Clean Energy Future: Using market research to inform strategy (ACT event)

27 June 2012
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Join the Australian Science Communicators Canberra Branch and CSIRO Discovery for a session with Trish Johnston from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

Trish was part of the team that carried out extensive market research to inform the communication and advertising strategy around climate change and the Clean Energy Future campaigns. Hear about what her team did, how the research informed the communication strategy, how things have played out, and the communication challenges and opportunities ahead.

This event is for communicators wanting to know what it’s like to be working with one of the most complicated and politically-charged topics of our time.

Date: Wednesday 27 June.
Time: 6pm for a 6:30 start (will finish about 7:30pm).
Venue: CSIRO Discovery, Black Mountain (map and parking directions here).
Catering: Nibbles and drinks provided.
Cost: Free for members. Non-members gold coin contribution.
RSVPs required by 25 June:
Enquiries to: asccanberra at or 0413 883 414.

Trish’s bio:

Trish Johnston is the acting Director of the Campaigns and Engagement Team at the  Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Trish is a communications specialist with almost 20 years experience in developing, implementing and evaluating Australian Government communications campaigns. Trish started her career with the Department of Health working on social marketing campaigns on issues as diverse as childhood immunisation and recruiting doctors to rural areas. Trish spent several years as a senior communications advisor at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet where she provided advice to the Government and government departments on best practice approaches to communications. Trish has led workshops on the use of market research in Government campaigns and how to write effective communication strategies. In her current role, Trish leads the team responsible for the recent Clean Energy Future advertising campaign. The team is now working on a range of other related community outreach initiatives. Trish has an abiding interest in what makes people tick and how effective communication and social marketing interventions can lead to meaningful change.

ALSO ** coming soon ** events calendar for rest of the year!!

ASC Canberra Committee:
Join us on Facebook:!/ASC.Canberra

Unlocking Australia’s Potential grants announced – congratulations to the recipients

This week Inspiring Australia announced the recipients of the Unlocking Australia’s Potential grants for science engagement activities. There has been a flurry of media releases from communicators and some of the 63 successful applicants about the winning proposals.

The $5 million in funding was distributed to all states and territories and I expect that many ASC members were involved in putting in submissions. I send my congratulations to those of you involved in the winning projects and offer my commiserations to the others who had less welcome news.

I look forward to ASC members posting news of their projects on the ASC email and media lists, the website, Facebook, etc. It will be good for the ASC to develop a regular section on our website about how these activities are going. As Kali Madden will soon start to implement out new web system I’ll ask the ASC Communications team to consider how best to add a page about this newly funded programs.

It will be good to follow the progress of these programs and to have a way to measure their effectiveness in engaging their communities. A first step will be for the National Audit team to invite the project leaders to fill in the survey of Australian science engagement activities at:

May I make this a reminder to the rest of you involved in science engagement activities that the survey closes 30 June 2012. We need the info on as many activities as possible so don’t be left out. Answering the deep and meaningful questions will not only put you and your activity on the map of science engagement in the nation, but will raise the profile of science communication.

Jesse Shore
National president

It’s alive! Survey of science engagement activities is now online

We’re now ready to take the snapshot of Australia’s science engagement activities so say cheese! The national survey is live online. If you are involved in science engagement activities fill out the survey at: It closes 30 June 2012.

The survey is designed to capture a lot of information and poses some challenging questions. Don’t postpone giving us your answers. Please start filling out the survey now. The survey allows you to enter multiple science engagement activities if you are especially active in the area.

Once you complete the survey you can be in the draw to win a prize, but the best prize will be if we can help make science communication and engagement more effective.

I posted the project information on 30 April. If you missed it go to This project is a great opportunity for the ASC to contribute to improving how we engage the public with science in Australia.

This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research & Tertiary Education in partnership with Econnect, Bridge8, ASC and UWA.

Surveyingly yours,
Jesse Shore
National President

The biggest snapshot of science engagement in Australia

Who, what, where, when, why and how do we communicate science in Australia? And what do we think our success rate is? The ASC is part of a team to find out the answers.

