Speed mentoring at ASC conference

The ASC conference is less than six weeks away and additional program details and events keep coming in. We will announce our line up great social events for the Monday and Tuesday nights very soon. The speed mentoring session on day 1 of the conference is looking amazing with 15 mentors to be on hand. ASC members have often requested a mentoring program and this experimental format will be our first step toward providing that service.

Speed mentoring offers early career science communicators a chance to get tips and cautionary tales from those who have spent years honing their skills and advancing the craft. Mentors include:

  • Karl Kruszelnicki (aka Dr Karl – author, television and radio personality, Sleek Geek Week presenter, etc)
  • Adam Spencer (Dr Karl’s partner in the Sleek Geek Week science roadshow and television program, and ABC local radio breakfast announcer)
  • Wilson da Silva (editor-in-chief of Cosmos magazine)
  • Paul Willis (formerly of ABC TV’s Catalyst and now Director of RiAus)
  • Bernie Hobbs (broadcaster extraordinaire and formerly on the New Inventors program)
  • Elizabeth Finkel (award winning science journalist and book author)
  • John Curran (General Manager, CSIRO Communications)
  • Susannah Eliott (CEO, Australian Science Media Centre)
  • and seven other diversely experienced long-term achievers.

Everyone is invited although the target audience for this session are students and those relatively new to communicating science. We don’t want to get too crowded so we can to ensure everyone talks with several mentors.

I’ll be stage-managing the session (less formal than chairing or facilitating and more polite than saying shepherding). I’ve gathered the key ingredients and you folks are the reagents so let’s see what we can mix up on the day. Let me know whether you want to attend so I can plan out this experiment.

You can still register for the conference and it is great value. The program is bursting at the seams with great topics, issues, professional development, science-art, and all of Australia’s Chief Scientists. Drop me a line if you have yet to register as that helps with our planning.

Jesse Shore
Speed mentor wrangler

ASC National Conference 2012 – Dec 2011 update

The full program for the National Conference is now on the conference website, http://2012conf.asc.asn.au/. Increasingly detailed information will be added regularly to the site.

The early bird deadline has been extended to 15 January 2012. As usual ASC members get a significant discount to the non-members rate.

The conference will be at Sydney Masonic Centre from 27-29 February 2011.

The sign of a good conference program is when it is difficult to choose between the parallel sessions. I’ll be torn between competing interests for every session and once again wish I could be in two or more places at once.

Day 1

  • Opening keynote: Professor Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist will open the conference and be the first plenary speaker.
  • Before and after lunch: an overview of Inspiring Australia followed by an in-depth look at regional outcomes
  • After lunch: State Chief Scientists will feature in a plenary and then in parallel sessions.

Day 2

  • Plenary: Careers in science communicating– hear about career possibilities and resources.
  • Plenary: Sophisticated Social Media Use & Science – continuing insights into how to use a range of rapidly evolving communication channels to communicate science (and maybe make a buck?).
  • Plenary: The NBN and how to use it – a science communication perspective of nation changing technology.

Day 3

  • Plenary: Three astronomers walked into a bar…Features a Video of interview with Brian Schmidt and David Malin, astronomical photographer – an illustrated talk– in an exclusive for the conference, Brian Schmidt, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner for Physics, is interviewed on video by Rod Lamberts. The discussion will interweave winning a major science prize with effective science communication of astronomy.
    • Plenary: “Discoveries Need Dollars: Protect research”: A case study of a successful science advocacy campaign– explore how heads of science advocacy groups represent their members’ interests to politicians and government departments.
    • Plenary: Science to Policy: War Stories from the Heart of the Action – the big wigs will be prodded to tell all as they are quizzed about the role and funding for science communication in their patches.
    • Plenary: What’s the Buzz? What’s new in Science Television – get the goods on science for the small screen.

