Thank you to Claire Harris for preparing the ASC2014 wrap up.
Well it was an amazing, full on four days for the Australian Science Communicators National Conference held in Brisbane at the beginning of February.
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre welcomed 372 delegates through the doors.
The Sunday Storytelling of Science event — featuring Prof Peter Adams, Prof Tim Flannery, Prof Jenny Graves, Lynne Malcolm, Dr Jesse Shore and hosted by Dr Andrew Stephenson — attracted 266 people in the audience.
The conference featured more than 65 sessions from plenary talks in the auditorium to workshops in the smaller concurrent rooms, speed networking and an Australian and New Zealand breakfast.
We had many lovely volunteers who helped the event run smoothly and this included four reporters/bloggers and people helping to livestream the event to 13 subscribers from around Australia and one in New York.
Some key links to re-live or explore what happened:
- Program at a glance (other details)
- Twitter Storifys (using hashtag #ASC14 and session hashtag)
- Podcasts of most sessions
- Flickr photos
- Media release about the Unsung Hero of Science Communication Award, awarded by Robyn Williams at the ASC2014 conference dinner
Media and other stories:
- Kylie Sturgess podcast including interviews with John Cook, Vanessa Hill, Kylie Walker
- Blog post by Shawn Callahan: The essential mindset for breakthrough innovation
- CitizenJ article
- Econnect newsletter, collection of 7 conference articles by the Econnect team – newsletter archive online here
- Promoted by AusSMC
- Future of Science Journalism by Graham Readfern
- https://soundcloud.com/natashamitchell – via Natasha Mitchell
Post-conference surveys are always interesting and we know from past surveys and feedback, gathered over the years, that we can expect a range of opinions. This is understandable when you consider the diversity in job roles, experience, needs and interests. So far, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with people telling us the conference was extremely valuable to them. A couple of people told us that it was their best conference experience ever (and they’ve been to more than a dozen in their careers). Wow.
The survey recently closed and so we will be busily combing through all the feedback and passing it on to those who will benefit in coming weeks, once all the data is in. However, we thought it might be timely to share just a few of the comments with you below.
If you feel that you could have offered a better session than what you saw, or an important aspect of the science communication landscape was missed, then the ASC would love to hear from you.
ASC2014 Program Committee
Any comments about the professional development sessions?
We encouraged a range of PD sessions with a whole stream devoted to them. Some hit the mark and some didn’t. The ASC would be very interested to learn more about what PD and training needs you feel you need to support you in your work, so please get in touch.
- “The editing sessions were excellent – I really enjoyed the little games and exercises and the presenter was very knowledgeable.”
- “Hands-on, interactive, information-rich sessions were valuable and I got a lot out of them. It is easy to tell the well-prepared sessions from the ones with no content at all to those that were mere presentations. More activities that really make you think and learn are most effective for these PD sessions.”
What were the best aspects of the conference for you?
Networking of course came through as the best aspect of the conference. Some of the comments:
- “Feeling and being part of the Australian Science Communicator’s community – the opportunity to meet friends and acquaintances and make new ones, and to find out about science communication activities and research around Australia.”
- “Sense of community spirit. Presence of younger, less jaded folks.”
- “Networking and the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers.”
- “Learning about all aspects of science communication from all over the country. Networking opportunities.”
- “The Plenary sessions with Drew Berry and Lloyd were fantastic and inspiring.”
- “Hearing creative ideas put into practise and seeing the evaluations of how these have worked.”
- “Thanks again for one of, if not the, best and inspiring professional conferences I have attended.”
Some speakers rocked attendees socks off and some need to develop further (including improving their presentation skills). Some people said that the sessions were great, but they did want (or were expecting) something more or different. All feedback is valuable so thanks again. Some comments:
- “Ian Lowe was fantastic!”
- “I will never look at WWE wrestling the same way again!”
- “The vast majority of the sessions I attended (if not all) had really good speakers and were really engaging and informative sessions.”