Sharon Beder
Sharon Beder is an honorary professor in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong.

Sharon's research has focussed on how power relationships are maintained and challenged, particularly by corporations and professions. She is interested in environmental politics; the rhetoric of sustainable development; the philosophies behind environmental economics; and trends in environmentalism and corporate activism/public relations. Most recently she has broadened her research interests to critique various manifestations of neoliberalism including privatisation and deregulation, market solutions to social problems and the business takeover of school education.

She has written 10 books, around 150 articles, book chapters and conference papers (many available for download here), as well as designing teaching resources and educational websites.

Searchable RIS Publications, 2000 to date

Photos and Videos
photo of Sharon
Sharon initially trained and worked as a civil engineer before becoming interested in the social, political and philosophical aspects of engineering and then environmental politics. She completed a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at the University of NSW in 1989 based on research into the process of engineering decision-making using a case study on the development of Sydney's sewerage system.

Sharon started as a lecturer at the University of Wollongong in 1992 and became a professor in 2002. Before joining the University of Wollongong, she was Environmental Education Co-ordinator at the University of Sydney where she produced educational resources, ran continuing education and professional education courses, and designed postgraduate degrees and diplomas. She has also been Chairperson of the Environmental Engineering Branch of the Institution of Engineers, Sydney, President of the Society for Social Responsibility in Engineering, and a director of the Earth Foundation Australia.

Educational Qualifications
  • PhD, Science and Technology Studies, University of New South Wales, 1989
  • Master of Science and Society, University of New South Wales, 1985
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) 1st Class Honours, Canterbury University, New Zealand, 1978
Awards and Honours
  • included in 'Top 100, Australia's most influential engineers', Engineers Australia, 2004
  • included in 'Smart 100', Bulletin Magazine, 2003 World Technology Award for Ethics 2001
  • High Commendation for IEAust Award for Cultural Change in Engineering Education 1998
  • Michael Daly Prize for Excellence in Science, Technology and Engineering Journalism 1992
  • nomination for prestigious Eureka Prize for environmental research in 1990 and 1991
  • Media Prize, Australian Surfers Hall of Fame, 1990
  • Commonwealth Postgraduate Award, 1985-1988