ASC Grant write-up: Emma Donnelly visits ABC Radio National

I would like to thank Australian Science Communicators offering me a grant to subsidise my work experience with an ABC Radio National program where I spent a week in November 2015. I was extremely fortunate to be awarded The Peter Pockley Grant for Professional Development in Investigative Journalism.

Based in Brisbane (I am from Perth), my internship enabled me to work with the program team who coordinate and run ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’.

Conversations is an immersive experience. The format is simple: an hour spent in the life of someone else. To quote their Facebook page “’Conversations with Richard Fidler’ draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met. On any given day ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ might take you from a remote Chinese village, to inside the cockpit of a space shuttle, to a family home in the middle of a war zone, to a hospital on the side of an African volcano, to the mysteries of the human brain, or to the pitch of the MCG. ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ is funny, provocative and often deeply moving.

My experience at the ABC was all of these things.

Running for over 10 years, the small team of four do an amazing job. While based in Brisbane, they spend much of the year traveling to writer’s festivals and other cities to access guests to interview. Their output and the product they create is astonishing. The program has won several awards including being named iTunes Australia’s ‘Best Classic Podcast” and ‘Most Downloaded Podcast’ 2015.

When visiting it was clear that they are all extremely passionate about sharing the stories of Australians and others – whether they be famous, infamous, a relatively unknown person, or just an Aussie with an amazing life story or tale to share.

Pam O’Brien is Senior Producer of the program was my supervisor for the week and was so very generous with her time, particularly considering how busy she is.

During the week I gained experience in pitching stories for the show, the intricacies of an outside broadcast, putting a show to air, how to use the media program and database, researching for the show, how guests are selected and how putting together scripts for the show.

During my internship week ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ guests were widely varying and included:

The whole experience was a thrill and a privilege. It consolidated information and communication skills I already had while teaching me many new things too.

I’d like to once again thank the ASC for supporting this once in a lifetime experience. I am an enormous fan of ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ and the work they do, so it was a dream come true!

If you have a story that you think should be told, or know someone whose experiences and work could make for good listening. ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ might be an interesting vehicle for the story. You can submit your idea/suggestion via their website.

I’d also like to encourage those who may not have listened to any of Richard’s podcasts to get online and listen to one or two. With over 10 years of programming you have more than 1500 stories, all free, to download.

If you would like to listen to a more science related topic, I can recommend the following: How Creswell Eastman saved a million brains.

Cres Eastman was one of the guests I researched and whose file I worked on.

Storytelling is an ancient means for sharing information and there is an art to it. If we can start telling more stories that showcase science, it can only be a good thing. Humans connect with stories and remember them. It’s inbuilt in us.

The more science stories out in the world, especially those that present scientists or people working in the field of STEM as “regular” people or provide science in a real-life context, the better. It’s another way we can communicate science and the paths that people in science have taken to get to where they are. As you all know, a science degree can take you many places, and through vehicles like this one we can demonstrate the diversity of where science can take you and how it connects with everyday lives. This medium can link with audiences who may not normally consider how science effects them and can connect with those disengaged from science.

Let’s start telling more stories for science!

If you would like to hear more about my experience or have any questions, please feel free to contact me via

ScienceAlert: science communication for the masses

Earlier in the year I won a grant from the Australian Science Communicators to fly down to Sydney, and spend some time with the ScienceAlert team.

ScienceAlert has over seven million fans on Facebook. They have over 1000 views at any one time on their website. They are one of the leading science communication channels in this country, and yet the team is just three hard working writers, two freelancers and a programmer who keeps everyone together.

The team was nothing like I expected. Having just spent a week with the ABC as an intern, and one day a week at Brisbane Times earlier this year, I was expecting the science version of that. An office in the heart of Sydney, 10-20 employees all working hard to make science content for the masses. Probably taking shifts to ensure content was always being generated. Instead, I found a tiny group of incredible writers all working from home, each contributing three or more stories a day to make ScienceAlert what it is.

A Master’s project for one of the founding members, ScienceAlert has become something incredible since it was created in 2004 republishing press releases of Australian research. It has grown a long way since then, taking the Facebook and science communication scenes by storm.

Chris Casella, the managing director, flew up from Canberra to see me in Sydney on the first day and we spent the morning discussing the history, my past work and how ScienceAlert works. Fiona MacDonald, one of the editors was there as well, but she still had two more stories to write that afternoon so she was busily tapping away on her laptop at the coffee shop we were in.

Later that day, when Chris went off to meet with a contact from Google, Fiona and I worked in the coffee shop finding stories, interesting pictures and basically just working out how the ScienceAlert system works.

That night we enjoyed dinner and drinks with the rest of the team, and they were just as kind and interesting as Fiona. It was great to get to meet the whole team, and even after a full day of writing, they still seemed excited to meet me and have a good time.

The next day we spent in an open hire office in Sydney CBD, the team incredibly accommodating with my errors or silly questions. Chris headed back on a plane south, and we got into writing.

Surprisingly, I felt like my most intense three days were not the days in Sydney, but instead the days I spent at home, working with them from a laptop.

Since that morning in the office, I have done close to six original articles, one that has been posted on ScienceAlert and about the same amount of reposts of Business Insider and the Conversation, two of their business partners. One of the original articles has been published, and there are more on the way.

I’m finally adjusting to the style guide and the quick paced nature of online publication, and I love it.

ScienceAlert definitely wasn’t what I was expecting and I think it’s better.

Teachers: Science Communicators with a guaranteed audience!

Jaclyn Drake meeting some scaly critters

Jaclyn Drake meeting some scaly critters

I am very appreciative of the Australian Science Communicators for considering me for the Professional Development Grant 2015. The scholarship allowed me to attend the 64th conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association (CONASTA 64), ‘Science: a Kaleidoscope of Wonder and Opportunity.’ As a country high school science teacher I consider myself on the ‘front line’ of science communication. Attempting to engage children, their families and my community in science and searching out real science connections to use in the classroom.

The Science Teachers Association of WA (STAWA) partnered with ASTA and Mercedes College along with major sponsor Curtin University to bring the conference to science teachers in Perth during July this year. STAWA Committee members worked very hard to coordinate a successful conference which showcased the myriad of opportunities for teachers to partner with research and science engagement organisations to enrich the science their students experience in the classroom.

The conference began with an inspiring keynote from Professor Fiona Wood, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction. Professor Wood relayed to us the best pieces of advice she has received to date from people in her life. She started with her Physics teacher who said to her in high school, “People will think you’re a bit of a twit Fiona, you can do physics but you can’t spell,” highlighting for us the need to be able to communicate science in a clear and engaging way. She spoke of the need to collaborate across disciplines and professions to share expertise and extend our own learning, the need to connect and articulate original ideas, to get together and explore ideas to use our energy and science to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. Professor Wood has heard her own advice repeated back to her by her children; “Opportunities that make you nervous, they’re the ones you go for.” Professor Wood challenged us as science communicators, asking “what is it that you can share that can make a difference?” She not only inspired us to move forward with our engagement of young people with science but reminded us of basic burns first aid to improve healing by 80% (remove clothing and cool the area by running under cold water) so we can spread the word and improve the health of Australians ourselves.

The second keynote presentation by Professor Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist of WA, shared his own insights and those from Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia, on the future of STEM in Australia. Professor Klinken referred to the Chief Scientists Report 2014, ‘STEM: Australia’s Future’ (1) and Professor Chubb’s ‘Vision for a Science Nation’ (2) paper available this year to highlight the importance of STEM communication. He shared with us that 75% of fastest growing occupations require STEM and asked us, “How do we attract and retain bright people?” Professor Klinken shared his answer with us; we need to support risk taking, entrepreneurship and mentoring and to engage the community in Science. STEM underpins a capable and adaptable economy so scientists need to be able to explain what they it is that they do to the community, through policy makers and the media.

A motivating series of keynote speakers followed over the four mornings of CONASTA. Professor Claus Bolte, Head of Chemistry Education at Freie Universitaet in Berlin, shared his findings on Scientific Literacy while Doctor Kate Trinajstic spoke about her research using advanced technology to learn about ancient lifeforms. Doctor Trinajstic was one of eight female keynote speakers from a total of nineteen keynote presentations with three speakers travelling from overseas to share their research with us. The final speaker, Professor David Lee from Singapore, shared with us the secret to cooking the perfect steak explaining scientifically why a steak is much better if cooked from frozen over low heat and a longer period of time. (Try it! I’ll never attempt to defrost a steak before cooking it again!)

I found a workshop on creating a science mentoring program for primary school teachers led by Kate Fischer and Colin Noy from Brisbane Boys’ College to be very helpful. In my volunteer role as coordinator of the Kalgoorlie Science Teachers Network I am regularly assisting teachers to improve their science knowledge and teaching pedagogy to best engage children with science. Applying a similar mentoring structure in a regional area of Western Australia should greatly improve our ability to attract and retain excellent science communicators to teach in our schools.

Bruce Paton from Earthwatch led a motivating workshop about implementing citizen science in schools and inspiring students by making them scientists. He was assisted by teacher Mady Colquhoun who shared her experience with TeachLive Bush Blitz (3), an amazing initiative taking science teachers out into the field with scientists and engaging their class back home via skype. This has certainly sent me on the hunt for research scientists and citizen science projects I can engage teachers and students in my region with. Doctor Tania Meyer from RiAus shared the creative science communication resources they are producing to engage the community and students with up to date science research (4).

One of the many highlights of CONASTA for me was the excursion to Scitech (5), Western Australia’s answer to Questacon. The behind the scenes tour delivered excitement at every turn. From hearing about the science communication methods of the Aboriginal Outreach Program to witnessing the amazing prototypes produced by the gadgets and electronics team and how we could use them to engage children in science and technology. We met with the Design Manager in the Design Workshop, learning about the robustness required of hands on science exhibits and seeing the scientific method in action in their design and production. This excursion reignited my passion for Community Science Engagement. As a science teacher, my profession is science communication, my true audience is not just limited to my classroom but is the entire community I live in.
CONASTA provided the opportunity to network with other science teachers, research scientists and science communication professionals from across Australia and the world.

My experience of this conference, thanks to the generosity of Australian Science Communicators, was just a very small slice of what was on offer. With so many concurrent workshops and presentations every one of the hundreds of attendees had a unique experience that reinvigorated their approach to engaging their students in science. Keep an eye out for the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ) who have already started organising the CONASTA 65 ‘Superheros of Science: Unmask your Potential’ (6) for Brisbane in 2016. If you are a science communicator – you need to be involved!







The demise of science journalism and rise of science communication?

Are you a science journalist or a science communicator?

For people outside the science communication sphere, this question might seem like an exercise in splitting hairs, but for those of us whose day-to-day lives are embedded in this arena, it’s actually quite important.

However it can be difficult to find clear, unassailable points of distinction that distinguish science journalists from science communicators. Is it who’s paying? Is it the determination of an underlying message? These seem like obvious answers but the often strong underlying agendas of publishing companies make things less clear-cut.

And so it was that we (being the Australian Science Communicators NSW branch) recently assembled a crack team of science journalists and science communicators to help find the answer. Our panel event featured ABC Science editor and journalist Dr Anna Salleh, Regional Executive Editor at Nature Publishing Group Stephen Pincock, media/communications manager for the UNSW Faculty of Science Deborah Smith, and former Sydney Morning Herald science editor Nicky Phillips, now at Nature.

It turns out that the intersection between science journalism and science communication is complex and messy and –particularly in this new era of online media –more important to debate than ever.

The reason is that science journalism – being defined as the kind of ‘objective’, critical reporting and analysis that our panel is most experienced in – is on the decline, at least in the mainstream media. There are fewer dedicated science journalists and editors, and instead the job of writing about science and scientific discoveries is often given to general reporters.

This is not to say these people don’t do a good job, but it means there’s a greater risk that a science story will be a rehashed press release, will be sensationalised, will be click-bait, because the reporter doesn’t have the experience to know that a study in ten people is not the final word, that a cancer cure in mice does not translate to a breakthrough in humans, or that a fifty per cent increase in relative risk does not mean everyone has a one in two chance of getting the disease.

What we are seeing instead is a lot more good quality, well-written science communication going on. Defining exactly how this differs from science journalism is tricky, but science communication covers everything from the Neil Degrasse Tysons and Derek Mullers of this world to the I F**king Love Science website to science blogs to podcasts like Science Vs.

We’re also seeing research organisations investing more time and money into producing high-quality communications about their science. It may be a glossy, self-produced magazine produced by a custom publishing company, written by journalists, illustrated with professional photographs. Even mainstream publishing companies such as Nature Publishing Group are providing that service independent of their traditional publishing arm.

This rise in ‘native content’ – advertising content designed to match its publishing surroundings – does create some dilemmas both for publishers and journalists. If the content is not clearly marked as being paid for, it risks diluting the publisher’s brand, which means publishers like Nature take a very ‘church and state’ approach to their traditional and custom publishing arms. For journalists, particularly freelances, it can lead to conflicts of interest if one is asked to write a critical news piece about a research organisation that one also writes content for.

More than ever before, there is a wealth and diversity of great science communication happening, mostly online but also in print, audio and on TV, by experienced science communicators who present the science in context and in proportion.

From the perspective of a more science-literate community – something I wholeheartedly support – this is an overall positive development. As a freelance writer, it is also the source of a good chunk of my income, as research organisations look to science journalists to help develop this content to appeal to a general audience.

The downside to this transition away from science journalism to science communication is that we are likely to see less of the critical, independent reporting and analysis that science – as with any other human endeavour – should be subject to. It still happens in science magazines such as Science, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American and Cosmos (long may they survive and thrive). But here again, the internet is delivering new approaches that don’t rely on the traditional publishing model, such as the Retraction Watch website.

I’ve been asked a few times lately if science journalism is dying in Australia. The short answer is ‘no’. The long answer is that it’s not dying, but it is undergoing a metamorphosis. What will emerge on the other side of this process is anyone’s guess. Most likely we will see a far a greater diversity of science communication choices available for the general public, but like all things internet, the challenge will be sifting the gold from the dross.

If you want to see the video of our science journalism vs science communication panel, watch it here.

Event review: The Laborastory

Thanks to George Aranda for the event review!

“I had the good fortune of being part of a special edition of “The Laborastory” for National Science Week. The organisers of this local monthly staple of science storytelling stepped up and convened the event at St Michael’s Uniting Church in Melbourne’s CBD. Some 600 people turned up on the wintery evening to listen to science communicators such as myself, Chris Lassig, Katie Mack, Clare Hampson, and Teresa MacDonald. We talked about some of our favourite scientists in front of the church’s massive pipe organ, with projection artwork and a science choir (The Gaussian Ensemble). Great to be part of such a creative night of science communication, which was recorded, and the audio can be found at and video on Youtube.”

The Laborastroy, at St Michael’s Uniting Church in Melbourne’s CBD.

The Laborastroy, at St Michael’s Uniting Church in Melbourne’s CBD.

Some 600 people attended the event.

Some 600 people attended the event.


Communicating science with mobile applications

The advanced connectivity and computing power of Smartphones opens up new possibilities for science communication, and an increasing number of institutions are experimenting with this great potential. That’s the topic of the thesis I published as part of my Masters of Science Communication, in which I look at the potential benefits and limitations of science-related mobile applications. This excerpt summarises the main ideas, and I hope it can be beneficial to some out there.

Use of a mobile app at the Natural History Museum, London. Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Use of a mobile app at the Natural History Museum, London. Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Great potential yet to be explored

For science communication professionals who are continuously exploring new strategies for communicating with current and potential audiences, mobile applications open up the possibility for reaching new audiences through a personal device they have chosen and are familiar with. In the case of science museums and science centres, mobile apps also enable the institutions to reach those audiences not only during the museum visit, but before and after also.

“This ability to reach users in conditions and in an environment of their choice opens up new possibilities for the communication of cultural content for life-long learning and edutainment, in addition to the potential for cultural marketing. Additionally, the fact that these users are connected in a wide network offers possibilities not only for one-to-one communication between the cultural organization and the user, but also for social networking and creating communities of users interested in cultural content, incorporating Web 2.0 capabilities.”

(Economou and Meintani, 2011)

Furthermore, in the past few decades we have been observing a paradigm shift in museum learning which is based on an explorative hands-on approach and focuses on the users’ needs rather than the curators’ key message. While traditional museums put visitors into a passive and ‘guest’ position, this new paradigm is about participation and interactivity and puts the users into an active role (Kahr-Højland in Katz, LaBar and Lynch, 2011).

