USC researcher is ‘Science Star of Tomorrow’

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USC researcher is ‘Science Star of Tomorrow’


Published on 8 October 2013

A University of the Sunshine Coast academic, whose research aims to reduce the number of car crash deaths among young drivers, has become one of 10 ‘Science Stars of Tomorrow’.

Dr Bridie Scott-Parker, 41, of Upper Caboolture, has been invited by the Australian Academy of Science to feature in its 2014 Science Stars of Tomorrow speaker series in Canberra next May.

The Academy’s speaker series are open to the public and held annually to bring science to a broader audience.

Next year’s event will showcase 10 Australian early and mid-career researchers whose work is considered interesting and innovative.

Dr Scott-Parker, who joined USC this year as a Research Fellow after finishing her PhD in Psychology at Queensland University of Technology, will talk about her ongoing studies into road safety.

“I’m excited because I love what I do and this means other people realise how useful my research will be,” she said.

“Road safety is a huge issue around the world because everyone uses roads, whether they’re a driver, pedestrian or cyclist. Young drivers in particular pay a high price to drive on the road, some unfortunately hurting their friends, themselves and other road users in crashes.”

Dr Scott-Parker has started new research into the attitudes of local young drivers towards police, and how these attitudes might influence the drivers’ behaviour on our roads.

“This study follows on from issues raised in my PhD,” she said. “I chatted to young drivers in Morayfield Shopping Centre and they talked about their different interactions with police and how this changed the way they behaved in relation to road rules – unfortunately not necessarily in a positive way.

“I’d now like to hear from young drivers on the Sunshine Coast about their attitudes and experiences in relation to police and how this affects them.”

Young drivers with a red Provisional 1 or green Provisional 2 driver’s licence, aged 17-24 years, who have had an interaction with the police as a young driver can participate in focus groups at USC this weekend.

Dr Scott-Parker will serve refreshments and thank each young driver for sharing with $20. To register for a focus group, email Dr Scott-Parker.

Dr Scott-Parker was also delighted this year to receive one of five prestigious Research Fellowships out of 62 applications to USC.

“It’s a real opportunity for me to make a difference in young driver research,” said Dr Scott-Parker, who works in the themed area USCAR (University of the Sunshine Coast Accident Research).

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Roland De Marco described her as a rising research star and the Academy’s invitation as a feather in her cap.

— Julie Schomberg

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