The recently released report “Inspiring Australia. A national strategy for engagement with the sciences” is arguably the most relevant and significant report that ASC has seen. It deals specifically with the need for better science communication in Australia – a need that inspired the creation of ASC some 16 years ago, and makes many diverse recommendations that will strike a chord with ASC members.
Many of those members will have been consulted in the preparation of the report, and will have some views about its content and recommendations, as will others to whom the report is new. In my view the report has much to offer, but the test will be in how (and how completely) some of it’s recommendations are put into practice, how others will be interpreted and how others again might be improved or clarified.
Given that ASC is the national professional body for Australian Science Communicators, it is essential that we have a considered response to the report which reflects the diversity of experiences and involvement of our members.
Jesse Shore has asked me to collate these responses. I recognise that, for many who are already overburdened, tackling a full report may be arduous, but I would ask you to consider and comment on at least the recommendation that most affects or interests you. If you can do more, it will be most welcome, but one response from each member would be a very good start.
Some of us have already been asked to comment on the report in the media, and those comments will be included. Tim Thwaites has suggested that the parts of the report most relevant to ASC are:
Recommendations 2-4 (re advisory bodies)
Recommendation 7 (re annual science and society forums; an obvious link to ASC conferences)
Recommendation 9 (re collaborative projects)
Recommendation 10 (ASC has already moved a long way towards accrediting science communication courses)
Recommendation 13 (re the ‘national framework – local action) approach)
Recommendation 14 (The proposed nReport reational web presence – can we help out or give advice?)
and Recommendation 15 (ASC’s potential involvement in evaluation).
I think that most members would also be interested in Recommendation 1 (re a national initiative to increase….public engagement in the sciences) and Recommendation 2 (strategic national priorities for communicating science…) and probably other recommendations as well.
The report (Executive Summary and full report) can be found as a pdf at:-
I recommend reading the full report. It is clearly written and, importantly, provides the reasoning behind the recommendations.
Please send any comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “INSPIRING AUSTRALIA RESPONSE” in the subject line by the end of March (mid-March is even better) and identifying by the report’s own numbering system which recommendation or part of the report your comments refer to.
Rob Morrison Vice President, ASC