The Inspiring Australia program has funded a project to create a national audit of science engagement activities. We will get a picture of the diverse range of activities which were delivered, or are planned to be, from January 2011 to June 2013.

The information will be gathered mainly by a nationwide survey and the collated and reported data will be a valuable tool. It will inform individuals and groups who deliver and coordinate the programs, potential partners and sponsors, and be a starting point for related projects to develop means of assessing the success of activities.

ASC branches will be running special events about the audit. Members can be part of focus groups to provide another stream of information and insight, and to suggest which groups we should promote the survey to.

The team working on the national audit comprises Jenni Metcalfe (Econnect Communication), Kristin Alford (Bridge8), and Jesse Shore and Kali Madden (Australian Science Communicators). Nancy Longnecker (UWA), Rod Lamberts (ANU) and Joan Leach (UQ) are advisors for the project.

Read more about the project in the attached announcement. The link to the on-line survey will be announced soon.

Jesse Shore
National president

Announcement of National audit of science engagement activities – 27 Apr

What are the upcoming issues and themes in science communication?

The recent ASC conference had many people asking how can we increase our effectiveness? And what can we do to have more positive outcomes? Sometimes we need to drive our professional development in a new direction to break out of the tried but no longer true way of doing things.

What new issues, themes, skills, techniques, etc, do you think have the potential to improve the outcomes of our work?

Jesse Shore
National President

Seeking videos for rejuvenated ASC YouTube channel

The ASC’s YouTube channel has been a quiet place the last 3 years. It contains a playlist of videos of portions of the Hot Air Symposiums held in 2009, but nothing since then. From late May we will start uploading the video interviews made during the ASC20102 conference, with the full set of interviews in place by end of the year.

The ASC Communications Team (consisting of James Hutson, Sally Miles, Kali Madden and me) will act as gatekeepers. We will select videos shot or commissioned by the ASC (like the conference) for uploading to our account.

We are also looking for links to other video content of interest to ASCers as long as this material is accompanied by permission to allow reloading to our site. So please send Sally Miles, Scope Editor, editor @, links to videos (with permissions for reuse if needed) that you think we should add to our YouTube channel.

Jesse Shore
National President

SocMed Stars

Thanks to Kristin Alford from Bridge 8 for contributing this article:

The ability to synthesise complex information and articulate it in a clear and concise way is a skill. When that is done well within a strict word limit under tight deadlines, it’s something to celebrate.
Kylie Sturgess (@kyliesturgess <> ), Dr Krystal Evans (@dr_krystal <> ) and Dr Sarah Keenihan (@sciencesarah <> ) are worth celebrating.

Over the course of the Australian Science Communicators Conference in 2012 <>  they made sense of the content in short sharp bursts using a range of social media platforms. Kylie live-blogged many of the sessions and has several podcasts, Krystal live-tweeted almost everything and Sarah both live-tweeted and provided Storify summaries.

If you were at the conference and drew on the back channel to see what others were thinking or to catch up on parallel sessions you couldn’t get to, you would have appreciated their contributions. If you weren’t at the conference, their commentaries and summaries made it possible to follow along. This was certainly the case for Ed Brown (@reallyedbrown <> ) who interviewed all three in his ‘Science on Top’ podcast <>  (this link includes all Kylie’s blogs, other links and Ed’s own Storify summaries of Day 2 and 3).

As producer of the social media session <> , I was certainly interested to see what the back channel had discussed during the session, so seeing Kylie’s blog <>  and Sarah’s Storify <>  was immensely useful, and both made it easier to share the content with others later. Mentioning this later on Twitter also brought endorsement that the contribution was worth recognising.

Congratulations and thank you Kylie, Krystal and Sarah. A specially-designed certificate from James Hutson is on its way.

(Also published at

Dr Kristin Alford
Futurist & Founding Director
Bridge8 Pty Ltd

Interactive Intro to Marketing & The biggest snapshot of science engagement in Australia – 30/4

30 April 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Ever wondered why someone else is getting more web hits than you…. or funding…. or press?

