M.Sci.Soc (UNSW) 1993 History and Philosophy of Science, Science and Society, Science Communication, Environment
PhD (UNSW) 1980 Geology, Geochemistry
B.Appl.Sci (First Class Honours) (UNSW) 1973 Earth Sciences, Higher Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Philosophy, Statistics
I acknowledge the Cadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land I live and work, and pay my respects to their elders past, present and future.
Paul is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Environment ans Society Group, School of Humanities and Languages at UNSW. He is an educationalist, facilitator, author, researcher, community artist and creative producer. Across four decades he has integrated university research, teaching and leadership with arts practice, community engagement and consultancy – across humanities, environment, science, and community development fields.
Originally trained as a geologist, then also qualifying in history and philosophy of science, Paul has published in fields of geology, environmental humanities, eco-criticism, creative arts practice and science and technology studies. He has taught environmental policy and management for 30 years, most recently within the Master of Environmental Management at the University of New South Wales. For five years he was Head of the School of Humanities at UNSW.
His academic research has included a major program on hazardous waste in the Botany Bay area, an international 'Waterways' project with collaborators in India, Thailand and Bangladesh, and research in environmental education theory and practice. His recent practice-based research includes an oral history and performance project on South Asian development issues, and a major and ongoing international community-based program with communities that have experienced nuclear testing.
As a creative writer and producer, mostly of plays and films, Paul is the author of Aftershocks – about the Newcastle earthquake, considered Australia’s first full length verbatim play, also a feature film. He co-founded Urban Theatre Projects in 1980, and wrote major community theatre works for Murray River Performing Group, Theatreworks, and Urban Theatre Projects. He is author of the documentary film Sixty Thousand Barrels, and of the verbatim play Half a Life. In 2014-18, through his production company Alphaville, he was the Creative Producer for the Nuclear Futures creative partnerships initiative, linking artists with atomic survivor communities to make creative works across 22 multi-arts projects – details of Reimagining Maralinga here.
In 2020-21 Paul co-ordinated the eco-arts program for the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, and its key project Recovery linking creative artists and citizen scientists in the wake of the Black Summer bushfires – details in the Institute's Eco-arts Space here. In 2021-22, he held a Synapse Residency in collaboration with visual artist Linda Dement, supported by the Australian Network for Arts and Technology (ANAT) and hosted by the Cardiovascular Regeneration laboratory at University of Technology Sydney – details of the Heart Project here.
Society for the Social Studies of Science award for communication and community engagement ('Making and Doing'): Nuclear (2018)
Graham F Smith Peace Foundation Award: Tree of Life Gift of Peace. Australia's sculpture in the Nagasaki Peace Park. (2016)
Australasian Association of Philosophy Award: The Retrial of Galileo: documentary film. (2010)
Australian Writers Guild Award: Best Screenplay Adaptation: Aftershocks. (1998)
Australia Council for the Arts: Community Writers Fellowship (1991)
Across the period 2023-25 I will prioritise three areas of research:
1. The knowledge-making potential for the creative arts, with focus on arts-science collaborations that explore environmental themes.
2. Developments in arts practice exposing the legacies of nuclear industry and nuclear weapons.
3. Ways to re-imagine earth sciences (including via the creative arts) in an era of environmental crisis.
My related creative arts practice will include development of community-based projects that link arts, science and environment.
I am no longer offering courses.
Between 1994 and 2020, I taught across undergraduate and postgraduate environmental courses that are interdisciplinary and based on a high degree of interactivity in the classroom. My key areas of teaching have been Waste and Society, Environmental Controversy, Public Participation and Environmental Policy. Most recently (2018-2020) I taught within the Master of Environmental Management Program at UNSW. My MEM courses included Addressing Environmental Issues; Tools for Environmental Management; Environmental Policy; and fundamental knowledge courses in Social Sciences and Physical Sciences. I have also supervised students in Internships and research projects within the MEM.