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Discover SKA: The World’s Biggest Telescope

Call for partners and collaborators for our major public outreach campaign

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope is the most exciting and significant scientific project currently underway in the world and it is time for the Australian people to find out all about it. The anzSKA and Inspiring Australia teams need your help to make this happen.

The proposed SKA will be 50 times larger than any other existing radio telescope. The SKA will become the cornerstone observatory for world radio astronomy, providing 10 000 times the discovery capability of current technologies.

The SKA is a global ‘mega-science project’, on par with the Large Hadron Collider in its scientific significance.

Australia and New Zealand (A-NZ) have been shortlisted along with Southern Africa as potential sites to host the SKA, with a site decision due in early 2012.

In support of the Australia and New Zealand Square Kilometre Array (anzSKA) bid to host the SKA, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) invites you to participate in ‘Discover SKA: The World’s Biggest Telescope’ – the official SKA public outreach project.

Inspiring possibilities

This project seeks to excite and inspire all Australians and New Zealanders with the idea that, together, our nations are ready, willing and able to host the SKA, one of the largest and most ambitious science projects ever devised.

The outreach project will be delivered as part of the Inspiring Australia national strategy for science communication and will aim to incorporate 500 events across Australia and New Zealand between 1April and 30 June 2011. It will raise public awareness and understanding of the significance of the SKA project and the global benefits it will provide – not only to astronomy, but to industry, education and technology development.

It will generate pride in Australia and New Zealand’s achievements in science, and highlight that an Australia – New Zealand based SKA would provide maximum benefits for the world.

It will also inspire wonder about the ‘big questions’ that the SKA seeks to answer:

o What else is out there?

o How are galaxies formed?

o What happened after the big bang?

o Was Einstein right?

o Why are there giant magnetic fields in space?

The project is being coordinated by Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre (a division of DIISR), and the New Zealand Fonterra Science Roadshow, with assistance from CSIRO.

Be part of the excitement

We are seeking partnership and collaboration to support the project’s ambitious goal that by June 2011 75% of Australians and New Zealanders will have heard of the SKA.

This project provides an opportunity for organisations around Australia to share in the growing excitement around the SKA and join with our nations’ science, government, industry and education leaders in highlighting the significance and benefits of the SKA project to our communities. We invite you to show your support for the anzSKA bid by hosting events or activities in April-June 2011 as part of the outreach project.

How to get involved

There are many ways to get involved in the SKA public outreach project. Some suggestions are below, along with examples of the support available for each event type.

* Existing events: Consider if any public events or programs already scheduled could be used to raise awareness of the SKA, and simultaneously benefit from being part of this national outreach project. For example, at scientific meetings or symposia, or ‘hot topic’ briefings.

o Internal events: For example, host a morning tea and invite a relevant guest speaker and provide SKA promotional materials to attendees.

o Industry briefing sessions: For example, a breakfast briefing to highlight the benefits of the SKA project to your industry sector and stakeholders (e.g. IT, green energy, engineering).

o General public events: Interactive events are always popular, such as astronomy viewing evenings, public lectures, open days or special visits. Or get creative and host a music or arts event with an astronomical twist.

o School events: Hold a school community movie evening, featuring Scinema science films or space-themed movies, or invite a guest speaker to speak to school science classes.

o Spread the word: Circulate this document to your members and networks and encourage collaboration for events with broader reach and greater impact.

Questacon, CSIRO and the Fronterra Roadshow (NZ) will also be hosting a series of public events, lending their brand of quality engagement to the project.

Support for event holders

A suite of branded information and promotional materials will be available to event holders from early 2011, along with assistance in accessing relevant guest speakers if required. All events will be displayed on a web-based calendar to highlight the range of events and organisations involved in this exciting initiative.

The public outreach project will be supported by a comprehensive domestic media campaign, providing the backdrop on some occasions for major media announcements or providing locally-focussed content for events in regional communities. A media kit will be provided to event holders to assist with promotion to local media.

This is an unsurpassed opportunity to engage communities, school students, business and industry with the opportunities the SKA presents to science and the world, and to generate pride in Australia and New Zealand’s scientific prowess.

Table: Support available for event holders

Event Type

Logos and branding

Information resources (e.g. fact sheets, brochures, multimedia presentations)

Educational resources

Assistance with guest speakers

Media kit

Existing events





Internal events





Industry briefing sessions





General public events





School events







To register your early interest or intent to hold an event as part of this SKA public outreach project, or for further information, please contact:

Annie Harris

SKA Public Outreach Project Coordinator

Questacon Division

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Ph 02 6270 2875

Fax 02 6270 2808

Email aharris@questacon.edu.au

We look forward to your involvement in this exciting initiative.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Durant


Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

www.ska.gov.au http://www.ska.gov.au/ www.ska.edu.au http://www.ska.edu.au/ www.ska.govt.nz http://www.ska.govt.nz/

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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Aussies in America

And another request for ideas.

