Making change happen: what we can learn from different disciplines and professions and what it means for measuring research impact

'Change: combining analytic approaches with street wisdom' book cover

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 15 October 2015


Lecture Theatre 2.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building (120), McCoy Circuit, ANU
ANU Canberra


Gabriele Bammer and Michael Wesley


Emma Larking
+61 (0)2 6125 1513

On October 6, Professor Gabriele Bammer from the Research School of Population Health at the ANU will launch her book, Change! Combining Analytic Approaches with Street Wisdom. This will be broadcast on ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas programme.

Change happens all the time, but is difficult to understand, control or predict. Knowledge about change is fragmented, with every discipline and practice area having only a partial view. It is no-one’s business to synthesise these views and there is not even a map of different perspectives. This book project brought together 18 perspectives: advertising (Dee Madigan), anthropology (Francesca Merlan), art (John Reid), demography (Peter McDonald), economics (Jim Butler), education (Robyn Gillies), evolutionary biology (Lindell Bromham), global environmental change (Mark Stafford Smith), industrial innovation (Sarah Pearson), international relations (Michael Wesley), materials conservation (Ian MacLeod), media advocacy (Simon Chapman), organisational change (Christine Nixon), philosophy (Paul Griffiths), politics (Kate Carnell), psychiatry (Beverley Raphael), security-based intelligence (Grant Wardlaw) and sociology (Craig Browne).

This Distinguished Speaker seminar will present the core arguments from the closing synthesis chapter. These include key characteristics of change highlighted by different areas, as well as what a dynamic change environment, inertia, unpredictability and the contingency of success mean for measuring research impact. Professor Michael Wesley, one of the book contributors, will act as discussant.

About the Speakers

Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (I2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change ( This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (ANU E Press, 2013).

Between 2011-13 Gabriele was Director of the Research School of Population Health, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and co-Director and then Director of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute at The Australian National University (ANU). She is an ANU Public Policy Fellow, an inaugural Fulbright New Century Scholar alumna and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2001-14), ETH-Zurich and the Universitaet fuer Bodenkultur in Vienna. From 2007-2013 she was the convenor of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security’s Integration and Implementation research program.

Michael Wesley is Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at The Australian National University. His career has spanned academia, with previous appointments at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Hong Kong, Sun Yatsen University and the University of Sydney; government, where he worked as Assistant Director General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments; and think tanks, in which he was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Michael has also served as the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and a Board Member of the Australia Television Network. His most recent book, There goes the neighbourhood: Australia and the rise of Asia, won the 2011 John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian public policy.

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