Great science stories are often out there waiting to be discovered and told to a broader audience. ASC is fortunate to reflect a community of storytellers, journalists, science writers and broadcasters as well as scientists with media savvy and a passion for communicating their discoveries. But do we do enough to bring them together?
ASC Victoria saw an untapped opportunity, and Toni Stevens put together an event, ‘Science/media speed dating’, looking to connect great stories with people who can help disseminate them.
The evening of Tuesday 2 June saw an eager crowd of ASC members and non-members meet at Southbank’s Belgian Beer Cafe for a series of short ‘speed dates’. Before the 2-minute power chats commenced, scientists heard from the perspective of print journalists, broadcast and radio presenters as to what they look for in a science story and how best to pitch to their particular medium. The crowd took to their seats, and 26 scientists and science communicators launched into a networking frenzy over a beverage or two.
Despite some hiccups of being first-timers to the speed dating format (hint to other ASC branches: have table numbers to help direct participants around the room!), the event was wildly successful and many participants stayed on for further networking after the official component of the event was finished. The perspective from the journalist side of the room was that there were many gold nuggets of scicom out there, ready for the big league. Scientists and those with a science message noted it was a great platform to help give them a better idea of how to refine their pitch, and provided them with encouragement to take their tales out to a broader audience, as well as identifying potential resources to help them do so.
ASC Victoria would like to thank all the members who joined us for this terrific event; we hope to revisit this very successful format again next year.