1. We’re pulling together a list of leading Australian scientists working in the US. The beginnings of our list is copied below. We’re interested in some of the leaders, and then in a few early career researchers. The results of this exercise will be published in the first quarter of 2010. We’re not trying to be definitive but want to identify some of the movers and shakers eg Blackburn, Trounson, Gibbs etc

2. We’re keen to hear of any Australian scientists who will be attending and/or speaking at the AAAS in Washington DC in February. We’re exploring some promotional opportunities for Australian science there.

Here’s the start of our expats list:

i. Elizabeth Blackburn, Professor of Biology and Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, born in Tasmania, Nobel Prize in 2009 for work on telomerase — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Blackburn ; http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/blackburn.html

ii. Richard Gibbs, Director, Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, human x-linked diseases — http://www.hgsc.bcm.tmc.edu/content-home-HGSC_director-x.hgsc

iii. Alan Trounson, President, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, pioneer of IVF — http://www.americansforcures.org/files/bios/Alan_Trounson.html

iv. Vikki Meadows, astrobiologist, University of Washington, Principal Investigator for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. http://www.astro.washington.edu/research.html

v. Jillian Banfield, Professor at Berkeley, works on bacterial and material behaviour under extreme conditions relevant to the environment and the Earth, a L’Oreal laureate — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jillian_Fiona_Banfield And young scientists

vi. Natalia Galin, doctoral student in electrical engineering, measuring thickness of snow on ice – University of Tasmania/University of Kansas http://freshscience.org.au/?p=1703

vii. Deanna D’Alessandro, post-doctoral fellow, working at Berkeley and University of Sydney on molecular sponges to soak up carbon — http://www.scienceinpublic.com/loreal/fellows/deannadalessandro


Niall Byrne

Science in Public has moved to:

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood Vic 3015 Our postal address is PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015 Our landline stays the same – 03 9398 1416.

Niall’s mobile: 0417 131 977 Sarah’s mobile: 0413 332 489

niall@scienceinpublic.com.au Twitter scienceinpublic Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog

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Australia’s top ten for 2010

Dear ASCers,

I’d like to pick your brains again and perhaps fire up a discussion

What do you think were Australia’s top ten science achievements in 2010?

Send me your top 1, 2 or 3 and I’ll compile a list and send it back to the list for discussion. I’ll also use the input in a couple of radio stories.



Niall Byrne

Science in Public has moved to:

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood Vic 3015 Our postal address is PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015 Our landline stays the same – 03 9398 1416.

Niall’s mobile: 0417 131 977 Sarah’s mobile: 0413 332 489

niall@scienceinpublic.com.au Twitter scienceinpublic Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog

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Merry Christmas

Hi All,

It’s a bit early I know but I’m off to Vietnam for Christmas and I’m off the air late today. Have a great Christmas, Happy New Year. Looking forward to more rants with you all next year!!! XXXX

Susan Kirk Bcomm Journalist MEAA ASC HMAQ QWC

39 Shamley Heath Rd, KUREELPA Q 4560 P: +61 7 5478 6761 M:+ 61 0414 645 953 skirk@lingo.net.au www.lingo.net.au www.lingo.net.au/blog www.lingo.net.au/discuss

On 16/12/10 9:00 PM, “asc-list-request@lists.asc.asn.au” wrote:

