From The President: December 2009

In a year of doom and gloom, bushfires, swine flu and climate change, it is great to be able to report some upbeat news of the feats of our ASC colleagues—the resurgence of ASC in South Australia, a major magazine award for a former president, and some excellent public activities organised by local branches.

These vibrant signs of life in ASC are just what we need, leading into a National AGM to be held in Sydney on 16 December, and our National Conference at ANU in Canberra from 7 to 10 February.

Nearly 50 people turned up to an event organised by vice-president Rob Morrison, at the new Science Exchange (re-vamped Stock Exchange) in downtown Adelaide which has become the headquarters of the Royal Institution, Australia (RiAus). Not only did they learn about “The Science of Wind Instruments”, but they began planning an AGM for 14 December and activities for the next couple of years. Many stayed well beyond the proposed ending time playing science board games and making full use of the very fine bar. An appropriate outcome for all Rob’s hard work.

ASC boy makes good! Wilson da Silva’s magazine Cosmos was adjudged Magazine of the Year and won six other awards, including Best Consumer Magazine and Best Publisher, at the annual Bell Awards for Publishing Excellence of the magazine industry association, Publishers Australia. This is the second time in its five-year history the publication has won Magazine of the Year and Best Publisher. It was hailed for  its connection with its readers, and its “product extensions”.

A story by deputy editor John Pickrell has won an earth journalism award linked to the forthcoming UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, and is in the running for a global public award. You can read the story and, if you like it, vote for it before 9 December by clicking here.

The local ASC branches have been active, with events happening in most states over the past month. Two that come to mind are a particularly poignant session staged by the Victorian branch (at a new venue) on keeping the human impact in mind when communicating the science of bushfires, and the Stem Cells in the Pub session which the ACT-ASC organised in association with the Australian Society for Stem Cell Research.

See you at the ASC AGM (16 December) and the ASC Conference 2010 (7 – 10 February).

Tim Thwaites
National President