my undergraduate years. Through studying these issues I got a good understanding of the political and policy realities of environmental issues, in particular in the developing world. Following my degree I did short stints working on a political campaign and then in communications in the public service. Unable to handle the public service I applied for a science communications job at the ANU, which I was lucky enough to be appointed to in mid-2011. From there I have focused my energies on science communication, which I think provides a good basis for tackling the cross-over between science, policy and politics, which I believe is essential to dealing with some of the big questions the world faces today.

Where will I go?

Who knows? My main interest is in politics and science and I love to write, so my hope is to be able to stay in that area. Beyond that, I’m happy to do whatever!