About ASC

The Australian Science Communicators is the peak body for science communicators and science journalists in Australia. Established in 1994, the Australian Science Communicators has grown to a national network of more than 1650 subscribers and 450 financial members working in science and technology communication, including science journalists and writers, public information officers for academic and research organisations, scientists, museum professionals, science educators, science film-makers, and many other diverse professions united by the common theme of making science accessible. We are a not-for-profit organisation.

We work towards achieving these through:

  • An active email list of more than 1500 members and non-members working across the breadth of science communication in Australia;
  • Social media forums for members to network, share information, and discuss issues relating to the communication of and about science and technology;
  • State branch activities and meetings bringing local members together for networking, professional development, social activities, and discussions;
  • An annual national conference featuring plenaries, workshops, networking opportunities and social events;
  • A monthly online newsletter Scope featuring the latest news from the organisation and the world of science communication;
  • A competitive grants program to support members in professional development;
  • An annual award honouring the Unsung Hero of Science Communication;
  • A website bringing together online resources about science communication, from around Australia and the world.’

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Who’s who

Our history

Past ASC Presidents

Governance

Contact us

Executive

Who’s Who

President: Lisa Bailey (president *at* asc.asn.au)
Dr Lisa Bailey is Program Manager at RiAus, Australia’s Science Channel. Starting out in research she obtained her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Adelaide. She has worked as a science communicator at The University of Adelaide, with Bridge8 and with the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In 2009 she joined the brand new RiAus in Adelaide, where she now manages a varied science engagement program of online content, events and art exhibitions. Lisa was the the Inspiring Australia Manager for South Australia 2013-14.

Vice-President: Dr Phil Dooley (vp *at* asc.asn.au)
Phil is a science communicator for the ANU, and a freelance presenter of the ‘Phil Up On Science’ YouTube channel, with leanings towards astronomy and physics. As well as solo gigs on Pluto, climate change or purple grass, he MCs science nights such as the hugely popular Physics in the Pub nights for Australian Institute of Physics. He has also served as chair of the NSW and ACT branches of Australian Science Communicators.

Secretary: Teresa Belcher (secretary *at* asc.asn.au)
Teresa is a science communicator with over 20 years’ experience communicating science and engineering research and projects. Her initial university qualifications are biology, environmental science and environmental management, supplemented by a Masters in scientific communication from the ANU. Since 2010, she is back living in her hometown of Perth, after working in Canberra, Switzerland and the UK for 17 years. Teresa has a wide range of experience in corporate communication, public relations, journalism, web design and maintenance, new media, event management and training in both the public and private sectors. Her current job is the Communications Manager for Rangelands Natural Resource Management, which allows her to combine her background and interest in the environment with her skills in communicating, plus she gets to travel to some amazing places in the WA outback! In her spare time, Teresa does some freelance writing (previously for Science Network WA), enjoys travel and outdoors activities including rowing, kayaking, sailing, and fishing. She also spends a lot of the time in her garden and doing DIY.

Treasurer: Aidan Muirhead (treasurer *at* asc.asn.au)
Aidan recently joined National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) as Communications and Outreach Officer after more than seven years at Questacon in a variety of roles. She is former President of the ACT branch and a graduate of Science Communication at ANU.

Executive Officer: Kali Madden (office *at* asc.asn.au)
Kali has been immersed in all things sci-tech for 20 years or more, having had a blessed journey through industry IT, collaborative scientific research centres and not-for-profit industry associations. She has been involved in many satisfying projects include setting up a world class research facility; developing a benchmark national outreach program for collaborative research; creating and managing online communities, websites and digital spaces for teaching, training and professional development; and directing the last six transnational convergences for all those who make science accessible.

Past-President: Craig Cormick (past.president *at* asc.asn.au)
Dr Craig Cormick has worked as a science communicator for several major organisations, including the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, CSIRO and Questacon. He is widely published on drivers of public attitudes towards new technologies. He has twice appeared in Best Australian Science Writing and edited the award-winning book Ned Kelly Under the Microscope (CSIRO Publications). In 2014 he was awarded the ASC’s Unsung Hero of Science Award.

 

National Projects and Portfolios

Scope magazine: Cedric Bauer and Emmaline Lear (editor *at* asc.asn.au)

Cedric’s passion for learning and teaching science has taken him over the recent years into being increasingly involved with education and science communication programs. He regularly volunteers for a whole spectrum of science-related industries and for his fencing sporting community, where he’s on the board as the communications officer and is also an acclaimed state champion and top national competitor.
He’s currently sponsored by UWA for his fencing, where he’s locked in to do a Masters in Education to become a high school teacher after completing he’s Bachelor’s degree in Biology & Science Communication.
Amongst some of his current jobs, he enjoys casual employment at Scitech and being self-employed as a Contract Carpenter. He also referees and directs tournaments for some State, UNI Games & National Competitions and provides weekly private lessons to his young protégé.

