President’s update: Welcome to Brisbane for #ASC14!

Thank you to newly appointed ASC President Joan Leach for the conference welcome.

New ASC President Welcomes you to Brisbane for 2014 Conference

I was delighted to be voted in as 2014 ASC President late last year.  And while I claim no credit for the upcoming conference—that credit goes elsewhere and I will be flagging ASC members who have gone ‘above and beyond’ at the conference—I very much look forward to welcoming ASC colleagues to my home city of Brisbane in February!  If you haven’t quite decided whether to come or haven’t yet registered for the conference, please do so.  The program is rich—we will all learn something—and there are ample opportunities to catch up to people with whom you’ve been meaning to have that coffee or drink.  There are also networking opportunities to set up new projects and make new connections as well as learn new skills and research and project outcomes.

 

20 Years of ASC

2014 also marks an important milestone—20 years for the ASC.   Let me know if you have specific ideas for marking this occasion, and I’ll be reporting in from time to time on anniversary activities.   The conference will be a good opportunity to give an extra nod to all the members of ASC who have advocated for science communication over the past 20 years.  There is a lot to be proud of for ASC members, including being positioned to make a difference for the future.   This year also marks the Australian Academy of Science’s 60th year and members will be involved in various ways marking that anniversary as well.  Finally, I will risk immodesty by flagging my own personal anniversary—10 years in Australia.  I attended my first ASC/AMWA conference in Coolangatta in 2004 shortly after I landed in Brisbane.  ASC and AMWA members I met at that conference are still valued colleagues today and I credit ASC with helping to make me feel professionally ‘at home’ in Australia.   This is perhaps a key reason that, after 10 years of ASC helping me, I decided to sit in the hot seat to advocate for ASC members.

 

Getting the next 20 years off to a roaring start

ASC members offer an embarras de richesses when it comes to future planning.   I would like to harness this abundance of ideas for planning ASC projects, programs and advocacy.  If you have ideas or would like to volunteer some time on behalf of the organization, please contact me at j.leach@uq.edu.au.   As I see it at present, my role is one of advocacy for members.  I would like to be certain that when there are science communication ‘problems to solve’, issues to address, or ideas to be generated, ASC members are at the forefront of decision-makers minds.  Among our members are those who put on the best engagement events, do the best evaluation, plan communication strategies that are effective, and do some of the best research in the area.  My goal is to make sure a broader range of organisations and people know that the future of science communication is being planned now by ASC members.

I look forward to catching up or meeting in you Brisbane in February!