Other parallel session topics include (partial listing; PD means session has a professional development focus):
*       Speed mentoring (PD)
*       The consultancy game – a follow-on from the careers plenary
*       Making a communication plan – a seven step process (PD)
*        engaging with the media (PD)
*       Philanthropy, fundraising and science communication
*       Beyond evaluation (PD)
*       Science as theatre
*       Putting the ‘confer’ back into conferences (PD)
*       The latest in research in science communication
*       Science and art sessions and exhibitions
*       War on science

Website: The conference website is http://2012conf.asc.asn.au/.
Online registration is active. See http://2012conf.asc.asn.au/register/.

Jesse Shore
National President

ASC corporate members – meeting with Scitech

Interest is growing for organisations to become corporate members of the ASC. While I was in Perth for the 2011 ASC AGM I took the opportunity to meet with the management of one of our most recent new corporate members, Scitech.

Scitech is Perth’s and WA’s state-wide active and progressive science centre. Alan Brien, the director of Scitech, led the discussion which ranged over the recent history of Scitech and its key activities in science communication.

Some of the main points included that Scitech is the lead state institution for overseeing Inspiring Australia activities in WA. Alan’s team gave an update on developments of ScienceNetworkWA, http://sciencewa.net.au/, its online connection to science activity in the state.

We explored a few ways that Scitech and the ASC could work more closely together, starting off with the National Conference. I look forward to seeing some of the ideas being realised soon.

Jesse Shore
National President

AGM in Perth, 30 November 2011: reminder about proxies and membership

I hope to see WA members and some from the more easterly states at the AGM. If you are unable to attend please send your proxy to Sarah Lau, slau@chemcentre.wa.gov.au, or someone else you know is attending the meeting.

The WA branch of the ASC has agreed to host this year’s national AGM in Perth. We will keep the AGM short and to the point, have some lively discussion, and follow it with an evening of entertainment.

David Ellyard is presenting his science quiz. Around 100 people enjoyed this competitive challenge at last year’s end-of-year meeting in Adelaide.

Only financial members can attend the AGM so renew now if you haven’t done so already. The quiz will be open to all so bring someone along and remember to register for the event.

See you in Perth soon!

Jesse Shore
National President

ASC National Conference 2012 – Update & session overview

The ASC National Conference will be at Sydney Masonic Centre from 27-29 February 2012. The program is coming into shape and looks enticing. Here’s a quick overview (some sessions may change, not all are listed, and titles and details of sessions will be refined):

Day 1

  • Opening keynote: Professor Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist will open the conference and be the first plenary speaker.
  • After lunch: State Chief Scientists will feature in a plenary and then in parallel sessions.

Day 2

  • Plenary: Careers in science communicating – hear about career possibilities and resources.
  • Plenary: New media – continuing insights into how to use a range of rapidly evolving communication channels to communicate science (and maybe make a buck?).
  • Plenary: The NBN and how to use it –  a science communication perspective of  nation changing technology.

Day 3

  • Plenary: The Nobel experience – in an exclusive for the conference, Brian Schmidt, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner for Physics, is interviewed on video by Rod Lamberts. The discussion will interweave winning a major science prize with effective science communication of astronomy.
  • Plenary: Science and Art – a star-studded illustrated talk by David Malin and a conversation about beauty and science communication.
  • Plenary: Heads of Science Agencies – the big wigs will be prodded to tell all as they are quizzed about the role and funding for science communication in their patches.
  • Plenary: Advocacy – explore how heads of science advocacy groups represent their members’ interests to politicians and government departments.

Other parallel session topics include (partial listing; PD means session has a professional development focus):
*       Speed mentoring (PD)
*       The consultancy game – a follow-on from the careers plenary
*       Communication strategies
*       Philanthropy, fundraising and science communication
*       Beyond evaluation (PD)
*       Science as theatre
*       Putting the ‘confer’ back into conferences (PD)
*       The latest in research in science communication
*       Science and art sessions and exhibitions
*       War on science

Website: The conference website is http://2012conf.asc.asn.au/.
Online registration is active. See http://2012conf.asc.asn.au/register/.

Jesse Shore
National President

ASC National Conference 2012

The Sydney Masonic Centre has been selected as the venue for the ASC conference. It has impressive facilities and is well located. The dates for the conference are 27-29 February 2012. Very shortly Rod Lamberts will issue the call for papers for the research stream of the conference.