Could it have something to do with the way you are marketing your product?

Have you really sat down to think about what your product, your audience, your goal really is?

Here’s your chance to ask an expert!

After graduating with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Anthony Katsikas went on to become a lecturer at their School of Marketing.
His knowledge comes backed with 20 years of hands on experience, managing several Global Marketing Organisations, with over 7 years at Vice President, General Manager and Director levels.
His roles have focused on understanding customers and their needs in strategic and tactical marketing terms, developing product & market strategies as well as branding and promotional decisions.

If you are interested in getting a peek into the first principles of Marketing and how they might apply to you, come armed with your questions for a thought provoking and interactive delve into Tony’s world.


Where: Glasshouse, Level 2, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George St, Sydney

When: Monday 30th April, 6.30pm onwards

What: Interactive Intro to Marketing, followed by The biggest snapshot of science engagement in Australia!

Please RSVP to: / Rebecca – ASC Committee: 0410 635 083

The biggest snapshot of science engagement in Australia!

How are we engaging people with science in in Australia, and how do we do it better? A way to get answers is to create a high definition picture of science engagement activities in the country.

Jesse Shore will explain this new project to gather information about the who, what, where, when, why and how we communicate science. Then you’ll have your say as you become a focus group to answer the biggest question of the project, which is basically:

What are the critical areas where we need to improve the quantity or quality of science engagement in Australia?

It will be a fast paced session peppered with simpler questions to get the pieces of the big one. Your thoughts will contribute to the success of the rest of the project.

The main tool of the snapshot project is a survey questionnaire to be answered by people and organisations involved in science engagement activities. So bring your ideas about who we should promote the survey to.

The project is funded by the Australian government’s Inspiring Australia Strategy. The ASC is a partner in this project with Jenni Metcalfe from Econnect and Kristin Alford from Bridge8. ASC members and their colleagues can make a major contribution to greater science engagement in Australia. So come to the session and help shape the future of science communication.

ASC assistant treasurer appointed

The National Council has appointed Pete Wheeler for the ASC assistant treasurer position.

Pete is the treasurer of the ASC WA branch, has been treasurer for another society and manages the sizable budget for outreach and education activities in his job for an astronomical centre.

David Ellyard, our national treasurer, and Pete will soon start working together to bring Pete up to speed with the national accounts and to divide up the financial tasks. Pete will become a non-voting member of the Executive and National Council.

Pete joins Sarah Lau, our national secretary, as WA members on ASC national committees.

Jesse Shore
National president

ASC2012 – three days is not enough

Overview: The ASC2012 conference forms a great package. The program features impressive speakers and important topics, with appealing social events from Sunday through Tuesday nights, and a few deals for attractions while you are in Sydney.

Chief Scientist plenary extended: Given we have a plethora of Chief Scientists, we have extended the duration of their plenary. The session will start at 2.00pm as per the program and run until 3.00pm or 3.15pm (with a slim chance of going to 3.30pm), to allow plenty of interchange, discussion and exploration of issues.

This will leave 15-30 minutes before the afternoon tea break. Some or all the Chief Scientists will go to the refreshment area at this time where you can gather around a Chief Scientist for an informal conversation.

The rooms reserved for the previously scheduled concurrent sessions will be available, should a Chief Scientist choose to give a short presentation or have a more formal Q&A. Either way, you have an opportunity to talk with the state Chief Scientist of your choice.

Sessions will be recorded: the audio of all sessions will be recorded and some sessions will be videoed. This will serve as a resource for conference goers.

Full house of exhibitors: a range of organisations will have booths at the conference where you can talk with their key people. Find out what each organisation has to offer and quiz them about their science communication skills and achievements. The booths will be in the Banquet Hall and will be busiest during the refreshment and lunch breaks.

Science-As-Art Exhibition: the Science-As-Art exhibition at the conference will showcase examples of science visualisation created by scientists and science communicators right across Australia. Prizes will be awarded for the best entry. Also look at the artist-inspired Periodic Table on Show, made to celebrate the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.

Jesse Shore
National President