by Ian Macadam
The Knowledge Brokerage Team has existed for a little over a year and it’s timely to reflect on some of the activities the team has been involved in. Throughout 2019, CLEX’s knowledge brokers, Ian Macadam and James Goldie, worked to enhance the impact of CLEX beyond academia. At the end of the year, some of the team’s activities are in full swing, while others are just beginning to bear fruit.
The primary role of the team is to communicate our research to governments and businesses. Ian has been doing this through a series of briefing notes, 2-page documents designed to explain recent developments in climate science to interested non-specialists. Nine briefing notes are now on the CLEX website and others are in the process of being written.
Over 2019, Ian has also sought to communicate our research through targeted events and has arranged symposia between CLEX and NSW Government, visits to CLEX by insurers and visits by CLEX scientists to Risk Frontiers, our private-sector partners specialising in risk assessment for insurance and government.
The knowledge brokerage team also facilitates the exchange of data between CLEX and external stakeholders. A major achievement in 2019 was the assembly of a consortium of Monash University, the Bureau of Meteorology, IAG (Insurance Australia Group), NSW Government and Risk Frontiers to fund and guide the development of version 2 of the WeatheX app. The app was developed by Joshua Soderholm at Monash University to allow members of the public to report extreme weather events in real-time. The data collected by the app is potentially valuable to ground truth in weather forecasts.
James’s focus in 2019 has been on the CLIMDEX website providing data on extremes of temperature and rainfall in global datasets of daily observations. The new site represents a major improvement on previous efforts to give access to the indices. James has overhauled the site to allow new datasets to be more easily incorporated. The site will “go live” in 2020.
Finally, CLEX is working to support the teaching of climate science for schools. The Knowledge Brokerage Team aims to do this by supporting the development of lesson plans and other resources that teachers can use to incorporate climate science into their lessons. While CLEX is blessed with gifted researchers and university teachers, few of us have experience of teaching school curriculums. Ian has therefore been reaching out to existing providers of teaching aids, teachers’ associations and curriculum authorities. He’s also been wheedling out those in CLEX with a keen interest in school outreach. These efforts will start to bear fruit at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society conference in Fremantle in February, where CLEX is helping to bring together teachers and academics in a lesson planning workshop. You can find out more, here.