I sense a growing awareness of the importance of science communication. The Inspiring Australia report has played a part in this and I note that others are talking up the cause. Chemists involved in organising the International Year of Chemistry 2011 see this as an opportunity to get their messages across to the public. They know that to do so they need to communicate more effectively and will need skills to make it happen.
Since the election the Inspiring Australia has worked to get election promises of funding into the reality of the 2011 budget. This won’t be easy in the face of cut-backs to government programs to reallocate funds to rebuild flood and cyclone damaged infrastructure.
Still it should be a big year ahead for science communication and the ASC. What follows is only the briefest of reports but it has a few nuggets.
Inspiring Australia conference 2011: The Inspiring Australia team has raced to set in train a national conference called ‘Inspiring Science, Inspiring Australia: Telling Australia’s Brilliant Stories’. It’s on 28-29 March 2011 at the Arrow on Swanston, Melbourne. More information and registrations at http://iaconference.com.au/. It sounds like an important start to the IA program of activities for this year.
2012 National conference planning committee: Rod Lamberts, of ANU’s CPAS in Canberra, has agreed to chair the planning committee for our 2012 National conference. He returns from overseas soon and will convene the committee to start its planning task. Rod will report directly to the Executive committee about progress.
Science communication training programs: Last November I posted a message that the ASC has received a few requests to provide training in science communication related skills. I asked you to nominate Science communication training programs that either ASC members offered or knew of in Australia. I now have a list of courses which I can refer on to relevant enquirers.
Eureka Awards open for nominations: I note that the Eureka Awards are now accepting nominations of their various prize categories. Nominations close 6 May 2011.