Victorian 2014 special general meeting

15 April 2014
6:00 pmto8:00 pm
6:00 pmto8:00 pm
6:00 pmto8:00 pm
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Missed the ASC conference? Haven’t yet caught up on all your podcasting? Join your ASC Vic colleagues and share the best bits of the conference together.This is your chance to continue discussions started at the conference, chat to your fellow ASC Vic members and have a say in the ASC Vic branch committee.

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South East Queensland AGM 2014

27 February 2014
6:00 pmto7:00 pm
6:00 pmto7:00 pm

Save the date!

The south east Queensland AGM will be happening 27 Feb 2014.

Time: 6-7pm

Venue: TBC in South Brisbane or West End

RSVP and suggestions:

Please watch this space for further details.

Updates from the ASC AGM 2013 – minutes and amendments to the Constitution

The draft minutes from the 2013 AGM can now be viewed via this link:

131129 ASC AGM 2013 Draft Minutes

The 2013 AGM voted in favour of the proposed amendment to the Constitution regarding two additions to address the Not-For-Profit status of the organisation. The updated Constitution showing all the changes since it was adopted in 2003 can be viewed via this link:

Constitution amended 2006, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13 with wording as of 29 Nov 2013

Sarah Lau
National Secretary

President’s update: reflecting on a successful AGM

Thank you to Claire Harris for this president’s update.

This is my last update from the 2013 President chair.

For this last edition of Scope I wanted to briefly summarise the AGM but also have a bit of a muse.

The AGM, held in Canberra on the 29th November, covered a range of important items including reviewing the year that was and discussing the future that could be. I posted a summary to the ASC mailing list.

The AGM elected Joan Leach as new President for 2014 and I congratulate her on taking on the role. Our finances are stable, we have made significant upgrades to our online infrastructure and our administration, and our branches have run a range of events and activities this year and I congratulate them for all they have achieved. We honoured David Ellyard as ASC life member. David was National Treasurer and President for over ten years.

Joan Leach is probably well known to many of you. Particularly if you are from Brisbane or studied at The University of Queensland. I first met Joan when I studied my Grad Dip in Communication at UQ. Joan was inspirational and energetic and really opened my eyes to science communication as a discipline and some of the great scientific debates and controversies of our time (such as health effects from silicon breast implants and mad cow disease).

I have recently been wondering if times have gotten tougher in sci comm. We are all advocates of communication/education/engagement/journalism etc. as a vital part of society’s relationship with science, technology, engineering, maths, innovation etc.. But some people I talk to are concerned about how challenging it is to keep up to date and not feel fragmented and how to keep going against the strong tides of apathy, hostility, politicisation, exhaustion and decreasing science (and sci comm??) funding… (If anyone has some stats – please let me know or comment below.)

I reflected on the ‘Science engagement in Australia is a 20th century toy’ article in The Conversation, published earlier in the year. Many I talk with agree with the need to ‘do better’ but that often the challenges around securing resourcing and support for more ‘well-rounded’ science engagement are too great. How can we shift the valuing of science engagement effectively without burning people out in the process? I’m very buoyed by what will be covered at the conference and am hoping the ‘impact’ part of our theme: Insight, Impact, Innovation comes out strongly.

Thinking about the ASC backyard, something that I have come across in most ASC members is a real integrity and spark of energy. Quite often there is a heady mix of creativity, nous and drive. There is undoubtedly passion.

Also undoubted, in my mind, is that we (the wider collective) are progressing in the right direction, with a national Inspiring Australia strategy for science engagement (which ASC continues to contribute to), science communication research and networks of people sharing their ideas and experiences to continue to push boundaries. Members of this community are contributing to expert working groups and are helping to pull together ground-breaking assessments. Just have a browse through the Inspiring Australia site full of stories and events or explore this website a bit more.

I think this particular member-based organisation is gaining strength at its 20 year anniversary – but this is not without challenges. Can the ASC explore different benefits or directions? Definitely. So a request to you, if I may, is (and this isn’t new) connect with others about what you think and what you will do to make a difference and change things. Will you canvass members near you to put forward an idea for funding or support? Will you start that special interest group (SIG) you’ve been talking about for ages? Will you help as an expert in your field to help others around you rather than expect that they will be able to get up to speed themselves? We know that many of the branches are canvassing members to find out how to offer what is needed, so will you work with your state branch reps to figure this out?

