Media Release – 18 September 2012

Leading commentators, academics, strategists, politicians and journalists from Australia and overseas will be gathering in Canberra next week to explore and debate the big issues in diverse areas including the arts, technology, science, policy making and national identity.

The Inaugural CHASS (Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) Forum — to be held at the University of Canberra on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September 2012 — will focus on the impact that rapidly changing technology and scientific research are having on the lives of Australians.

“There’s no doubt that times are changing rapidly, and the impact of this change is being felt far and wide and in a variety of areas, from the arts through to education,” said CHASS President, Professor Sue Willis.

“It’s vital to ensure that the human element is not forgotten in amongst these challenges and opportunities.   This forum puts this very issue into the spotlight, and represents a unique opportunity to learn from and engage with great minds on a variety of topics.”

“The forum will reveal the latest thinking about how the human dimension is integrating with the changes happening across technology, science and society in general.  These are issues of national and global significance, and we’re looking forward to some robust discussions,” continued Professor Willis.

Local speakers and participants include Caroline Stacey (CEO, The Street Theatre), Dr Andrew Leigh (Federal Member for Fraser), Senator Gary Humphries (Liberal Senator for the ACT), Lucina Ward (Curator, National Gallery of Australia) and Dr Marcus Hutter (Professor for Artificial Intelligence, ANU).

They’ll join a who’s who of national and international social commentators and industry experts at the forum, including Joe Hildebrand (journalist and public commentator), Waleed Aly (broadcaster, author and academic), Lars Klüver (Director – Danish Board of Technology) and Harsh Shrivastava (Consultant – Planning Commission, India).

Forum sessions include:

  • Equality, Innovation and Resilience: Building Societies of the Future;
  • What makes us Human? Technology, Arts and the Human Dehuman Divide;
  • A hypothetical: Who decides the public good? and
  • Australia in the Asian Century.

“We look forward to bringing together these diverse areas of knowledge to identify common themes and issues, as well as showcasing the achievements and advances in the humanities, arts and social sciences sector,” Professor Willis concluded.

For more information and online registrations go to: http://www.conferenceco.com.au/chass.

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