Rod has lined up a significant keynote speaker and I expect that we can build some important sessions around this dignitary. I’ll leave it to Rod to make the the relevant announcements soon.

I’m looking forward to a thought provoking three days. Be sure to mark it in your diaries and attend what I anticipate will be a terrific group of sessions.

Jesse Shore

National President

What’s happening with Inspiring Australia?

I recently had a useful discussion with key people of the Inspiring Australia (IA) team in Canberra. IA is moving in several directions in line with the IA Report and it seems clear that the ASC has many shared interests in this initiative.

One of the main points of discussion was about the upcoming ASC National Conference in February 2012 and potential ways for IA to be involved. We enthusiastically explored several topics covering common ground. I hope we can make some of the suggestions happen as this collaboration would have substantial mutual benefit.

As foreshadowed in the IA Report, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) plans to organise discussions and a review of the science prizes it supports. I will collate and forward to the IA team the comments many of you contributed to our ASC-list discussion about science prizes.

To find out which expert working groups IA has underway, check out the Inspiring Australia newsletter. The July issue came out last week. If you want to subscribe send an email to inspiring.australia@innovation.gov.au.

For further information about the newsletter and IA call (02) 6270 2868 or view www.innovation.gov.au/InspiringAustralia.

Jesse Shore

National President

The 2nd Annual National Science Communication Officers’ Forum 2011

23 August 2011 11:00 amto24 August 2011 11:00 am

22-24 November 2011 (tentative)
Citigate Central, Sydney

Essential Tools and Approaches for Developing Communication Strategies within Scientific and Technical Research Environments

EXPLORE;
• Applying Innovative Strategies for Dealing with the Media
• Negotiating the Science Communication Spectrum for Better Results
• Maintaining Scientific Integrity
• Communicating Complex Information with Creativity

Science communication has changed in recent times with the ever-growing use of online media, adding an exciting yet challenging dimension to the communication process. Communicating strategies may have to be changed or adjusted because of new media, which can be particularly daunting when applied to complex science or technical content.

In this forum, science communication professionals will showcase, debate and discuss their experiences in communicating science to diverse audiences. Issues that are key to tackling science communication effectively will be explored and examples of professional best practice will be given.

This event will maintain its tradition of being an exciting and highly interactive platform for networking and gaining new insights into a high-level of professional practice. It provides practicality though a variety of real-life examples of how to enhance work performance.

Featured speakers come from a range of organizations and backgrounds including public and private sector, higher education, media and represent the varied market and roles of Science Communication.

WHO WILL ATTEND
Directors, Managers and Officers in the Private, Public, and Education Sectors responsible for:
• Science Communication
• Corporate Communication
• Communication and Marketing
• Communication and Public Affairs
• Technical Communication
• Research and Development

Click here to view the brochure; http://bit.ly/iqt4B1

ASC Members receive a 10% discount off the standard registration fee.
For more information;
Visit Liquid Learning’s website at: www.liquidlearning.com.au
Email: marketing@liquidlearning.com.au
Phone: (02) 9437 1311

National Science Communication Officers’ Forum – Liquid Learning’s second annual event

ASC is supporting Liquid Learning’s second annual National Science Communication Officers’ Forum postponed from 23-24 August 2011 in Sydney, Citigate Central to 22-24 November 2011 (note that these are tentative dates).

This is a well structured professional development event with networking opportunities and has an impressive range of speakers including several ASC members.

A selection of the key topics covered: Social media, Inspiring Australia, Partnerships, Bridging the gap between high-level science and communicating to a broader public, Evaluating.

Liquid Learning offers a 10% discount off standard registration fee to all current ASC members.

Jesse Shore
National President

Australian Science Festival closes

You will have read the sad news that the  Canberra based Australian Science Festival will not happen this year and it’s future seems bleak.I am loath to speak in the past tense about the ASF and I hope that its book has not closed for good. ASF has been very influential on the science communication event scene in Australia. The ASF team has been a creative spark and I wish Mary-Anne and her team all the best for the immediate future. I’m hoping we still get to read a new chapter from them before long.

Jesse Shore
National President