by Ian Macadam
One tool the Knowledge Brokerage Team uses to communicate CLEX science to the government, business and education sectors is our series of briefing notes. The challenges of 2020 impacted the rate we added to this series. However, since the last CLEX newsletter, I have worked with Steve Sherwood at UNSW, and CSIRO’s Michael Grose and Sonia Bluhm, to produce a briefing note on the remarkable achievement of a Sherwood-led team of international experts that successfully narrowed the uncertainty in estimates of the sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to atmospheric carbon dioxide. This has important implications for the Paris Agreement and climate change impacts, which are highlighted in the briefing note.

Importantly, this is a joint briefing note written with the National Environmental Science Programme Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. I believe our briefing notes will have more impact if we “speak with one voice” with other research initiatives and positive feedback on this particular note suggest this is not a lone view. In 2021, I’ll be looking to further increase the impact of our briefing notes by including high-quality infographics.

Although this year has certainly had its challenges, not all of the challenges thrown at the Knowledge Brokerage Team have been negative. The Centre’s Mid-Term Review in October had a strong focus on engagement with industry. This was followed by some frenetic activity around putting the Centre’s new Research Programs on a firm footing. This “double-whammy” is helping to invigorate our thinking about knowledge brokerage in the second half of the Centre. For example, the CLEX Outreach Committee has been considering new engagement and impact goals for the Centre that will build on our existing relationships with governments and businesses.

Together with our Chief Investigators, I am currently thinking about how we can engage government and business stakeholders in the new Research programs. Before the summer break, Karla Fallon and I will devote some time to better understanding how the proposed research could have an impact beyond academia and the role that governments and businesses could play in helping us to achieve this impact. Don’t be surprised if we get in touch to quiz you about pathways to impact or the support you may need from the Knowledge Brokerage Team to help you engage beyond academia. I’d also like to reiterate again the importance of capturing the engagement that you are already doing in Clever. Karla has been looking at assessing our engagement and impact and Clever is a key tool in this process.

As well as pursuing links between our research with governments and businesses, in 2021 I look forward to seeing further work by CLEX highlighting climate and weather science in secondary schools. Sanaa Hobeichi is leading the organisation of a scientist-teacher lesson planning workshop at the AMOS 2021 conference. The plan is to repeat and improve on a highly successful workshop run with teachers based around Fremantle at the AMOS 2020 conference. The online AMOS 2021 conference offers us the opportunity to bring this style of workshop to teachers and scientists across the country.  The plan is for the workshop attendees to draft school lesson plans that we can complete and publish with our partners at the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub and the TROP ICSU international repository of climate change teaching resources. Please contact Sanaa ( if you would like to work directly with teachers to build a lesson plan based on some of your research outputs or tools.