The ASC, only has one paid, part-time employee. But this doesn’t cancel out that there are brilliant opportunities for ground-up collective action. ASC provides a thread that connects you to 20 years of people (and their contacts) who are passionate and creative and value discussion of science and how it can be more effectively communicated in these times… Just like you.

SEQ AGM + Meet the Experts

30 January 2013
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

The South East Queensland AGM will be held on Wednesday 30th January at QPAC cafe, South Brisbane.

Members can nominate on the night or via proxy for the following positions:

  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Social media manager
  • Student liaison
  • Committee member

To coincide, we will be hosting a panel discussion with three prominent science communicators

  • Jenni Metcalfe, Director of Econnect Communication
  • Claire Cameron, Acting Science Communications Manager at Queensland Institute of Medical Research
  • Ben Creagh, Communication Manager with CSIROs Environment Group
  • Liz Minchin, Queensland editor, The Conversation

They will share their experiences, both good and bad, in communicating science to various audiences and reveal the challenges of understanding the needs, expectations and concerns of specific audiences.

This event is aimed at science communicators, researchers, scientists – at all levels – who are interested in learning about what practicing science communicators do in their day-to-day working lives and why it matters. It will also provide attendees with a forum to explore networking opportunities.

When: Wednseday 30th January, 2013 from 6pm
Where: QPAC cafe, South Brisbane

ASC branch events 2012

The ASC branches were again very active in 2012, holding 42 events across Australia. Members were able to attend all events for free or at substantial discounts.

The pdf (link below) has information about each of these events and provides a bank of ideas for those of you wanting to organise an event.

Jesse Shore

ASC branch events 2012, for posting

2012 AGM – summary of outcomes

Dear ASC members,

The 2012 AGM, held on 27 November, elected Dr Rod Lamberts, of CPAS at ANU, as the next President of the ASC. I congratulate Rod on taking over the reins of our Association and I thank Associate Professor Nancy Longnecker, of UWA, for also nominating for the position. The membership had two excellent experienced people to choose between and it was a tight election result.

The AGM passed the proposed amendment to the Constitution. From today, Corporate Members can nominate more than ten staff to their membership at a pro-rata rate. They still retain the option to take out multiple Corporate Memberships.

There was useful points raised about the Association’s finances, the running of the next conference, and the details of the General Manager’s position. Informed by these discussions, the meeting authorised the National Council to consider raising the annual membership fee (within a reasonable amount) to cover anticipated increases in running costs.

The meeting also directed the National Council to further develop the draft professional code of ethics, to have it mention global responsibilities, and for the final version to be voted on at a General Meeting during the year.

It was good to see a large numbers of members taking part in the AGM. We had more than 20 members attend the meeting and around 40 proxies.

A lot of discussion was packed into the 80 minutes of the meeting (including the video cross to Guy Nolch to get a word from our Unsung Hero winner). The official matters was followed by a science trivia contest, run by David Ellyard and ably assisted by Robbie Mitchell, the head of the SE-Qld branch. The only thing I’ll add about this fast paced, hotly competed event is that the team which included Rod, Sarah Lau (our National Secretary) and me did not win. So much for Executive clout.

The meeting marked several changes in the National Council and National Executive teams:
New President – Rod Lamberts
New immediate past-president – Jesse Shore
New Treasurer – Peter Wheeler

We thank Tim Thwaites, who now steps down as the past-president, David Ellyard, who retires after 11 years as Treasurer, and Rob Morrison, who has been a great contributor for years as Vice-President.

I thank Sarah Lau for her work as National Secretary and Claire Harris for her contribution to both national committees. Both Sarah and Claire may continue in their roles pending decisions by the new President and incoming National Council on various positions.

I also thank James Hutson, our webmaster for more than four years, who stepped down from his busy post in November. We are in the process of seeking a new webmaster.

Kali Madden and Sally Miles continue as Executive Officer and Editor of Scope respectively. We are fortunate to have such energetic, committed and effective people in these roles.

I’ll still be involved on the National Committees, have some projects to wrap up, and will make the odd squeak via cyberspace, but otherwise Rod now shoulders the brunt of communicating with the ‘tribe’.

It’s been an interesting three years.

All the best,
Jesse Shore


Appointing a proxy for ASC AGM 2012

Proxy Instructions

Members unable to attend the AGM in person are able to give proxies to other members attending the meeting. As there are two matters of business that require specific instructions, it is important that members wishing to designate a proxy observe the following points:

  • Download and complete the proxy form, and ensure a copy of this form is with their proxy to take to the AGM
    • Check one box only in the Presidential vote
    • Check one box only for the proposed Constitutional amendment
    • If you do not provide voting instructions in these sections, you authorise the proxy holder to decide how the proxy will vote
    • Notify the National Secretary, Sarah Lau ( or National President, Jesse Shore ( of their proxy
    • Ensure that the proxy form is completed prior to 5.00pm AEDST on Tuesday 27 November 2012

Please note that the Presidential election is a secret ballot and instructions and votes will remain confidential at all times. All voting instructions and proxy forms will be collected and destroyed at the conclusion of the AGM.

Download the proxy form here: Appointment of Proxy.

Presidential Nominations – ASC AGM 2012

Presidential Nominations – ASC AGM 2012

The National Executive is pleased to announce there are two nominations for the position of National President of Australian Science Communicators for the upcoming AGM: Dr Rod Lamberts and Assoc Prof Nancy Longnecker.

Please find below nomination statements from the two candidates. Note that members who have designated proxies can now indicate how they will vote in the Presidential election. The protocol and form for nominating proxies and voting instructions can be found here:


Dr Rod Lamberts

 Hi Folks,

I present here two broad, big-picture visions I have for the ASC should I be elected to role of president for 2013, and also a very brief bio focusing on elements of my experience to help you judge my capacity to deliver.

If you want to quiz me on details or would like additional information, I’d be more than happy to oblige!

Cheers for now,


What I have in mind

Professionalizing the ASC

The public profile of science communication is the highest it’s ever been, and this trend shows no sign of reversing. With the L’Aquila earthquake case in Italy and the re-emergence of ASC-list discussions about instigating a code of conduct/ practice/ ethics, it is clearly time to reflect on what the ASC is now, and how it should evolve.

To that end, a major goal I would have as president would be to initiate the discussions and negotiations that would lead to the ASC becoming a professionalized body. This would include instituting a code of practice/conduct/ethics (and all that entails) and re-visiting the idea of the ASC becoming an accrediting body for both practitioners and training (a discussion I believe Jenni Metcalfe kicked-off during her presidential years).

This process would also involve exploring the nature and perceived benefits of ASC membership among existing ASCers, and identifying how we might extend the appeal of ASC membership to broader audiences.

Profile, position, partnerships (and prestige!)

Intimately entwined with professionalizing the ASC is raising the profile and prestige of the organization, and through that, the profile and prestige of its members. I believe that the ASC would benefit from increasing its public visibility as an organization, and also its strategic partnerships with relevant associations and institutions. Jesse Shore’s successes in getting formal ASC involvement in Inspiring Australia projects has been a pivotal early step in doing this, and something I believe should be nurtured and expended.

I would also like to see the ASC making regular, public comment on matters that are pertinent to its goals and its members, and this in ways that raise the public profile of science communication still further. We need to start speaking-up as an association and not just rely on the efforts of individual members.

 Could I do the job?

  • As the Chair/Convener of the 2012 ASC Conference, I have already demonstrated I can work successfully and effectively with the ASC council and executive.
  • I have a 15 year history working specifically in science communication in Australia and the region. Two highlights of this are my current roles as:
    • Deputy director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the ANU
    • Consultant to UNESCO on science communication and science and public policy
  • I’ve been delivering training in general communication or science communication for nearly 20 years and have been designing and convening university programs in science communication since 2000.  I have also been conducting and supervising science communication research projects since 1998, a journey that began with my PhD research in science communication at the ANU.
  • I have a solid and continuously growing public presence commenting and advising on science, science communication and science policy matters. Examples of these can be found on The Conversation, a number of ABC sites (e.g., The Drum, ABC science), and in numerous radio and newspaper interviews over the last few years.
  • Finally, I have a large national and international network of well-established scientists, science communicators, government and policy professionals, and academics. 


Assoc Prof Nancy Longnecker

I ask for your support in the opportunity and challenge of working as ASC President in 2013. This post describes my vision and what I would bring to the role.

