From the President: February 2010; A commendable conference

My congratulations to all those involved in organising and presenting the recent ASC conference. After the first day of the conference I was asked what the highlight of the day was for me. Every session I attended was so good that I replied the entire day was a highlight. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with so many people and felt the day just went so well. After a moment’s reflection I did add that it was pretty exciting for Senator Carr to launch the Inspiring Australia report at the opening of the conference. The report announcement was a coup for the conference but the conference proper was a gem.

Days two and three maintained the quality of my conference experience. My conversations with delegates swirled around the challenges of usefully evaluating our science communication activities and how we can work more closely with our colleagues in the arts and humanities. A highlight of day two was Professor Will Steffen’s plenary on communicating climate change. His presentation combined with sessions on authority in science, scientific process, communicating a pandemic and risk to help me frame my discussions with the denialists and doubters who I occasionally encounter.

Another notable aspect of the conference was that all the speakers, presenters and session producers were sourced from within Australia. We rightfully can be impressed with the depth of people Australia has in the science communication area. Yet recognising that overseas speakers contribute international perspectives and add star quality to a conference, for future ASC conferences we’ll consider adding international ingredients to our local cocktail.

The conference convenor, Tim Thwaites, and conference director, Kali Madden, will soon send out a short survey to all conference delegates and to ASC members who didn’t attend the event. I heard a rumour that Tim and Kali are offering an incentive to answering the survey so I’ll be racing to get my response in.

Jesse Shore
National President

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About Jesse Shore

Jesse Shore is passionate about engaging the community with science and in looking for ways to weave together the arts and sciences. He has been developing science based exhibitions and events since 1984, and was President of the Australian Science Communicators from 2010-2012. His business, Prismatic Sciences, produced five travelling exhibitions for the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry and he manages the ongoing national tour. He previously worked at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney as an exhibition project leader and Senior Curator of sciences. While at the museum he was one of the founders of the Ultimo Science Festival, a major National Science Week activity. He is currently collaborating with an artist to create artworks which have a science slant.