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Good evidence, bad politics: Overcoming the noise in climate change and migration policy

23 August 2018
6.00pm – 7.30pm AEST
Allens, Deutsche Bank Place
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Evidence matters. Yet even  before “fake news” became a political weapon, it’s been notoriously difficult to get evidence into the policymaking process. How can we keep good evidence from being overwhelmed by bad politics? 

Join us as three world-renowned experts talk about their experience from the front lines of research and policymaking in contentious areas – climate change, refugees and, where the two meet, climate change- and disaster-related displacement.

This presentation was re-broadcast on ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program.


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Professor John Church

Professor John Church is Australia’s most credentialled expert on sea-level rise and a long-time research scientist with the government CSIRO. He joined UNSW in 2016 as a professor in the Climate Change Research Centre, so he’s seen Australia’s approach to science and international obligations from inside and outside government.

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Professor Jane McAdam AO

UNSW Scientia Professor and Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Director, Jane McAdam AO, is a pioneer in research on climate change and disaster-related displacement, advising governments and international organisations including UNHCR. She is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway, and a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative in London. She is joint Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the leading journal in the field. In 2017, her work in this field was described as 'transformative' by the jury of the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights, which she was the first Australian to win. In 2021, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 'for distinguished service to international refugee law, particularly to climate change and the displacement of people'.

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Walter Kaelin

Walter Kälin has extensive international experience as scholar and policymaker, most recently serving as Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (and formerly of its predecessor, the Nansen Initiative on Disaster-Induced Cross-Border Displacement), providing strategic advice and leadership to this state-led process working towards better protection for people in the context of disasters and climate change. Professor Emeritus for international and constitutional law at the University of Bern (Switzerland), he has served the United Nations in various capacities, including as Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and twice as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.