> Send ASC-list mailing list submissions to > asc-list@lists.asc.asn.au > > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit > http://lists.asc.asn.au/mailman/listinfo/asc-list > or, via email, send a message with subject or body ‘help’ to > asc-list-request@lists.asc.asn.au > > You can reach the person managing the list at > asc-list-owner@lists.asc.asn.au > > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific > than “Re: Contents of ASC-list digest…” > > > Today’s Topics: > > 1. COSMOS #36: The future of humanity in space (Wilson da Silva) > 2. Twitter and ASC (Sarah Keenihan) > > > ———————————————————————- > > Message: 1 > Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 10:51:47 +1100 > From: Wilson da Silva > To: asc-list@lists.asc.asn.au > Subject: [ASC-list] COSMOS #36: The future of humanity in space > Message-ID: > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”windows-1252″ > > * > > SPACE: THE FINAL FRONTIER > > The first space colonists have already been born! Find out how they?ll live, > work and play – and how humanity will change forever – in a 26-page special > on the future of humanity in space. Out now in the Dec 2010 issue of COSMOS, > Australia’s #1 science magazine. > > FINAL FRONTIER: > Gigantic space settlements in high orbit may well be humanity?s first > tentative dip into the cosmic ocean. Robin McKie talks to a new breed of > entrepreneurs who work to make such engineering marvels a reality. > > TOMORROW PEOPLE: > Our four-limbed, one-headed body is just right for living on Earth. But what > changes might the low-gravity, radiation saturated environment of space > bring to our species? Lewis Dartnell finds the answers. > > MISSION TO MARS: > Going to Mars will stretch human technology and ingenuity to its limits, say > Fred Guterl and Monica Heger. But for humanity to spread across the Solar > System, it?s a challenge we need to overcome. > > ROCKET SCIENCE: > Expanding across the Solar System will require more than a simple blast off, > says Sandra Upson ? and a range of promising new propulsion technologies are > being investigated. > > SECOND NATURE: > One hundred years ago, Henry Ford revolutionised manufacturing with the > assembly line . Now the scene for another revolution is set, this time with > cells, argues Peter Lavelle. Is Craig Venter the new Henry Ford? > > ANIMAL PHARM: > Transgenic animals are poised to become pharmaceutical factories, churning > out everything from natural insulin to cancer treatments. Branwen Morgan > reports. > > THE ORIGIN OF ANIMALS: > The humble sea sponge has a surprisingly intricate genome including the > blueprint for complex vertebrates ? and it?s not even a true animal. > Elizabeth Finkel reports. > > TRAVELOGUE – LAND BEFORE TIME: > Hundreds of millions of years ago, simpler life forms with bizarre designs > roamed the Earth. Heather Catchpole goes to Australia?s Kangaroo Island to > help unearth our ancient past. > > PROFILE – WEB OF LIFE: > After inspiring a generation of environmentalists, Canadian geneticist David > Suzuki reflects on his past and his hopes for the future. By Kate Arneman. > > DIAGNOSIS: Mozzie bites that give you arthritis. > > HIT LIST: The top 10 most influential ancient Arabic scientists.

> > GALLERY – BIG SCIENCE: A photo essay featuring the most powerful science > experiments on Earth prove that if you want to unlock the mysteries of the > universe, you have to think big. By Becky Crew. > > FICTION – ACT OF FAITH: The robot recited the call for prayer. ?Allahu > akbar, Allahu akbar ?? When he completed the call, and turned to face Daud, > he saw tears streaming from the old man?s eyes. Original new fiction by > Fadzlishah Johanabas bin Rosli. > > REVIEWS: Sci-fi author Alastair Reynolds on his upcoming trilogy and Fiona > Stanley reveals her most influential books. Plus, “The Immortal Life of > Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot; “Curious and Curiouser” by Karl > Kruszelnicki; “Pygmonia” by Peter McAllister; “Brain Storm” by Rebecca M. > Jordan-Young; “Planets” by One Ring Zero; and more. > > OPINION – GOING TO SEED: It?s the International Year of Biodiversity but > Australia doesn?t have much to celebrate: we?re giving up on preserving the > genetic diversity of plants, says Elizabeth Finkel. > > For more information, or to buy a copy, go to http://is.gd/iOrEy > > http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/ > * > ————– next part ————– > An HTML attachment was scrubbed… > URL: > http://lists.asc.asn.au/pipermail/asc-list/attachments/20101216/431fbc7c/atta > chment-0001.html> > > —————————— > > Message: 2 > Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 11:49:19 +1100 > From: Sarah Keenihan > To: asc-list@lists.asc.asn.au > Subject: [ASC-list] Twitter and ASC > Message-ID: > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”iso-8859-1″ > > Hi everyone, > > On Monday I attended the ASC quiz night, which was held at the RiAus > (Adelaide) immediately following the ASC annual general meeting. Great fun! > Met lots of lovely people, and finally put a *real life* face to some people > I’m in twitter contact with. > > It started me thinking that we should try and have some identified twitter > hashtags to use relating to ASC events. Since then, I’ve worked out that > James Hutson already got this ball rolling in the past, but just to > emphasise: > > Use #ASC for general Australian Science Communicators tweets, and for > state-specific events apply the state letters afterwards eg #ascsa #ascvic > #ascnsw #ascwa #ascqu #asctas #ascnt etc > > Tweet you later > > Sarah > >

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