Podcast Episodes

E3 – Dr Sarah Pearson | Innovation | Particle Physics, Cancer Diagnosis & Cadbury

I am joined by Dr. Sarah Pearson, the current Deputy Director-General for Innovation at Advance Queensland. We discuss Sarah’s career that started in Particle Physics but has since included, cancer research, Cadbury confectionary, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), with a huge focus on collaborative innovation.
Sarah’s LinkedIn
Sarah’s Twitter
Advance Queensland Website


00:01:14 – Sarah’s current work at Advance Queensland
00:02:14 – Innovation out of COVID-19
00:03:40 – The ups and downs of Sarah’s Oxford PhD
00:09:00 – Careers Highlights
00:11:17 – Moving to Australia
00:11:47 – Working at McKinsey
00:12:52 – Becoming a parent – refocusing priorities
00:14:40 – Moving to Armidale – moving back into Physics and restructuring
00:16:36 – Breast Cancer research
00:18:23 – Outreach programs to get young people, especially women into STEM
00:19:18 – Open Innovation at Cadbury
00:22:33 – Back to Australia – struggled for a bit
00:23:08 – CEO at ANU Enterprise + Night jobs like the Scaling Frontier Innovation Program
00:26:54 – Canberra Innovation Network – company to build an ecosystem. Mass collaboration.
00:28:33 – Brief UoN stint
00:28:37 – Chief Innovation Officer at DFAT
00:30:29 – Head of Innovation Queensland
00:30:44 – Work-life balance
00:32:11 – Important Networks and influential people
00:36:10 – Childhood impacts on career. Moving around a lot.
00:38:37 – Merging innovation with encouraging women in STEM
00:43:14 – How to build inclusive new economies?
00:44:07 – How will innovation change the future?

Intro Music by Supakarn Nakavisuit (
Outro Music by Kasimir Gregory
SMArt – “Puppy” by Kasimir Gregory

By Kasimir Gregory

PhD Candidate at the University of Newcastle investigating specific-ion effects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *