Science Communicators

Our emails to Victorians with an interest in science communication.

Fighting for science with light; and the Eureka winners are…

Today: discover the Eureka Prize finalists

Tonight: Eureka winners announced – if you’re not at the dinner follow us for the announcements (@eurekaprizes and @scienceinpublic)

Saturday: listen to Suzanne Cory’s ABC Boyer Lecture on science and a health society

Monday through Wednesday: using the Year of Light to promote science – briefings in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane

Monday night: Join Q&A with Tony Jones and a science panel

Also in this bulletin:

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Prizes, philanthropy, Mythbusters, PhD top-ups, The Economist and more

A mixed bag of things this week.

Clunies Ross nominations are open to 29 August for superstars of applied science and technology.

Research Australia’s annual philanthropy conference kicks off in Melbourne on 19 August. Hot topics will include: the fundraising impact of debate on the medical research trust fund; how Cancer UK raised $830 million in a year.

Tomorrow in Melbourne you can meet the Science Editor of The Economist at an informal lunch I’m hosting at the University of Melbourne. Geoff Carr is here for AIDS2014 and has time on his last day in town to chat about science and The Economist.

You can also meet leaders of AIDS2014 at a public forum at the Melbourne Town Hall tomorrow. The panel is Nobel Laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Salim Karim, Sharon Lewin, Matt Sharp and Leslie Cannold. More at the venue’s website.

A woman in the USA recently had a growth of mucus-producing nasal cells removed from her spine – the result of failed stem cell therapy. It’s a reality-check on where we’re at with stem cell science, but also feeds our imagination about its possibilities. Two stem cell pioneers will be speaking in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne about the potential, the reality, and the dangers of stem cell therapy. They are Irv Weissman, who discovered human blood-forming stem cells, and Ann Tsukamoto, a leader in the commercial development of stem cell medicine.

Also PhD top-up grants in physics, chemistry and biology at the new ARC Imaging Centre of Excellence.

And national tours for the Mythbusters, and astronaut Chris Hadfield. [continue reading…]

Put your scientists in the spotlight

Are you or your researchers keen to speak up for science? Now more than ever we need to hear stories of science, how science has made an impact and changed our lives. We need to see and hear from passionate researchers who are making a difference.

In this bulletin I’m focussing on training, prizes and showcasing science.

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No jargon, no lab coats at FameLab Australia. Plus prizes for scientists.

Young scientists are performing around the country. No jargon, no lab coats… and they’ve only got 3 minutes. Come and support your researchers at FameLab Australia.

We need new ways to advocate for science and for science in policy – FameLab is one small step in that direction. While our science leaders talk big picture, I think we need to see more young scientists engaging locally: talking to journalists, politicians and the wider community about their discoveries.

Read on for more about FameLab, BioMedVic and prizes for research.

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Understanding the science beat: Australian Science Communicators conference and membership

In Brisbane next month the Australian Science Communicators is holding its biennial conference – and journalists and science reporters are very welcome.

The ASC welcomes anyone with an interest in science reporting. It’s the peak body for all science story-tellers, and counts Robyn Williams, Leigh Dayton, and Wilson da Silva among its foundation members.

I think the ASC and the conference are a good resource for anyone whose round includes health, environment, science, agriculture or technology. [continue reading…]

JABBED: a public forum on love, fear and vaccines

Public forum Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Diseases that were largely eradicated forty years ago are returning. Across the world children are getting sick and dying from preventable conditions because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots.

Yet the stories of vaccine reactions are frightening, with cases of people being damaged, even killed, by vaccines. How do we decide whether to vaccinate or not, and what are the real risks?

  • Why are Melbourne babies getting whooping cough?
  • Why are measles epidemics appearing in Europe?
  • Why does vaccination remain so controversial?
  • While more than 90% of Australians support vaccination, why are many of us delaying or refusing vaccines?
  • What’s going wrong with the community conversation about vaccination?

Explore these issues and more at a public forum with Sonya Pemberton, the producer of JABBED, a documentary premiering on SBS TV on Sunday 26 May 2013. [continue reading…]

The explosion of humanity; meet Fiona Stanley; I Animal; and grants for Science Week

This is my occasional bulletin for science communicators in Victoria.

Join Prof Fiona Stanley, Baroness Susan Greenfield, and RoboGal Marita Cheng this Monday as they chat about their lives in science with Paul Willis.

Experience the explosion of humanity on 6 December with Owen Gaffney, whose stunning data-driven animation Welcome to the Anthropocene visualises the transformation of our planet initiated by the industrial revolution. The film was viewed by 188 heads of state and ministers at the UN’s Rio+20 summit last year. [continue reading…]

Shocking psychological experiments, the art of selling Australian science to the world, Fresh Science and more

I’m reintroducing my occasional bulletins about science-related events in Victoria.

Tomorrow, there are three talks:

And this Friday science filmmaker Sonya Pemberton will be talking about the business and art of getting Australian science to global TV audiences.

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