Use of QR codes in Museum. Image in Public Domain

Use of QR codes in Museum. Image in Public Domain

With their advanced computing abilities and connectivity, smartphones are regarded as the key vehicle for customizing and enhancing visitor experience and seem to fit perfectly into this new learning paradigm. However, in reality, museum mobile applications are not as numerous as we may think, and the few that exist do not seem to significantly enhance the museum visit experience (Valtysson, and Ling in Holdgaard Katz, LaBar and Lynch, 2011). The majority of museums apps developed so far have the form of enriched audio-guided tours (with images, video, and sometimes additional texts), and few of them actually support social interaction and participation.

Facilitate accessibility, encourage dialogue

But edutainment mobile applications are not limited to museums, and science-related apps actually abound. A quick search on iTunes with the keyword “science” gives more than 2,000 results. In my thesis I look at a sample of mobile applications created by science museums, science centres, and research institutes, and analyse the means they used to convey science-related content.

A mobile app for plant care.

A mobile app for plant care. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

It appears that a good way to embrace this new learning paradigm, and retract from the passive one-way information delivery from institution to user, is to enable the user to contribute to the content (e.g. upload photos), ask questions, provide feedback, and share on social networks. Smartphones are connected devices, so let’s use that feature!

To convey science-related content to a large and diverse audience through a mobile app, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as: don’t forget to offer different levels of reading (e.g. with “in-depth” or “further info” options available), make the content available on different platforms (e.g. develop the app on different OS, upload content on website as well), use a level of language adapted to the audience (avoid jargon and keep technical language to a minimum, in a manner that it is not misleading, but that your audience can understand quickly and easily), increase usability (e.g. provide captions for videos, title the back arrows with the previous page’s name, have an option to change contrast and text size), and it’s a smartphone app so use the smartphones features (e.g. camera, microphone, GPS, connectivity, gyroscope…).

A mobile app is the device, not the message

Smartphones do offer a broad range of possibilities to science communicators and can be fantastic devices to communicate science to different audiences, and some apps are truly brilliant. However a mobile app may not be the most adapted tool for everyone’s communication.

Become a storyteller (for science)

I had the pleasure of attending the Walkley Foundation’s Freelance Focus conference this week with support from the ASC and the UQ School of Journalism and Communication. It was a busy day, full of inspiring content that ranged from Noah Rosenberg (founder and CEO of Narratively) talking on fostering audiences and narrative, to Nathan Burman (comms guy for Twitter Australia) running a masterclass focused on best practice for the social medium.

Running  through the entire conference was the  theme of storytelling. It was a theme that seems particularly relevant to ASC given spreading science stories is a large part of what we do. So, here are five take home points that might just help you the next time you’re crafting a science story. Read along for the who, what, when, where, and why.

Who is your audience?

Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), imagine your audience. Who is best suited to your tale of the impact of gravity on quantum weirdness?

Your audience shouldn’t just help you to manage the complexity of your language, it should also shape the mediums you choose to convey your story through.

What medium will you use to tell your story?

It might seem easiest to write a press release and hit send, but is that the most effective way of getting your story out there? Would a podcast be more accessible to your audience, would it make your story come alive? Choose a medium that embraces the key elements of your story – whether that be a soundbite, long-form article or ten-second GIF.

When should your story end?

Your story doesn’t need to be a one hour documentary to have impact. Think carefully about the ideal length of your work and be realistic about resourcing. It’s a cliché that rings true – sometimes less is more.

Where is the person in your story?

Personal tales make dry, complex information come alive. Whose experiences can you tap into to give warmth to your piece? Use their story to bring the unique and remarkable aspects of your story to light.

Why should people read your story?

Cultivating a community around your story will help increase its impact once published. Identify the people around you who will be interested and happy to share your tale with others.





Inspiring Australia update: Millions of science fans can’t be wrong

Hit Australian science news service ScienceAlert approaches six million fans.

ScienceAlert headerIt started in 2005 as a humble website, but the Canberra-based ScienceAlert is now a social media superstar, having reached more than 5.6 million fans on Facebook.

Every day, ScienceAlert posts news stories, feature articles, videos, images and comment to spread the work of Australian universities and research agencies. Its fans then share the stories further, increasing the reach to 10-15 million people worldwide.

“We also have 250,000 Australian fans and they in turn are helping us to reach 1-2 million Australians,” said ScienceAlert managing director Chris Casella. “This is great news for Australian science – at a time when reportage of science in the traditional media is flagging.”

