Dr Anita Goh elected as Vice President of Science and Technology Australia board

Dr Anita Goh is a Senior Research Fellow and Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and answers a few questions about the role of Vice President, Science and Technology Australia board.

What does the role of Vice President for the board of Science and Technology Australia involve?
Science and Technology Australia (STA) is Australia’s peak body in science and technology. We represent more than 90,000 scientists and technologists. STA is an influential voice for evidence and expertise in public policy. STA's mission is to advance the public good and social and community welfare, and strengthen civil society, through education, outreach and programs. The Vice President works with the President and Board to:

● Oversee the strategic and operational activities of STA
● Advise and guide the CEO, Executive Committee and Board

What has motivated you to go for this role?

One of my passions is to be part of the change to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and high-performing Australian STEMM sector where our best resources (the people) are supported to do high impact research, and success is evaluated using inclusive and fairer metrics.

I went for this VP role to effect change at a national level in an influential organisation. I have been involved with STA as I was selected a few years ago for the national Superstars of STEM program, which taught me advanced communication skills and showed me how science can deeply inform and shape policy.   I am excited to serve on this board so I can use my unique perspective, expertise, networks, and energy to strategically work with the team to make a difference.

What issues in science are close to your heart?

I am very focussed on integration of the STEMM sector, and I really believe that we need to get out of our silos and individual perspectives to innovate and have a world class STEMM sector, and for our work to be meaningful and make the world a better place - which is why many people go into STEMM! I want people from government, policy makers, industry, academia, and the public to talk to each other and engage in mutually beneficial relationships.
I have also seen the sector struggle with morale, motivation, and to see viable career paths, and it has lost many talented people, through an extremely and unsustainably competitive funding landscape, and poor recognition of what constitutes success and impact. Because of this I want to advocate for a fairer system, and to encourage movement between different sectors, so we don't have a brain drain of our talent. Related to this, the issue of diversity, equity and inclusivity is also very close to my heart. Our sector needs wider representation of different types of scientists and career paths, and much more diverse senior leadership to innovate and to thrive.