Expert working group on science and the media

Dear fellow ASCers,

One of the things to come out of the ‘Inspiring Australia’ report is the formation of an ‘expert working group on science and the media’ (Recommendation #10 – Strengthening the media’s role in communicating science). The focus is on the mass media, including new media (social networking, blogging and citizen journalism will be considered briefly but it will be impossible to do this area justice within the timeframe we have and it is envisaged that a broader new media working group will be established by DIISR at some point). A copy of the full ‘Inspiring Australia’ report can be downloaded at

AusSMC has been asked to lead the working group and help it come up with a series of recommendations to feed into the national Inspiring Australia strategy. Many ASC members have expertise in the area of science and the media and indeed some of you are either on the panel or will be contacted individually to contribute to the process.

This email is to let the ASC community as a whole know of the group’s existence and to invite you to make short submissions to the panel if you would like to. Because of the tight timeframe and limited resources, submissions should preferably be limited to one page (and no more than 2 pages) and need to be received by the AusSMC by the end of August. Please make them as relevant to the main tasks of the group as possible.

The group’s main task will be to develop a national strategy to strengthen the media’s role in communicating science. This will involve:

a) A review of the current Australian situation for science and the media;

b) Analysis of opportunities to improve media (including new media) coverage of the sciences;

c) Identifying methods to support and encourage programs/activities that increase the potential for media and new media engagement with the sciences; and

d) Identifying options for enhanced connections between the media and scientists.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I am especially keen to hear about any papers you have written or read that provide some hard data and/or analysis to the current situation or that enable comparisons between Australia and overseas.



Dr Susannah Eliott

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC)

Street address: The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, ADELAIDE SA 5000

Postal address: PO Box 237, RUNDLE MALL SA 5000

Ph: (08) 7120 8665 | Fax: (08) 8231 7333 |

The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) is an independent, non-profit service for the news media, giving journalists direct access to evidence-based science and expertise. The national centre is advised by a Science Advisory Panel and governed by a Board of Management. It is supported by a wide variety of sectors with each contribution capped at 10% of total running costs. Foundation sponsors are the ABC, APN News & Media, Cochlear Foundation Ltd, CSIRO, Fairfax Media Ltd, the Govt of SA, Innovative Research Universities Australia, Macquarie Bank, Media Monitors, News Ltd, New South Wales Govt, Orica Ltd, Queensland Govt, ResMed Inc, the Royal Institution of Australia, the State Govt of Victoria, Network Ten and the University of Melbourne. Gold Sponsors are ATSE, Cisco Systems Inc., CSL Ltd, IBM Australia, Johnson Winter & Slattery, Shell Australia Ltd and the University of Adelaide. Supporters include AMTA, FASTS, Microsoft, Powerhouse Museum and Flinders University.

Disclaimer: Please note that any views expressed are the personal opinions of the experts named. They do not represent the views of the AusSMC or any other organisation unless specifically stated. The AusSMC attempts to provide a range of views from the scientific community. The AusSMC can help journalists find an expert on a topical area of science. For more details, contact us.

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