ScienceAlert continues to partner with YouTube science celebrities to branch out into the real world, with shows like IFLS Live! in Sydney. This is all part of its mission to not only promote Australian science, but to give people the knowledge needed to tackle global issues.

“But science alone is not enough,” said ScienceAlert founder Julian Cribb. “The knowledge it generates needs to be shared at lightspeed among seven billion human beings, so they can make use of it. That is what motivates us.”

This knowledge can be found at

Inspiring Australia

Inspiring Australia update: Country kids communicating with art and science

Digital photography and solar prints of leaves and other found objects are just some of the ways community participation is being encouraged through storytelling technology.

Creative photography at the Wings Drop-in Centre in Wilcannia

Creative photography at the Wings Drop-in Centre in Wilcannia

Young people are telling stories about themselves and their environment at science and art workshops in the New South Wales towns of Wilcannia and Wagga Wagga.

They’re part of the dLab National Program, started by dLux Media Arts as a way to help regional youth contribute to their communities and shape their own future.

Using everything from digital photography to solar prints of leaves and other found objects, Wilcannia students captured elements of their hometown, learning along the way about local botany but also the chemistry of photography and the physics of light.

“We had a real ‘wow’ moment when we turned the whole room into a camera obscura and projected what we could see outside onto the walls and roof inside the room,” said workshop facilitator Yenny Huber.

Students’ stories and photographs went into a mobile app, an interactive map of Wilcannia with tours of places of personal importance to them.

In Wagga Wagga, the students’ work was projected onto the walls of the Civic Centre, alongside local music and interviews in an exhibition at the Ashmont Artspace.

“As much as the students enjoy learning about the science, the real power in this program is how they use technology to express themselves by creating art and audio-visual content,” Yenny said.

The dLab National Program continues in 2014, with a special guest appearance by Indonesian artist Andreas Siagian, who will run workshops on computer technology and electronics and will teach people how to make a DIY digital microscope from a webcam.

Find out more at

Inspiring Australia

Inspiring Australia update: Fossil tourism in the Flinders

How training ten locals is set to unearth tourism potential and take science to thousands.

Science communicators in training

Science communicators in training

The ‘Hidden National Treasure’ project is turning Flinders locals into science communicators and working with them to develop Ediacara fossil tourism ‘experiences’.

Fossils from the Ediacaran Period have lain hidden like buried treasure for 550 million years under the ancient sea floors of outback Flinders Ranges.

This project has trained ten locals in palaeontology and communication, allowing science engagement to infiltrate into local tourism activities.

Project manager Damia Ettakadoumi of Straight Up Science says the project capitalises on the passion and enthusiasm the people who live in the region have for the fossils. It also takes advantage of the fact that many already offer guided tours of their properties, nearby gorges and geological formations.

“Embedding science stories in other experiences is another way of getting science out into the community,” says Damia. “The locals were looking for this opportunity. They have both the passion and the means to pass it on. By teaching these few, we can potentially reach thousands of tourists.”

The beauty of the project is its ability to reach ‘beyond the converted’. Breath-taking scenery, wildlife, bushwalking tracks and the landscape paintings of Hans Heysen attract a wide range of visitors to the region – people who might not otherwise engage with science.

“The people living up there running cattle stations and tour operations are not geologists, botanists or palaeontologists, but they’re very hungry for information about these topics and Indigenous knowledge because they love it! They want to talk about it!”

Ten locals have received Certificate III training and an intensive course in Ediacara palaeontology and geology. They can now confidently explain the Ediacara story to tourists.

Dickinsonia - an iconic fossil of the Ediacaran biota

Dickinsonia – an iconic fossil of the Ediacaran biota

Damia and her colleagues are now working with the Flinders locals on the next stage of the project: developing tourism experiences and resources, such as formalised fossil tour routes, brochures and tourism apps. They will also develop an Ediacara brand to help promote Flinders fossil finding adventures internationally.

The Flinders Ranges is one of 16 regions chosen for the Australia’s National Landscapes program, a tourism development and conservation partnership managed by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia. Other regions include the Australian Alps, the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo-Shark Bay.

The Hidden National Treasure project injects science education into this tourism development, with outcomes that will be great for both public education and the local economy.

Inspiring Australia