ICS Seminar Series

Escaping the HASS/STEM divide by investing in knowledge and research broadly and strategically

Event Details:

Date and Time: Thursday, 30 June, 11:30am - 1:00pm

Location: Building EZ, Conference Room 1, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University

Chair: Bob Hodge

Panellists: Jessica Weir, Kylie Brass (AAH) and Scott Avery


Whether within HASS or STEM, all fields of knowledge offer industry and society value in addressing real-life challenges that embody cultural and social dimensions. In this panel we move on from defensive HASS versus STEM conversations to share a different dialogue from our standpoints.*  Scott Avery, Senior Lecturer WSU and profoundly deaf Worimi scholar, will present on the emerging industry demand for Indigenous knowledge in addressing social inequalities for people with disability, whilst also positioning the HASS versus STEM as an artificial contest that emerges from colonisation. Kylie Brass, Director of Policy and Research at the Australian Academy of the Humanities, will track the sector level HASS/STEM shifts to more productive grounds, including the leverage points for policy change. Jessica Weir, Senior Research Fellow WSU, will report on how public servants are innovating to secure a broader evidence suite beyond STEM, and how that relates to agenda setting for academic research and curricula.

*HASS – Humanities, arts and social sciences; STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


Dr Scott Avery is a profoundly deaf and Aboriginal scholar from the Worimi people. He teaches Indigenous disability and inclusion at Western Sydney University, and has a long standing partnership with the First People's Disability Network.

Dr Kylie Brass is the Policy and Research Director at the Australian Academy of the Humanities, where she leads a research and policy agenda focused on the future humanities workforce and national research infrastructure.

Dr Jessica Weir is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, WSU. She investigates different understandings about the environment, and the consequences for evidence and governance, building on 20 years of public, private and community sector work.

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