To explore, experiment with, and improve the mobilisation of scientific and engineering knowledge and expertise within public decision‐making around the world.
STEaPP strives to be ‘applied in focus’ in its study of the mobilisation of Science, Technology & Engineering knowledge in order to enhance the collective capacity of public decision‐making processes and institutions to address complex societal challenges. At the same time, STEaPP researchers have an explicit mandate to be ‘global in reach’ by bringing together international networks of academics and policymakers. This ethos is geared towards leveraging diverse global experiences, and supporting more resilient public decision-making informed by science and engineering across societies around the world.
Within STEaPP we aim to maintain a balance between research that applies our expertise to understanding and addressing pressing societal challenges, and research that explores and develops the practices through which Science, Technology & Engineering knowledge can be mobilised to address a broad array of such challenges. Our core themes of research, or ‘challenges’, are embodied by a number of established and emerging research groups in the department, which in turn also align to our masters and professional education offered via STEaPP’s MPA programme.
Some examples of our topical research foci:
Critical in these areas remain a number of non-topical, practical issues that the department aims to apply across thematic domains. To date, STEaPP research has focused primarily on the practices of science advice and science diplomacy. In particular, STEaPP research has been focused on charting the dynamics of knowledge systems and the politics of science diplomacy at national, international and local scales of governance. These investigations are laying the foundation for the analysis and development of practices research that enables the mobilisation of expertise across disciplines, across societal challenges and across governance scales.
The department aims at stimulating the development of research in the directions outlined above via both externally funded, targeted, strategic initiatives and a responsive funding call open to all STEaPP academic staff. This internal funding mechanism supports the catalytic development of departmental research activities and encourages cross-pollination amongst faculty and research staff.
Central to STEaPP’s mission is to connect research and education to offer not only cutting edge analysis on the challenges outlined above, but also equip innovative practitioners and academics with the skills necessary to tackle these challenges in the ‘real world’. This has taken the shape of four specialisations for our MPA course: