Concurrent Session 7D Imagining the future: Science informing future vision

From Star Trek to NASA many of today’s innovations grew from unintended applications, science fiction and future predictions. With so much change projected over the next 50 years through population and resource pressures, climate impacts and technologic innovation, how does science communicate a novel and uncertain future? Questions held to the end for discussion.

Liese Coulter (session producer & chair), Knowledge Communication Manger, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).

Phoebe Bond (presenter), Emerging writer and Communications and Marketing Officer, Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR)

Bobby Cerini (presenter), Science Communication Consultant and Public Engagement Specialist, CPAS

Cris Kennedy (presenter), Manager of Public Programs, CSIRO Discovery Centre and Director of the SCINEMA

John Clarke (presenter), Scientist, CSIRO

Concurrent Session 7C Professional Development; Participatory evaluation of the ASC conference

This session will give science communicators practical experience with a method for evaluating science communication activities, while contributing to evaluation of the ASC conference itself.

Participatory evaluation is a concept relevant to science communication on multiple levels. Science communication theory has moved from a top-down model to two-way engagement – evaluation of science communication activities should share this model of best practice. This session forms part of Cobi Smith’s PhD research at ANU. An information sheet about this research is available below; this information and consent forms will be handed out at the start of the session.

Pre-conference materials

Research Participant Information Sheet (PDF),,contentMDK:20190347~menuPK:412148~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:384329,00.html

Cobi Smith (session producer and facilitator), PhD researcher at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and Science in Society and Facilitator at the Royal Institution of Australia.

Melanie McKenzie (facilitator), PhD researcher at The University of Queensland and workshop facilitator at Econnect Communication

Rod Lamberts (facilitator), Deputy Director, Australian National Centre for Public  Awareness of Science ANU


Concurrent Session 7B Science Art: A dialogue about the value of art in Communicating science

“Can you really get the story from a picture in a magazine.” or hanging on a wall, or projected across the side of a Westfield, or sung by two musicians suspended from the flag pole at open day?  Where does science art simply become art and how can we best use the nature, aesthetic and audience of art to get a more serious science centric message across?

Pre-conference materials:

Body Fluid II



Faraday’s Candle

Derek Williamson (session producer & speaker), Museum Manager, University of New South Wales

Chris Krishna-Pillay (session producer and speaker), Producer/Director,

Vicki Gardiner (speaker), Operations Manager, Marinova Pty Ltd

John A Douglas (speaker), Intermedia Artist

Concurrent Session 7A The War on Science


Is there really a war against science – and if so, who is waging it, and what can be done about it?

This participatory session will begin with the outcomes of a recent workshop on the War on Science, held inCanberrain December 2011, addressing issues related to climate change and other contentious sciences; influencers of public debates; and how the public react to science stories that challenge their established values. It will then seek participant input to discuss the issues raised, see how relevant they are or not to wider science communicators, and then seek to further develop practical outcomes that can be used in science communications

Pre-conference materials

War on Science PDF (Background Material)

War on Science PDF2 (Background Material)

Craig Cormick (session producer, facilitator and presenter), Manager of Public Awareness and Community Engagement, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Concurrent Session 5D Faraday’s Candle

re-science creates inspiring science experiences for all Victorians. It is supported by the federal government, the Victorian state government Department of Business and Innovation and CSIRO. Re-science focuses on attracting all adult audiences to engage with science with a further aim of opening a dialogue in the community to foster on-going discussions and debate. Science is promoted to disengaged and disinterested audiences through novel and accessible activities. ‘Faraday’s Candle’ has been designed to attract and engage these science disinterested audiences through theatre.

Pre-conference materials

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

Bernard Caleo (performer), Writer and performer


Concurrent Session 5C The Sausage Factory

You’re in this lift with Bill Gates and he’s got $1 billion to give away, and you have a great idea just bursting to get out.  The question is – can you get it out in three minutes?  It will test the ability of speakers to pick the most interesting and important aspects of their research, and to leave all the detail back in the lab.  Hint: start with the problem you’re trying to solve.  Late entries may be accepted.  Audience members need to be prepared to ask questions.

Toss Gascoigne (session producer, chair, judge and jury), Director, Toss Gascoigne and Associates

Concurrent Session 5B Research and Papers (PhDs plus)

Australia is rapidly becoming a notable player in the world of science communication research and scholarship. The ASC 2012 national conference features 5, hour-long sessions in which some of our best and brightest share their research stories. Presentations are brief as the opportunity to interact with presenters and other delegates is something we feel is of great value in the conference space.

Dance of the sockpuppets: blog comments can interfere with communication of scientific information

Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Western Australia

How is the word “science” used on twitter?

Brenda Moon,  Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Science book clubs: a way to communicate science?

George Aranda, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Australia state of the environment 2011: Reporting science in a public policy context to communicate nationally significant environmental issues

Janet Salisbury (presenting author), Biotext, Canberra, Australia

Richard Stanford (presenting author), Biotext, Canberra, Australia

Kylie Evans (co-author), Biotext, Canberra, Australia

Mobile phones don’t eat babies (but you won’t hear that on television)

Maia Sauren, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

What we’ve learnt from two years of evaluation at a new centre for science communication

Cobi  Smith (presenting author), Royal Institution of Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Lisa Bailey (co-author), Royal Institution of Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Amanda Tyndall (co-author),  Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Concurrent Session 5A Professional Development; “And yet it moves”: on the usefulness and practicality of video engagement

We traffic in press releases and photographs while at the same time idealising the multi-million dollar Attenborough documentaries as the pinnacle of science communication.

But there’s a lot of territory between the two. Surely we can fill the gap with something effective and exciting. We may not have the budgets but we have the technology. After all many of us carry HD camera with internet connection with us 24/7 and have the software to edit the resulting footage installed on our laptops.

James Hutson (session producer & facilitator), Digital Production and Design Manager, Bridge8

Derek Muller (panellist), Creator of the science video blog Veritasium

Bobby Cerini (panellist), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Concurrent Session 3D Philanthropic support for science: shaking the hand that feeds you

‘Shaking the hand that feeds you’ will be a stimulating session exploring communications that return real benefit to the mix of funders, donors, supporters and  wider stakeholder groups that make science happen on a philanthropic and cause related partnerships basis in Australia.

Jessica Tyler (session producer, facilitator), CEO, SciBiz Media & Communications

Daniella Goldberg (session producer), CEO,Gene Genie Media

Terri Sheahan (speaker), Senior Consultant, Xponential


Concurrent Session 3C Professional Development; How to spot and fix common problems with science writing

Unfortunately, much scientific material is written in a way that is not very interesting to read and is difficult to understand without rereading each sentence two or three times. With good editing, it doesn’t have to be like this! This interactive workshop will give you the tools to analyse your writing and improve it, using simple techniques that professional science editors use. By working on a real sample of your own writing at the workshop (or one supplied by the session presenter), you will practise these techniques and learn how to bring your writing to life.

Important Note; To help Malini plan, could you please email her on if you will be attending this session.
Also, please let her know if you’ll be bringing a sample of your own work, or if you need her to provide one for you.

Malini Devadas (session producer and presenter), Senior science writer and editor, Biotext