Emmaline brings a background in education, teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics to her current role at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at ANU. She works on the Professional Practice courses for Master of Engineering and Computer Science students. These courses align with Emmaline’s current interests and the need for science communication skills in the 21st-century workplace to compliment technical ability so that professionals can perform effectively in the complex context in which they operate. Emmaline is looking forward to further contributing to the field of science communication in her role as SCOPE co-editor to keep ASC members in touch with current science communication issues. 

ASC website editors: Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi (aka Ravi) and Jenn Cowman (web.editor *at* asc.asn.au)

Ravi is a Ph.D. student at Macquarie University. When he is not wondering about how ants navigate, he blogs, tweets, hosts a podcast, makes short videos, writes for popular science outlets (e.g.:  1, 2), and doodles to communicate his science.  He is passionate about teaching and has been involved in school outreach activities through STEM Professionals in Schools program (CSIRO). He is one of the recent recipients of the Outstanding outreach award from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage/Ecological Society of Australia.

Jenn, originally from Canada, moved to the warmer shores of Australia in 2007 where she completed a Master of Applied Science (Marine Biology) at James Cook University. She has experience working in the research management and science communication space and has worked at James Cook University, The Australian National University and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Jenn, who has a wide range of communication and marketing experience ranging from writing, editing and publishing to graphic design, web maintenance and social media management, currently manages communications for a busy North Queensland children’s charity and is a freelance science communicator in her spare time.

Webmaster: Alex Jurkiewicz (web *at* asc.asn.au)
Alex works in IT as a devops engineer, and helps keep ASC’s computery stuff online.

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Our history

The idea for a national organisation uniting science communicators and science journalists was sparked by a request for a conference paper.
In 1993, former ASC president (2005-07) Jenni Metcalfe was on a study tour in the US when she was invited to present a paper at the third international meeting of the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology in Montreal, summarising science communication activities in Australia.
Working with Toss Gascoigne (ASC president 2003-04), the pair quickly came to realise that the science communication community in Australia was very spread out, and many people that they spoke to expressed their frustration at being so isolated.
The email was just appearing over the horizon; science communication was an emerging profession; and with the exception of CSIRO, science communicators had few opportunities to network and exchange views. The time was ripe for an organisation that could bring this disparate community together.
There was so much enthusiasm for the idea that 375 individuals across Australia agreed to donate $25 to get the new body underway. In addition, a number of organisations – the Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO, the Institute of Engineers, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and the Department of Industry, Science and Technology – contributed seed funding and on 26 September 1994, the first meeting of the Australian Science Communicators was held. The decision was made that the organisation should be open to anyone interested in science communication – not just professional science writers – and Julian Cribb was elected the inaugural President of the Australian Science Communicators.

Past ASC Presidents

Immediate Past President: Craig Cormick (2016-18)
Joan Leach (2014-16)
Claire Harris (Acting, 2013-14)
Rod Lamberts (2012-13)
Jesse Shore (2010-12)
Tim Thwaites (2007-09)
Jenni Metcalfe (2005-07)
David Ellyard (2004-05)
Toss Gascoigne (2003-04)
Wilson da Silva (2001-03)
Robyn Williams AM (1998-2001)
Ian Lowe AO (1997-98)
Alison Leigh (1996-97)
Ian Anderson (1995-96)
Julian Cribb (1993-94)

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Governance
The Australian Science Communicators is a national incorporated association consisting of state branches and governed by a National Council and National Executive.
The state branches are each governed by elected councils consisting of a President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The National Council – which meets four times a year – is made up of the President, Immediate Past President, and a representative of each state branch.
The Executive – which meets six times a year – is made up of the elected President, two Vice-Presidents nominated by the President, a Treasurer and a Secretary.

The Australian Science Communicators’ Annual General Meeting is held each year in November.

The Australian Science Communicators’ Constitution was first adopted in 2003. It has since been amended in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015. ASC Constitution 2015


Contact us
Australian Science Communicators
ABN 88 745 029 974

Suite 23011
1 Mowla Dr
Ashmore QLD 4214
AUSTRALIA

All enquiries to: office@asc.asn.au (please note, the office is staffed on a part-time basis).

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