UN coming to town, L’Oréal fellows to be announced, the future of minerals and more

Media bulletins

In two weeks Australia will play host to a major UN conference focusing on global health and the Millennium Development Goals. More than 70 countries and over 300 organisations will be represented. There will be many compelling stories that matter to Australia and our region. More details and downloads below.

Also, in Canberra today the Australian Academy of Science Think Tank is tackling questions regarding Australia’s mineral deposits. Will we run out of minerals? How much more mineral wealth is still to be found? Do we have the technologies to find it and extract it safely? The media releases are online at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog

These issues are being discussed in Canberra at a forum on 19 and 20 August. The media are invited to day one and the speakers are available for interview. The findings will be published later in the year.

2009 L’Oréal For Women In Science Fellow, Sarah Pryke, has a paper in Nature this week – embargoed to Friday. In 2009 she had a paper in Science reporting that your hair colour can determine your child’s sex – if you’re a Gouldian finch. The paper is available for preview on the Science pre-publication list.

L’Oréal Australia’s For Women in Science Fellowships will be presented on Tuesday 24 August with a 6 pm embargo – the 2010 winners are from Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. We are briefing individual reporters on embargo – let me know if you would like more information of if you would like to come to the ceremony in Melbourne.

We’ve compiled our Fresh Science stories into feature packages for rural media. Squeezing water from stones, using bacteria in mining, and Aussie lizards revealing cancer secrets are just some of the stories. For full stories and photos visit www.freshscience.org.au. All the Fresh Scientists have been media trained and are available for interview.

But the big one is the United Nations NGO conference from 30 August – 1 September.

The conference, entitled Advance Global Health – Achieve the Millennium Development Goals, brings together more than 300 non-governmental organisations from over 70 countries. Some 1,500 delegates will explore the challenges of meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The conference comes at a critical time:

  • for the Millennium Development Goals which have been set back by the global financial crisis. The UN Secretary-General has called world leaders to a summit in September to accelerate progress
  • and for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which will be seeking a further $20 billion in October.

Officially the Melbourne gathering is the 63rd Annual UN Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations Conference or 63rd UN DPI NGO. It runs from Monday 30 August to Wednesday 1 September.

The conference will provide an impressive array of speakers, many issues relevant to Australia and our region, and lots of human stories that bring the Goals to life.

There is now a host of information available online including:

  • Information on the Millennium development goals
  • A summary of the workshop topics and speakers
  • A list of public events

For information on all of the above, and more, visit http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/category/global-health

Access to the conference is limited to accredited delegates and media only. Accreditation details are on the conference web. The process is coordinated by the UN Information Centre in Canberra. The deadline for accreditation has been extended to Friday 20 August.

This is a UN conference. The key media contact will be Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte, the Information officer, NGO relations at the United Nations, Department of Public Information, in New York.

I am assisting her as chief of staff at the media centre in Melbourne, as well as coordinating Australian media requests.