Saving lives by the million; improving cities with Al Gore; and a truckload of prizes, funding and other opportunities

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

There’s a host of opportunities to recognise and support your researchers this month, including:

World public health and Ecocity meetings coming up in April and July

Australians have gained 25 years, and China’s life expectancy has doubled. Public health has transformed millions of lives. But Australia is a hotspot for lifestyle-influenced diseases such as diabetes, alcohol-related liver damage, obesity, stress, and mental health challenges. We’re also facing an ageing population and a changing climate.

The World Congress on Public Health will be held in Melbourne from 3 to 7 April, bringing together academics and policy makers from universities and institutions around the world, including the World Health Organisation. Read on for details.

And from 12 to 14 July, Melbourne will host the Ecocity World Summit, focusing on sharing the best knowledge, research and practical solutions to ensure urbanisation meets the needs of current and future generations. Topics include climate change adaptation, smart cities, food and water security, energy, infrastructure and urban health. Read on for more information.

And there are opportunities to help share your science… 

Has your team got an exciting discovery, invention, or other news you’d like to celebrate?

Consider taking part in the 2017 edition of Stories of Australian Science, our online collection and annual print publication bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers in Aussie science. To be included in the 2017 print edition, you’ll need to register your interest with us by 1 March 2017.

We also have media and communication training workshops for scientists coming up on:

  • Perth: Friday 10 March, Wednesday 5 July
  • Sydney: Thursday 16 March, Thursday 25 May
  • Canberra: Wednesday 5 April
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 2 May, Thursday 22 June
  • Adelaide: Tuesday 6 June

More below.

National Science Week is on the horizon in August. This annual initiative gets 1.3 million Australians involved in science activities and events. Federal grant recipients have been announced and can provide ideas and inspiration for your own events. Plus, there are state grant rounds to come. More below.

Kind regards,

In this bulletin:

Tobacco, taxes, data and disease control: World Congress on Public Health explores saving lives by the millions

Doctors, surgeons, ambos, average Joes with first aid training, and other individuals are all saving lives, one at a time. But well-designed public health programs and policies—such as providing cities with sanitation systems or the eradication of small pox—can save and transform lives by the millions.

Public health programs over the last century have helped the average lifespan of an Australian grow from 60 years to 85 years. This is the combined result of interventions ranging from plain packs to lockout laws to childhood vaccinations, and from addressing malnutrition to tackling obesity.

We’re better at managing infectious disease outbreaks, predicting and preventing the onset of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, talking about the importance of mental health, changing attitudes to smoking, and planning cities that promote healthier lifestyles.

Will we still live as long in the face of new challenges such as climate change? What’s the quality of life we’re experiencing, particularly in our senior years? Why are other countries being left behind? What do the next 50 years in public health hold for humanity?

Find out during the World Congress on Public Health, coming to Melbourne in April. The Congress provides a unique opportunity to put public health on the agenda in Australia and hear presentations from leading international experts, such as:

  • Alessandro Demaio, World Health Organization will present on how unhealthy diets and increasing climate-related carbon emissions caused by agriculture may be causing us to eat ourselves into an early grave.
  • Prabhat Jha, Centre for Global Health Research, and Bronwyn King, Tobacco Free Portfolios will ask ‘Can tripling the tax on tobacco or encouraging big companies to divest in tobacco save lives?’
  • Peter Miller, Deakin University will explore how vested interests in alcohol, tobacco and gambling steer our governments away from evidence-based public health policy.
  • Sharon Goldfeld, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital will explore how we can change systematic inequality to level out the health and developmental differences in children, which often continue into adulthood.
  • Alex Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center will discuss whether Africa’s health problems can only be improved by African people doing work in Africa.

We’ll be tweeting news and interesting content from the Congress from @WCPH2017 using the hashtag #WCPH2017.

For more information about media at the Congress, visit the Science in Public website:

Registration fees for the full five-day program start at $770 for full time students.

For more information about the Congress itself, visit the website:

Al Gore and international sustainable cities experts coming to Australia in July

  • What are the sustainability risks and opportunities facing our cities?
  • What knowledge is available to base our decisions on?
  • How can we imagine a better urban future?
  • And what do we have to do to get there?

This July in Melbourne, the Ecocity World Summit will provide opportunities to hear from international experts and key influencers, build professional networks and learn practical solutions to urban sustainability challenges.

The future holds major new challenges for policymakers and broader society. For example, cities need fresh water, but climate change is influencing rainfall patterns. This summer’s blackouts have highlighted the vulnerability of our electricity grid. Places like Townsville will need to accommodate a doubling of their population over the next 25 years, without running out of water and power. We will need sound information to make informed choices.

Delegates will hear from leading thinkers, including:

  • Aromar Revi, Director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, who was instrumental in the United Nation’s addition of an urbanisation goal (Goal 11) to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Harriet Bulkeley, Professor of Geography at Durham University, UK, and an expert on the politics and practice of smart grids in the UK, Australia and Sweden.
  • Al Gore, sharing his insights on the role of cities in meeting the global climate challenge.

Registration fees start at $520 for students (or $360 early bird rate until 31 March 2017).

For more information, visit:

Nominate and apply for the 2018 Australian Academy of Science Awards

Help us recognise the science leaders in your organisation by nominating them for the Australian Academy of Science’s honorific awards.

The Academy’s honorific awards are open to senior scientists as well as early and mid-career researchers who are making amazing contributions to Australian science across a range of disciplines in the physical and biological sciences.

The Australian Academy of Science is also calling for applications for research, conference and travel grants. The closing date for award nominations is 20 April 2017 and the closing date to apply for travel, conference and research support is 1 June 2017.

For further information you can download the awards poster. You can also read more about our awards and the Academy’s opportunities at

For enquiries please email the Awards Team or call 02 6201 9407.

What’s in store for Science Week 2017

Pop-up science festivals, an astronomical observatory on wheels, Future Earth innovations, and virtual reality experiences of the far reaches of outer space or the inside of a plant cell are among 39 projects sharing in $500,000 in National Science Week grants from the Australian Government.

Last year’s initiative saw a staggering:

  • 1,800 registered events around the country
  • 1.3 million people getting involved
  • 50,000 people participating in Wildlife Spotter, identifying 3.2 million animals in 2.5 million photographs
  • 2,600 media stories putting science in the spotlight.

National Science Week will run from 12-20 August, and has a schools theme of ‘Future Earth’. Now is the time to start planning your event if you want a piece of the action.

Several of the state and territory Science Week committees will run grant programs in 2017, with funding for local events. Questacon’s National Science Week newsletter includes periodic updates of grant rounds and other news—subscribe via

In New South Wales:

We are providing national communication support for event organisers and, closer to the date, briefing media outlets with tasty story leads. If you have an event or topic you think might have strong media potential, let us know and we’ll consider including it in media releases and briefings. Email us at

Read the full list of 2017’s federal grant recipients at

And for general information, visit

Stories of Australian Science 2017: put your science in front of those who matter most

Stories of Australian Science is used by journalists, scientists, politicians and science policy-makers, as a useful reference for keeping up-to-date with new and exciting developments in Australian research.

It’s an online collection and annual print publication bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers.

If you’d like to have your research or the work of your scientists/institution featured, contact Lydia on or call the office on (03) 9398 1416.

While we can accept stories at any time, to be included in the 2017 print edition, you’ll need to register your interest with us by 1 March 2017.

All we need from you are a couple of dot points and some contact details. We’ll interview the key scientist/s then write and edit the stories, running them by both the commissioner and scientist so you’re happy we’ve got the facts right.

We’ll print 15,000 copies and distribute them to journalists, scientific researchers, politicians and science policymakers as a useful reference for keeping up-to-date with new and exciting developments in Australian research.

We’ll share them on social media, and put them online where users can search by field of science, state, institution or key word to see the science stories that have been included in the current year and previous years. And everything we write is available for you to use in other publications.

Prices start at $1,200 + GST for a single story, and are discounted for multiple stories.

More details at You can read the 2016 edition here.

Communication training—book now for 2017

We offer a flexible range of training programs to help your researchers understand their audiences, the essence of their story, and how to build their profile with the audiences and stakeholders that matter for their projects and for their long-term career development.
Our offerings include:

  • Meet your audience: from government, business, and/or the media
  • Make your pitch: what’s the essence of your story
  • Build your profile: websites, media, social media
  • Make your story work for mainstream media
  • Presentation training: make your story come to life
  • Photography and videography for scientists.

For more information on a bespoke course, visit or call us on 03-9398-1416.
We also hold regular media and communication training workshops around Australia, for scientists and those who communicate science.

In 2017, our media and communication training course for scientists will be in:

  • Perth: Friday 10 March, Wednesday 5 July
  • Sydney: Thursday 16 March, Thursday 25 May
  • Canberra: Wednesday 5 April
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 2 May, Thursday 22 June
  • Adelaide: Tuesday 6 June

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

In these courses, we’ll help you shape the story of your research into a form that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders. The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Prizes, funding, and other opportunities

Explore the halls of power at Science meets Parliament

Registrations have opened for Science meets Parliament, which will be held on Tuesday March 21 and Wednesday March 22 in 2017.

The program gives scientists an insight into policy and Canberra. This year, Science & Technology Australia is offering two scholarships to STEM practitioners with an Indigenous background to attend Science meets Parliament in Canberra. More here.

It’s your chance to engage with government, with small groups of scientists meeting face-to-face and with parliamentarians in Parliament House. It’s also a forum for the 200 attending scientists to meet lobbyists, parliamentary staffers, politicians and journalists—getting a feel for government policymaking and tips on how to successfully engage politicians.

Read the full program at

Information on how to register

CRC awards for Excellence in Innovation

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Association’s Awards for Excellence in Innovation recognise great examples of research results, knowledge and technologies coming out of CRCs, for the community, government agencies and companies to use.

Applications close Tuesday 21 February 2017. They are open to all CRC Association members.

See videos on last year’s winners.

More information at

New York Stem Cell Investigator Awards

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Award RFAs are now open, providing $1.5M USD (payable over five years) to outstanding young researchers from around the world.

They have two awards on offer: the Innovator Awards for Early Career Investigators in Translational Stem Cell Research ( and the Innovator Awards for Early Career Investigators in Neuroscience (

Applications close Wednesday 22 February 2017.

More information at

$500,000 for MedTech Innovators

MedTech Innovator provides start-ups with access to expertise and mentorship from stakeholders across the healthcare industry. More than $500,000 will be awarded in cash prizes, scholarships, and in-kind awards to companies working within the following themes:

  • chronic disease management
  • cognitive devices and platforms
  • consumer healthcare
  • healthcare efficiency and cost reduction
  • infectious disease management
  • next-gen surgical
  • patient safety and satisfaction
  • population health
  • precision and personalised medicine
  • technology-enabled services.

Applications close Tuesday 28 February 2017.

More information at

NHMRC Science to Art Award

NHMRC Science to Art Award recognises outstanding images from medical research that have come out of research funded by the NHMRC.

Entries close 5pm (AEDST) Friday 3 March 2017.

Information about the award is available at

Co-operative Research Centre Grants

The CRC grants support industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry, researchers and the community.

Applications close Wednesday 22 March 2017.

More information at

Eureka Prizes

Known as the ‘Oscars of Australian science,’ the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes celebrate research, science communication and journalism, leadership, and students. Finalists will be announced online on July 28, and winners at a gala dinner on August 30.

Applications close Friday 5 May 2017.

More information at

Science in Public – planning, mentoring, communicating

Contact me to find out more about our services to train, mentor, plan and deliver media and communication strategies for science. We offer:

Communication plans, mentoring and training
We can review your stakeholders, messages and tools and help you and your communication team refine your plans. We offer this service for individual announcements or for a whole program or institute.

Media releases, launches, and campaigns
We can help you develop an outreach program, from a simple media release through to a launch, a summit, a conference, or a film.

Publications and copy-writing
From a tweet to a newsletter; from a brochure to a Nature supplement, we can write compelling and accurate science-driven copy which captures the essence of your story and purpose.
Kind regards,

Niall Byrne

Creative Director
Science in Public

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC 3015
PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015

03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977