2019 AGM – President’s Report

Presidents report

2019 has seen us celebrate 25 years of the ASC.  It’s been my first year as President, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been invaluable in helping me throughout the year, especially the executive committee and Kali as our invaluable executive officer.

Activity over the year:

  • Regular communication through the ASC Channels including SCOPE, our member newsletter, the ASC-list and the Facebook Group. These avenues continue to provide useful ways for members to promote, seek collaboration or advertise and find new job opportunities.
  • ASC has celebrated our 25th anniversary with a recording on the future challenges for Science Communication, recently broadcast on ABC Big Ideas. We’ve also been collating reflections from past ASC presidents on not only the past but future challenges for Australian science communicators in the coming decade, currently being published through the ASC site.
  • We were represented at the Eureka Science Awards.
  • I participated in the World Conference of Science Literacy held in Beijing in October 2019 in my capacity as ASC President. In a plenary session to the conference I outlined the scope of science engagement activity in Australia and our future challenges including increasingly fragmented audiences, and ability to translate scientific knowledge into policy outcomes in a climate (no pun intended) of increasing environmental threat.
  • Also as part of this conference ASC has been invited to participate in a working group to establish an international organisation – the World Organisation for Science Literacy. I will approach this with interest in the spirit of fostering international collaboration.
  • We have also been busy preparing for the next National Conference, to be held in Monash in February 2020 with the generous support of our host partner the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. With a wide range of submissions I look forward to our (almost) annual conference event, the only of its kind for our unique mix of science engagement practitioners and researchers.

I’d like to acknowledge our outgoing Secretary Teresa Belcher for her contribution to ASC over the last 3 years.

I’d like to congratulate the state branches on supporting a wide range of diverse activities for our membership including

  • The Storytelling for Science Communicator’s workshop in Melbourne in July
  • The Friday Al Desko events in Canberra
  • The 2019 ASC Careers event in Brisbane
  • Communicate to Inspire event in Perth

And many many more.

Challenges have been expressed about the difficulty branches face in understanding what kind of support or processes they have access to in order to support their state based activity.  I appreciate the work that goes in from all our dedicated volunteer committee members, and so we look in 2020 to take action on this feedback with

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