It is an exciting time to be a science communicator. Science communication is receiving wider recognition as a profession and as an academic discipline both nationally and internationally. A window of opportunity exists to increase the professionalisation of our field. This will lead to greater respect for the skills and expertise that are necessary to communicate science well. Appropriate valuing of science communication as a suite of skilled activities will see science communicators participating more often in strategic development in all stages and at all levels of science and technology projects. Development of a code of ethics for ASC is timely as it will assist the definition and valuing of what we do.

I was a science communicator before I had heard the term, becoming an official science communication enthusiast after attending the inspiring international PCST conference in Melbourne in 1996. I have been an active member of ASC ever since, serving as President of the WA branch and branch representative with the national ASC Council from 2004 to 2007 and ASC-VP in 2005.

ASC represents professionals in many areas – in corporate communications, informal education, science media and more. This is a challenge for ASC as our members have diverse needs. But diverse membership is also one of the strengths of ASC and provides the chance for members to network and benefit from a range of expertise and multiple perspectives. My work experiences include volunteer, professional and academic science communication. I was a science communicator with one of the earliest CRCs (CLIMA, from 1994- 2002, known for its creative approaches to science communication) and Associate Professor of science communication (UWA, 2002 – present).

I currently coordinate UWA’s academic science communication program and have been a driving force in it. Within a decade, the UWA program has grown to become one of the major academic programs in Australasia, providing postgraduate coursework and research and an undergraduate major in science communication.

Previous presidents and national councils have worked hard over many years to position ASC well. Science communication is being increasingly recognised as valuable activities that benefit science and society. We are in a good place to influence the field positively for ourselves and for future professionals.

ASC Canberra AGM and 2012 PM Science Prize Winner

28 November 2012
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

ASC Canberra AGM and Special Guest speaker Professor Ken Freeman – 2012 Prime Minister’s Science Prize recipient



(Professor Ken Freeman – picture courtesy of DIIRST)

It’s that time of year again where the committee for next year is elected; all members are encouraged to attend the AGM. Following the AGM we will hold a public event (sponsored by Inspiring Australia and CSIRO Discovery) where attendees will hear from Canberra local, Professor Ken Freeman, recipient of this year’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

When: Wednesday the 28th of November

Where: CSIRO Discovery Centre, CSIRO Discovery, Lecture Theatre, Clunies Ross St, Black Mountain, ACT (map and parking info)

Time: 5:30-8:00pm

5:30-6:15pm: ASC Canberra AGM – ASC Members only, drinks and nibbles provided.

  • Nominations for positions on the ASC ACT Committee are open (more details below).
  • The Committee encourages new applications from ASC members who would like to get involved in shaping and leading activities and events.

6:30-7:15pm: Professor Ken Freeman – Open to public.

  • Hear from Professor Ken Freeman about his career, what work led to receiving the prestigious PM’s Science Prize, how important communication has been throughout his career and more recently with the media interest around him winning the award.

7:15pm-8pm: Food and Drinks

RSVP:  Please RSVP for catering purposes.

Cost: Event free for ASC members and members also get tickets for lucky-door prizes. Non-members: Gold coin donation on entry

For further enquiries on event or if you would like to nominate for a 2013 committee position please contact


The ASC Canberra AGM Agenda

Are you a proactive member wanting to be part of shaping ASC? All positions on the committee are genuinely open. The committee’s main responsibilities are organising networking and professional development events for ASC members in Canberra and supporting and shaping the national activities.

1. Confirmation of members attending, apologies, proxies.
2. Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting
3. Tabling of treasurer and president reports
4. Nominations sought for office bearers (those in bold mandatory). Where more than one nomination, vote by members in secret ballot (nominees leave the room).

  • President
  • National liaison position (this position can be held as a dual-role by President, Treasurer or a Committee member)
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Social Media and Web Officer
  • Promotions Officer
  • Digital Media Officer
  • Networking and Memberships Officer

5. Any other business
6. Close meeting

To receive more information on the duties of the positions or to register your interest in being a committee member email ‘asccanberra AT’.

If you cannot attend the meeting, please send a proxy vote via email as we need a quorum (20% of current member numbers or 20 members, whichever is less).

Being on the committee is a great way to build your professional network, get event management experience and learn new skills. And the committee has been known, of course, to enjoy catching up often for breakfast or over a beer.

More information about the ASC Canberra Committee can be found at: