About Kali Madden

Kali is fascinated by communication in all its forms, especially when it comes to group dynamics and collective efforts to transform worldview. She reckons science communication is one of the primary stomping grounds for important communication activities across the globe. She has worked in research, science and technology roles for the last twenty years and is currently ASC's Executive Officer and national Conference Director.

ASC seeking new volunteer national web editor

Express your enthusiasm for the face of #scicomm, gain new skills and make a difference to the science communication community, who rely on the ASC as a trusted source of #scicomm news, views & opportunities

Location: anywhere in Australia with broadband internet access.
Honorarium: $1000 per annum, with the expectation of being available to provide a regular image refresh, user and technical support.

Job share will be considered if only part of this role is of interest to you. If you would like to do part of the role let us know, and maybe we can match you up with someone else.

The ASC website and email lists are crucial communication channels for the organisation and our industry. They present our external profile to the world as well as providing a resource to our members, a network of 400+ financial members and 2500+ subscribers made up of professional science and technology communicators across Australia and overseas.

All financial members of the ASC are eligible for full web authoring and list posting rights, providing direct access to the best #scicomm audiences in Australia.

In years past the website has been upgraded and improved and the lists maintained thanks to help from committed volunteers including an overcommitted EO. The ASC board has decided to create this new role of National Web Editor to ensure the public face of ASC is nurtured and supported in the years ahead.

The role includes the following activities:

  • Providing regular banner and graphic support to keep the website looking great, with the capacity to generate matching header graphics for the ASC social media channels
  • Providing ongoing support and modifications of site structure and content, for example, being able to modify the WordPress theme (eg. updating backgrounds, changing structures like tabs) and managing the creation and amendment of areas on the site (new pages/sections/menu items/images to home page etc.)
  • Managing ASC-lists and website user support: assist members to register, and post to the website, including managing the permissions process (eg. password help, pointing list subscribers to help content, updating list and website usage guidelines, processes and automated replies, liaising with EO regarding financial member access)
  • Having time regularly to modify and approve posts, fix small errors in content, manage ongoing amendments, changes, bug fixes and spam
  • Providing advice/input on development directions for the website and associated web projects (with EO and ASC committee as applicable)
  • Participating in regular meetings (monthly at this stage) with other ASC committee members regarding optimising the ASC web and list experience for members and the community
  • Ad hoc work as requested by the committee

The key selection criteria for this role are:

  • Established interest in editing/authoring public facing material
  • Experience in generating graphics for digital use
  • Experience in WordPress, website usability and support, and good practices to ensure the ASC website and ASC-lists are engaging communication platforms and/or an ability to learn these things quickly
  • Desire to give members and users a great experience
  • Capacity to commit at least 8 hours per month to ASC activities.

Applications are invited by email no later than 5 pm on Monday 17 July to: jobs@asc.asn.au

Please include a brief CV (two pages maximum and/or a link to a recent LinkedIn profile) and a statement addressing the selection criteria with relevant evidence along with contact details of two professional referees (one page maximum). Applications must be submitted in PDF or Word format (.doc or .docx). Candidates must be current financial members of ASC.

If you have any questions about the role, email Kali Madden, ASC Executive Officer at: office@asc.asn.au

Applications now open for a national ASC Facebook Group volunteer moderator

Are you familiar with the much loved ASC FB group? An ASC committee attempted to close it down some years back when questioning the value, and not only would nobody leave, but more people kept arriving to contribute their #scicomm views, ideas, opportunities and more.

The ASC FB group is here to stay!

We are sorry to say that our resident ASC FB Group Moderator, Dr Dustin Welbourne, is moving on from the role as he finds himself spending less time there of late.

Dustin crafted the current group guidelines and has been an absolute pleasure to work with.

You can read the group guidelines here:

We are seeking a new group moderator to keep the guidelines working for all, and generally being the resident voice of reason in a usually well-behaved space.

To apply for the role, please email your application to office@asc.asn.au including a link to your LinkedIn profile and/or a current brief CV with a brief statement letting us know why you’d like to be involved and why you think the FB Group would benefit from your moderating input.

Applications now open for a national @auscicomm Twitter volunteer

After a fabulous stint as the primary resident of @auscicomm, our much loved Paula Lourie is moving on from the role as her work commitments grow.

Departing Paula says:

“I have really enjoyed managing the twitter account and seeing the followers grow. And it has been lovely being part of the wider ASC team. I have also really appreciated all your help and support along the way. Thanks for always being there to answer questions and give direction : )”

Paula’s advice for the next voice of @auscicomm:

“What would I say about looking after ASC twitter? That there’s lots of scope for growing both the audience and their engagement. That it’s a great role to take on if you want to learn more about twitter and social media management. That with a plan, it’s not too time intensive, just needs some organisation and scheduling. It’s what you want to make of it.”

To apply for the role, please email your application to office@asc.asn.au including a link to your LinkedIn profile and/or a current brief CV with a brief statement letting us know why you’d like to be involved and why you think @auscicomm would benefit from your input. Applicants must be current financial members of the ASC to be considered for the role.

10-20% accommodation discount for ASC2016 delegates

ASC2016 accommodation discountsRoyal on the Park in Brisbane are offering a 20% discount on standard rooms to ASC2016 delegates if booked and paid by Monday, and 10% for the following 14 days.

Contact asc2016@asc.asn.au for the discount code.

Rules of order and the art of chairing

…with some words from recent ASC2014 conference session chairs…


(Modifed and re-used under Creative Commons License)

In the recent national conference for all those who make science accessible our session chairs had a lot on their plate.

As well as ensuring that more than five hundred delegates could move between over seventy individual sessions in a somewhat orderly fashion without stealing time from other sessions or from networking, they were also responsible for conducting each session in a way that delivered the greatest value to the gathered audience interested in the topic being discussed.

The role of a Chairperson can be traced back to the early development of procedure in parliament.

According to Robert’s Rules of Order,

“The distinguishing feature of the early parliaments was the fact that the barons of the Council were invited not only to express their opinions individually on matters laid before them by the king, but to discuss, with each other, the overall “state of the realm” —the business of “king and kingdom” rather than only “the king’s business”.
(see Introduction, xxxii)

The latter part of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century “was a period of prolonged internal conflict over the Prerogatives of parliament—as opposed to those of the king—which stimulated an increased interest in procedure…” (see Introduction, xxxiii)

These early efforts to learn to rule democratically led to the development of a number of rules of order still in use by chairs today.

Points of order such as: ‘one subject at a time’, ‘alternation between opposite points of view’ and ‘refinement of the debate to the merits of the pending question’, help us to explore the “state of the realm” collectively with a view to discovering or creating new knowledge for the benefit of all.

Although our national conference is not exactly parliament, session chairs have a similar set of challenges.

We thought we’d ask three session chairs highly commended in recent conference feedback for a few pointers on how they do such a good job.

Will Grant:

“The only two things I’d say is

  • be religious on time (stop on time is *the* most important thing, start on time if at all possible. Reward those who came on time not those who turned up late), and
  • be human.”

Leonie Rennie:

“I think Will put his finger on the key issue: Timing. You need to agree with presenters before the session how long each will speak, in what order, when there will be questions and who will field them. Give signals (eg five fingers for five minutes left) to warn speakers when to stop.

Start on time, otherwise speakers are disenfranchised, and those who arrived on time are forced to wait.

Being human is a good idea, although it isn’t something I consciously think about. I will try harder.”

Sarah Lau:

“I would say one of my main things is to prioritise content. I know I will always have a few things more than I can get through so I like to know in advance what I can chop when I start to run short on time.

I agree with Leonie’s strategy and if I can, discuss time limitations and signals with speakers beforehand.

Will’s recommendation is also important – stopping on time, although I find the ‘organic’ conversations may carry on. I normally try to signal the end of proceedings, formally wrap up and then let people continue to chat if they so desire.”


A big THANK YOU to all our ASC2014 Conference Chairs and Facilitators for volunteering their time and expertise to facilitate the growth of new knowledge fairly and collectively.

See: Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition (By Henry M. III Robert, Daniel H. Honemann, Thomas J. Balch).