Air quality

Globally, 2.9 years of life expectancy on average are lost due to outdoor air pollution – a bigger toll than tobacco smoking. From dust storms, urban vehicle emissions, bushfires and emerging links between air quality and infection severity with COVID-19 - air quality has become a constant topic of conversation in the lives of Australians.


Key themes / questions

  • With more deaths caused by air pollution than tobacco, why don’t we hear more about this?
  • We all play a part in contributing to air pollution, but who is responsible for keeping our air clean? Who pays?
  • Decreased emissions during the current pandemic have created a glimpse into a world with cleaner air. Can we continue this post-pandemic? 
  • Coalition of action – who are the stakeholders and what role do/can they play?


Case-study #1: Policy

Case-study #2: Tech Mahindra India

Case-study #3: Sydney Nanotoxicity / Smart Sensors Network

Case-study #4: Business school (systems interpretability – Deb Bunker)

How to tune in

We're hosting a free webinar session. Register to get an email with details on how you can join on the day.

We're recording this conversation so it will be available on our podcast. A transcript will also be available. Check back this page later.

The speakers

Marc is Director of the Sydney Policy Lab. Before arriving in Sydney in 2018, Marc had been Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford and Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation, one of the UK’s largest think tanks, where his work often focused on deepening partnerships with community groups who are often overlooked in the policy process. Between 2012 and 2015, he was Chief Speechwriter to the UK Labour Party, a co-author of the party’s 2015 election manifesto and a member of the Party's general election steering committee. He has also advised a number of commercial and non-commercial organisations on strategic communication, democratic inclusion and community engagement, these have included Coram Young Citizens, Channel 4 television, EY, GlaxoSmithKline, Let Us Learn and Linklaters.

In his academic work, Marc is an expert in democratic theory and the history of ideologies and social movements. He is the author of Demanding Democracy (Princeton, 2010), (Oxford, 2002) and an editor of many volumes including (Oxford, 2014). He has two books currently under contract, one focusing on the recent revival of socialism internationally, for Profile Books, and one looking at the cultural roots of anti-statism on the British left, with Harvard University Press.

Benjamin is the Director of the University of Sydney Nano Institute. He also currently serves as co-Director of the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN). Eggleton was the founding Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) at the University of Sydney and served as Director from 2009-2018. He was previously an ARC Laureate Fellow and an ARC Federation Fellow twice and was founding Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) from 2003-2017.

Ben obtained the Bachelor's degree (with honors) in Science in 1992 and Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Sydney in 1996. He then joined Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Postdoctoral Member of Staff in the Optical Physics Department under the supervision of Dr Richard Slusher. 

Ben is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America, IEEE Photonics and SPIE. He is Editor-in-Chief of APL Photonics.

Deborah is a leading international scholar in organizational collaboration and change management in complex organisational and environmental settings. She is a Chief Investigator on an EU Horizon 2020 project RISE_SMA Social Media Analytics for Society and Crisis Communication and a Norwegian Research Council SAMRISK Work Program project INSITU Sharing Incident and Threat Information During Crises.

Deborah is the Chair and Convener of the Communications and Technology for Society Research Group and immediate past Chair of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 8.6 (Transfer and Diffusion of IT). She is also a Multi-Disciplinary Advisory Board Member of the Marie Bashir Institute (MBI) at the University of Sydney, Member of the Research Evaluation Committee (Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences Panel) for the Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation process (ERA 2018, 2015). She is Senior Editor for Information Technology and People and a Section Editor for the Australasian Journal of Information Systems.

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