2023 Intensive Training Day

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Does the idea of doing live radio to speak about your research excite or frighten you? How about presenting to investors or future employers?

Join us on Saturday 18 February for a rare opportunity to access training in science communication from thought and education leaders from across the country, collaborating together for this intensive training day.

This intensive workshop aims to inspire researchers to better communicate their field of research, exploring the questions:

  • What is science communication and why is it important?
  • Who are my audiences?
  • What is my story?
  • And, what tools do I have to tell that story?

Who’s it for?

This event is aimed at early to mid-career researchers (EMCRs) in science who have an interest in developing their communication skills to better support their career.

Held in Canberra, this one day intensive event will equip participants in the basics of science communication, media engagement and presentation. Whether it’s for a national TV, local radio slot, a conference presentation or even talking to your family over dinner, this training day will build participants’ confidence and help them be understood.

Workshop details

NB: This schedule is subject to change.

8:30Registration and welcome
9:00An introduction to Science Communication and SciComm research– Dr Heather Bray
9:25Telling your story and harnessing your communication style– Dr Aimee Catalan
9:55Practical activity & morning tea (provided)
10:25Intensive block 1
– Translating science into advice: science for policy
– Mainstream media and your science in the spotlight
– Amplify: Tips for working with freelancers, consultants and agencies
– Getting social! Digital SciComm
– Warming up to present

– Lauren Sullivan
– Lyndal Byford
– Claire Harris
– Sofia Dalla Costa
– Ali McGregor
12:20Lunch (provided)
1:25Intensive block 2
– Citizen science & science education
– Creative storytelling
– Tools of the trade: using props to aid in storytelling

– Michelle Neil
– Adrian King
– Patrick Helean
2:35Check in activity and afternoon tea (provided)
3:05Workshop your skills 1: Theory into practice
– Discovery based learning & challenges
– Mock interviews with real journalists
– Phil Dooley, Sofia Dalla Costa, Adrian King, Ali McGregor, Adrian King
– Marion Rae, Lish Fejer
5:05Day wrap
5:20Break (un-catered)
6:00Workshop your skills 2: in the deep end
Get to know your local scientist public event


This is a rare opportunity with tickets being heavily subsidised by the ASC presenters and coordinators. Prices are:

  • Non-member: $137
  • Member: $50
  • Conference attendee: $0

Book your ticket here.

Included in the ticket price for non-members is an associate membership to the ASC for one year so that you can continue to engage with the local science communication community.

NB: For research institutes or universities who are interested in booking tickets in bulk, the cheapest way to book attendees is to contact us at asc2023@asc.asn.au and be invoiced. This pathway allows for 10 attendees for $1022, including a corporate membership of the ASC. Any additional attendee would be charged at $102.


ANU Physics, Physics Building, 160 Mills Road, Acton 2610

The workshop will be held at the new Research School of Physics building on ANU campus. This building is the most extensive upgrade to the school in 70 years, and facilitates the environment needed to conduct leading quantum and laser lab experiments, clean rooms, fabrication facilities, as well as the venue space that we will be using.

We acknowledge the support from RSPhys and it’s leadership who are supporting this event by providing access to this beautiful site. Find out more about the Research School here.

The new Research School of Physic at the ANU. It’s so sparklingly-new that we found it hard to find a real image of the building online (this one is a render). We are so grateful for the support from RSPhys.

Public engagement night

Kambri Precinct Australian National University, Canberra ACT

Get to know your local scientist
Key to this event is the inclusion of a practical exercise in science communication by the workshop participants. On the Saturday evening, we are taking over a local venue and inviting the public in to chat directly with the EMCRs who will get the opportunity to directly make use of the skills they’ve practiced throughout the day.

Join us at Badger and Co. for this one-night only event, where workshop participants will be in the spotlight.

Know someone who loves learning about science? Why not invite them along to learn from you and other workshop attendees.

  • Venue: Badger and Co., Kambri, ANU Campus
  • Time: From 6 PM
  • Price: Free (but please RSVP via the eventbrite link below)

RSVP via eventbrite.

Workshop facilitators

This event wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of the presenters and the coordinators of the training event, many of whom have chosen to stay in Canberra an additional day to deliver this event. We thank them for their support.

Dr Heather Bray

Dr Heather Bray has over 20 years of experience in Science Communication as a practitioner, scholar, teacher, and researcher. She currently coordinates the Master of Science Communication and the undergraduate major and minor in Science Communication. 

Heather’s research explores community understandings of, and attitudes to, the role of science and technology in food production, in particular genetically-modified crops and food, and farm animal welfare. Her work aims to improve communication and build trust between different stakeholders in the agri-food system. 

Heather’s background is in agricultural science and she has worked as an animal scientist in both Australia and the Netherlands. Before returning to academia, she worked in science centres and agricultural research centres, developing community engagement programs about complex and controversial technologies.

Dr Aimee Catalan

Dr Aimee Catalan is the founder and Managing Director of Catalan Group, a unique science communication organisation that specialises in training scientists, clinicians, researchers, and entrepreneurs to present their own science to wider audiences that include venture capital investors, government, philanthropists and the wider public. She has a strong belief that many of the best science stories are told by those who live them. As a life sciences mentor and storyteller, she helps to identify communication strengths to effectively present research or scientific innovation for greatest impact.

Aimee’s career spans almost 30 years in health, science, and government. Her early career was in the fast paced and emotive area of organ donation and transplantation, before transitioning into medical research. She has lectured at the University of Queensland in medical science reporting, media studies, and science communication including, presenting science, controversial science and verbal and non-verbal communication strategies.

She has presented her own research and lectured in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia and is experienced both in front of and behind the science communication camera and microphone having worked with the ABC, Channel 9 and Aquarius Films and science communication podcasts like Smart Enough to Know Better. Aimee holds a BSc in biological sciences, a Master of science communication and a PhD in communication along with post graduate qualifications in research commercialisation and education.

Lyndal Byford

Lyndal Byford is the Director of News and Partnerships at the Australian Science Media Centre. She spends her days managing a team that helps mainstream news journalists cover some of the biggest stories in the news – from climate, energy and natural disasters to diet, health, technology and space. 

Lyndal has an Honours Degree in biotechnology from Flinders University and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from the Australian National University. She has experience communicating science in a range of settings including at museums, within the pharmaceutical industry and in media relations both here and in the UK. 

Lyndal is a frequent commentator on science media relations and regularly appears on the ABC. She has written for publications including COSMOS, Crikey, ABC, and News Corp Australia. Lyndal was also a member of Inspiring Australia’s Science and the Media Expert Working Group for the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Adrian King

Adrian King is the founder of Redboat, a company providing 2D and 3D  animation, visual-effects, and motion-graphics for the film and television industry. His area of expertise lies in strategy, communication, branding, animation, video production, app development, science-communication, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Adrian and Redboat have helped leading science organisations, including CSIRO, DATA61, Geoscience Australia, Science Technology Australia, Cooperative Research Centres, and leading universities to communicate their science with confidence to the public, stakeholders, businesses and policymakers.

Dr Phil Dooley

Dr Phil Dooley is the communications manager for ANU Physics, and also a freelance science communicator under the banner Phil Up On Science. He is a science writer, trainer and entertainer. Credits include Cosmos Magazine, New Scientist and Australian Geographic and he was selected for the Anthology of Best Australian Science Writing in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

He has a PhD in laser physics and has performed his own brand of science, music and comedy in science shows and festivals around the world including London, Glasgow and Adelaide Fringe; solo and as part of a science theatre collaboration Dramatis Scientificae. He has a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Patrick Helean

Patrick is a science communicator and demonstrator, and the coordinator for the excited particles team at Questacon. He is passionate about bringing science into the lives of children, but really misses talking to adults. 

He previously ran a theatre company in the US and has since brought that knowledge and skillset to SciComm here in Australia.

Claire Harris

Entrepreneur and Founder of Innovate Communicate and Cowork Coplay, Claire Harris is a marketing-communication and science professional with a passion for innovation, inclusion and positive change. She has worked in the innovation ecosystem for over 20+ years; 7+ of those years dedicated to business.

Innovate Communicate bridges the gap between STEM/innovation and society by providing stakeholder engagement, project management and diversity services and programs.

Innovate Communicate has recently worked with clients in environment, agriculture, health, social science, technology and defence.

Cowork Coplay provides coworking programs with a focus on career and community. Childminding is also offered as a standard benefit for parents of little kids.

Claire has a Bachelor Environmental Science and a Grad Dip Communication, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is currently undertaking a Diploma in Digital Technologies.

Sofia Dalla Costa

Sofia received her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from the University of Queensland before realising her true love was in sharing what she learnt with others.

From here she took on a Masters of Science Communication at ANU and has since developed her skills as a social media officer for companies such as Girls in Ocean Science, The National Youth Science Forum, and CSIRO.

You can see examples of her work on the CSIRO blog here.

Alison McGregor

Ali McGregor is a performer and science communicator.

Ali will be joining us during the practical afternoon of the day. Discuss with her ideas of stage presence and storytelling.

Michelle Neil

In May 2014 Michelle was invited by Earthwatch to attend the Australian Citizen Science Associations Inaugural Workshop in Brisbane due to her interest as the ASC2014 conference.

She found herself co-chair of the Communications Working Group where she and Jessie Oliver co-developed ACSA social media (Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn).

Since then Michelle, has been an active science communicator by posting on volunteering as ASCA’s social media moderator, poster and tweeter for the all social media platforms as well as an occasional poster and tweeter for ASC.

Having worked in analytical chemistry for over a decade Michelle finds herself in an interesting place – a scientist as well as a citizen scientist, with a passion for science communication.

Journalists running mock interviews

We are grateful for the time from the following professional journalists who will be running mock interviews (and perhaps some real ones) with workshop attendees.

Lish Feier

Lish Fejer grew up on large stations in the bush before studying Biochemistry at ANU. She has previously worked at Questacon and since then has consistently worked in the field of science communication as a presenter, speaker, writer and exhibition developer. Lish was co-host of ABC TV’s eco-home-reno show Carbon Cops. She joined the ABC Radio Canberra team in 2010 and she loved working on the wireless so much, she didn’t want to leave.

Marion Rae

Marion Rae is an Australian Associated Press journalist with a background in federal policy and legislation.

She has a professional focus on the big themes affecting energy, mining and other industries key to Australia’s future. She reports on climate change, ESG, investment markets, tech, diversity, security and more.

She has worked as a journalist for the Asia Times, Reuters, and Bloomberg and has previously worked as a parliamentary staffer. In 2022, Marion was recognised with the Clean Energy Council Media Award.

Main page | Welcome reception | Gala dinner | Post-event mixer | EMCR day | Program | Talks, panels & workshops | Speakers | Buy tickets