Join the inaugural ASC Honours and Masters Research Symposium

We would like to invite members and non-members to join us for the inaugural Masters and Honours Research Symposium on 16 November, featuring students researching science communication presenting their work.

The Symposium

This online symposium will see students present their research to the SciComm community, with the opportunity for moderated questions and discussion afterwards.

Check out our program below and register now to secure your spot in the audience.

A careers networking event

The symposium will conclude with a networking event where attendees will hear from people who might answer the ‘What’s next?’ question that poses many students as they finish their degree. Featuring four professionals across a range of careers, this event will offer practical advice and tips for progressing your career.

This will be relevant for students starting their professional career in SciComm, as well as those who are early in their career and potentially considering a future role change. Get to know our panellists in the section below.

About the Honours and Masters Research Symposium

There are not many opportunities for students completing science communication research to present, and even less if you’re not a PhD student. Over the coming years, we are going to change this with symposia like this one, so as to support the community by providing an opportunity for these students to present to peers in both Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand. It is our view that while a student gains valuable skills in the process of conducting a research project, it is the whole SciComm community who benefits most by having access to up-to-date data to inform our practice. We encourage more individuals to engage with SciComm research.

We intend to make this an annual event that encourages students to develop confidence in presenting and provides the community with a yearly snapshot of current research in ANZ. We will record all presentations and upload them to the ASC YouTube page with the intention that students are able to use these videos as examples of their presentation ability, something we’ve noticed has become more and more valuable to have.

Please encourage and inform your networks and any interested individuals to engage with this free event.


4:00pm AEDT Symposium begins
4:15pm AEDT Ventures in the vocabulary of viral variation
Lucy Campbell (Bachelor of Science (Honours), Australian National University)

This presentation will explore how SARS-CoV-2 variants were named and framed in news media communication, in the time surrounding the introduction of the Greek letter variant labeling system.
4:50pm AEDT Identifying obstacles to remove them: Including people living with a disability
Tam Pinkerton (Bachelor of Science, Honours in Science Communication, University of Western Australia)

We know that multiple barriers exist that frustrate people living with a disability who are participating in citizen science. Identifying these obstacles is important for designing inclusive projects that have better outcomes.
5:25pm AEDT ‘It’s Kind of Alienating’; Queer relationships with science
Clare Boon (Masters of Science Communication, University of Western Australia)

Science communication has a diversity problem. Despite doing its best to address this, there is one group they have failed to include; the queer community. This research looks at the lived experience of queer people at university and how their experiences with science has led them to their area of study. It aims to unpack the ways science feels unwelcoming to queer individuals.
6:00pm AEDT Career Night begins
MC’d by Jenni Metcalfe, we will hear a short snippet from of the individuals, detailing their career story:
– Dr Cobi Calyx, postdoctoral fellow
– Mike McRae, freelance science writer
– Tanaya Joshi, impact and communications
– Duncan McIntyre, energy and policy
6:30pm AEDT Open Q&A
6:50pm AEDT Opportunity for more personal interactions via breakout rooms
7:30pm AEDT Event ends

About our Career Night panellists

Jenni Metcalfe, our MC for the night, is a science communicator who loves to: find, tell and share people’s stories; help scientists use the right communication strategies to truly engage people; and train and mentor scientists and others involved in science to communicate. She is passionate about facilitating positive changes to people’s lives and the environment they live in. She has been working as a science communicator since she joined CSIRO in 1989. From late 1995 Jenni has been operating the science communication consultancy, Econnect Communication. Jenni is a foundation member of Australian Science Communicators and was President 2006-2007, when she co-chaired the World Conference of Science Journalists in Melbourne. Jenni’s vision is to ‘bring science to life’.

Dr Cobi Calyx joined the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019, after graduating from her ANU PhD in science communication and deliberative democracy in 2018. She has earlier qualifications in health promotion, international studies and journalism, as well as experience with Australian Aid-funded projects in Asia and the Pacific. During her PhD she was a Visiting Scholar at Melbourne Law School and taught in Masters courses in the University of Melbourne on interdisciplinarity, environment and global governance. Dr Calyx has more than a decade of experience working at the intersection of environmental governance, science communication, health promotion and disaster response. She has been employed in governance organizations ranging from the UN in Geneva to state environment and disaster response agencies.

Mike McRae has been writing science for over a decade, working with CSIRO, the ABC, and the Australian Museum to educate, inform, and entertain. His interest in the social side of science features in his books Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs, and Bad ideas, and Unwell: What makes a disease a disease?

Tanaya Joshi is the Impact and Communications Officer at Earthwatch Australia, an international research charity which focuses on using citizen science to empower people for climate action. Holding a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) and Masters of Environment and Sustainability, she is passionate about creating positive impact through the effective communication of science. Tanaya has worked as a media manager with national science festival Pint of Science, a science communicator for boutique agencies, and is a freelance science and culture writer at SAARI, a South Asian publication creating diverse media.

Duncan McIntyre heads the Energy Division at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW). He is responsible for the oversight and development of Australian Government energy and energy efficiency programs and policies, and the advancement of Australia’s energy interests through international engagement. Duncan has held senior leadership positions in the Australian Government for more than twenty years, in agencies including: Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Prime Minister and Cabinet; Communications; and Finance. He has tertiary qualifications in science, communications, and public administration and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Duncan has a long association with science communication and Questacon, as an Explainer at Questacon from 1987, in the Questacon Science Circus in 1996, and acting as Deputy Secretary responsible for Questacon in 2021. He has a passion for science, communication, and balls of flaming cornflour.

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