Data for the People: Digital Government Meets Open Science for Grand Challenges

Join this symposium to explore with policy and science leaders how to address grand social challenges through the open flow of government data and knowledge.
People crossing street

About the Event

The Australian Academy of Science and the ARDC invite you to an in-person public symposium on “Digital Government Meets Open Science to Address Grand Challenges”.

The Symposium engages policy makers and science leaders on how government and research can work together to address the grand challenges of society through an open flow of data and knowledge. How can we better mobilise data and knowledge between government and research to improve the prosperity, health and well-being of our citizens?


  1. Welcome from the Australian Academy of Science
  2. Presentation on data in science for global challenges by Dr Simon Hodson, Executive Director, Committee on Data, International Science Council (CODATA)
  3. Presentation on addressing Australia’s national challenges with data in science by Dr Adrian Burton, Deputy CEO, ARDC and Chair, National Committee for Data in Science
  4. Morning tea
  5. Panel discussion
  6. Lunch and networking


In this presentation, Dr Simon Hodson will present on international science policy trends from ISC, UNESCO and OECD that draw together science and government to address society’s pressing challenges using FAIR data. He will also speak to science and government at the international level – the relationship between international science policy and international multilateral government bodies such as WHO, WTO and WMO.

Simon is an expert on data policy issues and research data management. His current work is focused on the Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges program, which will improve the coordination of specifications for data integration and interoperability for interdisciplinary research.

In this presentation, Dr Adrian Burton will tackle the crucial role of data from government in addressing Australia’s challenges and the enabling role of data from research and open science, including open access publications, FAIR data policies and the NRI Roadmap data capabilities and citizen science.

Adrian has 20 years’ experience applying emerging information technology to research at national and international scales. With backgrounds in IT, academia, government and linguistics, he addresses opportunities holistically, ensuring that policy, people and governance frameworks work alongside systems, services and infrastructure.

Panel Discussion

Representatives from government agencies and the research sector will join our speakers on a panel and examine:

  • the role of the government in catalysing science through data and digital strategies, policies and capabilities
  • how science can relate better to public policy challenges of our time
  • how research and government together can make use of our national data assets to address those grand challenges.

The session will be moderated by Dr Adrian Burton. Panelists include:

  • Professor Virginia Barbour, Director, Open Access Australasia
  • Dr Jane Coram, Head, Environment Information Australia
  • Associate Professor Tomoko Sugiura, Head, Health Data Analytics Team, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
  • Matthew James, Deputy CEO, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  • Professor Mark Western, Professor of Sociology, Centre for Policy Futures, UQ and Research Director, The Queensland Commitment
  • Dr Phillip Gould, First Assistant Secretary, Health Economic and Research Division, Australian Department of Health.

Who Should Attend

  • Researchers
  • Research or public sector data policy experts
  • Research data specialists
  • Research support specialists

What You Will Gain

Attendees will have the opportunity to listen to and raise questions to global and national leaders shaping the future data and knowledge flows between government and research. You’ll:

  • gain insights into policy trends and initiatives globally and nationally that are supporting open science
  • gain awareness of the Commonwealth’s plan (as an Adherent to the UNESCO and OECD Recommendations) to promote and implement open science and data availability nationally
  • identify roles and opportunities for the Australian Government agencies in policy and data provision to catalyse open science and the digital economy.


A recording of the event is now available alongside a recap:

Do you have questions about this event? Contact us.


14 September 2023


9 am to 1:30 pm (AEST)




Ian Wark Theatre, The Shine Dome,15 Gordon Street, Acton, ACT 2601

Run by

Australian Academy of Science and ARDC