Science into Society, Group Leader, Ms Peta Ashworth.
Ms Peta Ashworth: understanding public perceptions to complex issues
Ms Peta Ashworth is leader of the Science into Society Group and has gained an international reputation as a leading researcher in understanding public perception to climate change and low emission technologies.
29 April 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011
Ms Ashworth's strategic developments have laid the foundations for the group's current research focus across several CSIRO Flagships, including:
- Energy Transformed Flagship
- Wealth From Oceans Flagship
- Climate Adaption Flagship
- Minerals Down Under Flagship.
The Science into Society Group has built substantial capacity in the areas of research (study design, data collection and analysis, reporting and project management), collaboration (internal/external, public and private sector, and national/international) and input into policy development (through various advisory group memberships).
Within the Science into Society Group there are a growing number of social researchers investigating stakeholder attitudes to a range of complex issues of strategic importance to Australia.
The group draws upon its collective expertise in social and organisational psychology, decision making, sociology, communication, public policy and behavioural intervention domains.
In each project researchers develop social processes to engage with a range of relevant stakeholders on the topic of research.
This approach aligns with Ms Ashworth's own research interest on how to deliver information to best effect.
Ms Ashworth has gained an international reputation as a leading researcher in understanding public perception to climate change and low emission technologies.
Ms Ashworth has been awarded a:
Diploma of Teaching from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia
Bachelor of Education also from QUT
Masters of Business Administration from The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.
Adjunct Professor from the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences, also from UQ.
In her current work, Ms Ashworth Chairs the International Energy Agency's Greenhouse Gas (IEA GHG) Social Research Network and has gained an international reputation in researching stakeholder perceptions to climate change and low emission energy technologies.
More recently, Ms Ashworth has developed a behaviour change program called Energymark that is being implemented across Australia to reduce emissions at the household level.
This research is important because energy users at the community level have a critical role in climate change mitigation both in technology acceptance and through behaviour change.
Ms Ashworth believes it is important to educate and empower stakeholders to engage with this issue and work towards environmental sustainability.
As part of her work she co-authored 'The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook - How to save energy, save money and reduce your carbon footprint', which was released in 2009.
Ms Ashworth is also an active Board Member at Brisbane's Powerhouse Museum, a leading performance arts centre of Brisbane.
She is Secretary for the Council of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, and she served as an Interim Advisory Board Member for the Clean Energy Innovation Centre, an initiative of Enterprise Connect for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
Find out more about our research in Science into Society.