Key aspects of contemporary Australian society and its future rely on technology. Australians pride themselves on being pioneers and ‘early adopters’ of technology. Our manufacturing, service, and primary industries revolve around important technologies, some invented here and many others which are imported and adapted from elsewhere. To gain greater benefit from technologies we need to identify their social, cultural, political and security implications early on in the technology life cycle. It is important to understand the attitudes that play a role in framing, mediating and shaping technology in Australia.

As part of the Australian Council of the Learned Academies project for the Chief Scientist on ‘Securing Australia’s Future’, a one-day workshop was held on 6 June 2014 to bring together leading experts on technology to explore Australian attitudes to technology – and how these shape and influence the invention, design, implementation and improvement of technology in Australia. Structured around a strongly interactive format, the workshop posed the hard questions about what we know reliably about Australian technology attitudes, where Australia fits into the international context.

The findings of this Workshop will feed into a report being prepared for 2015.