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
Author, Producer, Researcher, Manager, Educator, Consultant
Associate Professor Paul Brown is an educationalist, researcher, community artist and creative producer. For over thirty years he has successfully integrated university research, teaching and leadership with arts practice, community engagement and consultancy – across humanities, environment, science and community development fields.
Environmental issues, theatre and film production, communications and community engagement are central to his practitioner and academic interests. He has published in fields of environmental humanities, eco-criticism, creative arts practice, conservation and sustainability, atomic arts, earth history, and science and technology studies. His recent practice-based research includes an oral history and performance project on South Asian development issues, a major international arts program linking creative artists with communities that have experienced nuclear testing, and environmental education initiatives in Australia, India and Bangladesh.
In academia, Paul was first appointed to UNSW in 1994 as lecturer in Environmental Policy in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He developed and taught across a wide range of courses, and played a co-ordinating role in the Environmental Studies Program for the Faculty until 2007, when he was appointed foundational Head of the School of History and Philosophy (later school of Humanities and now School of Humanities and Languages). He held this senior management and leadership position for five years 2007-12, responsible for over fifty academic staff and eight professional staff. Throughout his UNSW career, Paul has taken key roles in curriculum development, and helped lead developments in on-line teaching, both in his own courses and across the School of Humanities while Head of School. He has substantial teaching experience within the Masters of Environmental Management (MEM), and has been a key contributor to interdisciplinary activities through the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW. Paul now holds a position in the School of Humanities and Languages, and is consultant for a current Scientia Education Investment Fund development project at UNSW, with focus on on-line teaching development for the Masters of Environmental Management. Since 2017, he has taught four courses within the MEM, and was the convenor of that program in 2018.
As a creative writer and producer, mostly of plays and films, Paul is the author of Aftershocks, verbatim theatre about the Newcastle earthquake. He co-founded Urban Theatre Projects in 1980, and wrote major community theatre works for Murray River Performing Group, Theatreworks, and Urban Theatre Projects. Paul is the author of the documentary film Sixty Thousand Barrels, and of the verbatim play Half a Life, which documents the experience of veterans who served at the British Nuclear Testing ground at Maralinga. In 2014-18 he was the Creative Producer for the Nuclear Futures creative partnerships initiative, linking artists with atomic survivor communities to make creative works across 22 community-based multi-arts projects. Highlights include the production and gifting of Australia's sculpture in the Nagasaki Peace Park, and the digital projections 10 Minutes to Midnight, and Ngurini (Searching) two multi-media installations.
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 2019-2021 I will conduct three areas of research:
1. The knowledge-making potential for the creative arts, with focus on documentary theatre forms, including 'verbatim' theatre that explores environmental themes.
2. Environmental education and pedagogy, with focus on emerging blended learning approaches for postgraduate environmental coursework.
3. Ways to reimagine earth sciences (including via the creative arts) in an era of environmental crisis.
My related creative arts practice will include development of community-based documentary plays, films and digital projections.
My Research Supervision
Currently I am supervising students whose projects are concerned with impacts of coal mining, and/or the relationship between environmental issues and the creative arts.
Since 1994 I have 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 are Waste and Society, Environmental Controversy, Public Participation and Environmental Policy. Most recently I have been teaching within the Master of Environmental Management Program at UNSW. My MEM courses have 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.