Plenary 9 “Discoveries Need Dollars: Protect research”: A case study of a successful science advocacy campaign

Initiated by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in March 2011, the “Discoveries Need Dollars” campaign was a response to the threat of budget cuts by the Federal Government. The campaign’s aim was to protect health and medical research funding in Australia.

The grassroots campaign made extensive use of social media, and developed a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach, inform and motivate supporters.

The panel will discuss the design and implementation of the campaign, the communications strategies used and ways to continue the dialogue between science, society and policy decision makers.

Krystal Evans (session producer & panellist), Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 

Will Grant (facilitator), Lecturer and Researcher, Australian National University 

Ms Penny Fannin (panellist), Strategic Communications and Marketing Manager, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research    

Dr Rachael Dunlop (panellist), Research and Communications Officer, The Heart Research Institute

Plenary 5 Deviant Standards

A performance provides the same sensory stimuli for the whole audience, but each individual’s perception is unique and become the seed for conversation. Deviant Standards see no reason why entertainment should preclude thought. They do not necessarily seek to impart specific facts or knowledge to the audience, but to rather to create an entertainment setting that fosters and rewards thought.

With a touch of illusion, a dash of circus and a nod to academia, Deviant Standards harks back to an era of curiosity and curiosities, to a time when experimentation, discovery and entertainment shared the same wonderful, vibrant space.

Chris Krishna-Pillay (session producer and speaker), Victorian Manager, CSIRO Education     

Marty Lubran (speaker), ARIA-award winning guitarist as well as a composer, producer and DJ

Plenary 2 Inspiring Australia: catalyst, irritant, opportunity or irrelevant

Graham Durant, as a Divisional Head in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, has been a key voice in developing Inspiring Australia, the national science communication strategy for Australia. He will provide an overview of where this ambitious program is placed after a year of activity. All states and territories have lead agencies and most have officers to implement the various goals of Inspiring Australia. So it is timely for science communicators to hear what has been achieved and where is the program going.

Jesse Shore (session producer), Science Communicator, Prismatic Sciences & ASC President

Wilson da Silva (chair), Editor-in-Chief, Cosmos Magazine, Luna Media Pty Ltd

Graham Durant (speaker), Director, Questacon, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Pre-conference materials

Download the full Inspiring Australia report or related documents here: