Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta selected for STEM ambassador role
Scientist will help politicians better understand the potential of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Australia
Associate Professor Danielle Skropeta from the University of Wollongong will build stronger relationships between science, technology and public policy as one of Science & Technology Australia’s STEM Ambassadors in 2021.
Professor Skropeta, a chemistry research leader and Deputy Director of Molecular Horizons, will be the STEM Ambassador to the Honourable Sharon Bird, the Federal Member for Cunningham.
Professor Skropeta will meet regularly with the MP to build the association between Parliament and the STEM sector and help politicians gain a deeper understanding of the potential impact of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Australia.
“I see the STEM Ambassador role as building relationships with policymakers and advocating across the spectrum of STEM fields from astronomy to zoology,” she said.
Professor Skropeta is one of 17 new STEM Ambassadors around Australia. The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.
The prestigious program – which began in 2019 – aims to encourage the involvement of science experts in Australian policy-making and bring their science expertise and networks to assist evidence-based policy-making.
Professor Skropeta said she was excited to be able to represent the STEM community and hoped to be a strong ambassador for science and technology in public policy. She will build on the work of Professor Helen Blanchard, Head of the School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience at UOW, who was a STEM ambassador in the previous round of the program.
With 30 years’ experience in the University sector, Professor Skropeta is a long-term advocate for gender equity and diversity in STEM and is thrilled about this opportunity to raise the profile of STEM more broadly.
Professor Skropeta considers this “an important program creating a two-way bridge between academia and government, helping academics understand the political landscape and enabling policy makers to see the full value and impact of science – from fundamental research through to commercialised end-products.”
Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert congratulated Professor Skropeta on being selected for the STEM Ambassador program in 2021.
“Science has been Australia’s salvation in tackling COVID-9. Australia needs to continue to build on that strong relationship between the STEM sector and Parliamentarians to prepare Australia to meet future challenges.”
“The STEM Ambassador program empowers experts to become effective advocates for science and the sector, and to use their expertise to inform policy to shape Australia’s future.”
“We’re delighted to welcome Danielle to the STEM Ambassador program and look forward to seeing her develop a strong working relationship with Federal Member for Cunningham, the Honourable Sharon Bird MP, to make sure science and technology are at the forefront of policy decisions.”