Professionals gather online to reboot the STEMM sector

June 28, 2021
Road sign saying 'Change ahead', and Dr Cathy Foley
Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley opened the Reboot STEMM event.

Early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) and STEMM professionals from around Australia got together recently to co-design a better future for the STEMM sector at the Reboot STEMM online think tank.

This national initiative, jointly supported by the Australian Academy of Science and Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP), empowered participants to identify the solutions and actions that can lead to a more inclusive and diverse way of defining, recognising and rewarding ‘success’. It joins a global conversation to resolve the mismatch between what is valued and what is rewarded in STEMM careers, and was carried out in two phases.

Phase one of Reboot STEMM brought together over 300 EMCRs and STEMM professionals who engaged in a series of pre-event agenda-setting exercises across May and June, which helped identify the key concerns and frame the discussions of the online think tank.

Phase two welcomed a diverse group of 150 participants from around Australia to an interactive online think tank. The event featured 21 parallel targeted discussions on mentoring, impact, diversification of career paths, open science, career breaks and changing the STEMM culture in Australia.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley opened the event by sharing the importance of embracing change and bringing together all parts of the STEMM sector to move forward to a better future. Kirsten Deane, advocate for the ‘Every Australian Counts’ campaign, followed with a story of how grassroots action can drive meaningful change.

Reboot STEMM empowered participants to identify the solutions and actions that can lead to a more inclusive and diverse way of defining, recognising and rewarding ‘success’.

Participants also received a series of thought-provoking video messages from changemakers and collaborators to help deepen the conversations for the day.

The Reboot STEMM initiative is led by a passionate and change-driven group of STEMM professionals: Dr Aaron Davis, Alice Tinning, Dr Anita Goh, Dion Detterer, Dr Emma Burrows, Dr Rishma Vidyasagar and Professor Sarah Russell.

Outcomes from the two-phase process will be detailed in a report and launched later this year. Follow the discussions from the event and add your voice to the conversation using the hashtag #RebootSTEMM on Twitter.

Eight smiling people in an online zoom-type meeting
Members of the Reboot STEMM organising committee. Image: Anita Goh

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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