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.

Issues to be addressed include:

  • How do we resolve the tension between technological development and sustainability?
  • Australia in the Asian Century: is our sense of importance in the region overinflated?
  • Is technology removing the roadblocks to science, arts and business working together, or creating new obstacles?
  • How can public policy makers and knowledge producers work more effectively together, particularly when it comes to policy on issues such as climate change?

The forum boasts a who’s who of national and international social commentators and industry experts, 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).

“We look forward to bringing together 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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