[ASC-list] Vic: Darwin's birthday; Cochrane reports; the future of museums in a web 2.0 world

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Mon Feb 2 10:25:37 UTC 2009

Celebrate Darwin with a smorgasbord of events next week. And join
science communicators this week for session on healthcare and the future
of museums in the age of web 2.0. 

This is my first bulletin for 2009 to Victorians with an interest in
science communication. 

This Wednesday join our friends from AMWA - the Australian Medical
Writers Association - for a session on the Cochrane reviews - improving
the evidence-base to healthcare. 

On Thursday preview a forthcoming conference that looks at how
scientific and cultural communication is changing in business,
broadcasting, museums, libraries and education.

Then it's time to celebrate Darwin - starting with a church service at
St Paul's on Sunday at 2 pm, followed by public events every night for a
week and culminating in a birthday party at Melbourne Museum where you
are invited to eat your way through the evolutionary tree (stopping
before primates).


Assessing the effectiveness of healthcare: this Wednesday

Cultural and scientific communication in a Web 2.0 world: this Thursday

Celebrating Darwin at St Paul's: this Sunday

Eat your way through 4 billion years of evolution: Thursday week

And more evolution: all next week

Web 2.0: an ASC workshop: April

ASC Vic planning: 19 Feb

Media and communication training for scientists: March through June




Assessing the effectiveness of healthcare: this Wednesday


There are so many healthcare treatments and interventions available
today, how do you separate those that are effective from those that
aren't and identify treatments that may be harmful?

The Cochrane Library can help answer these questions. The Cochrane
Reviews are systematic assessments of the effectiveness of different
healthcare treatments and interventions that are intended to help people
make informed decisions about healthcare. 

Hosted by the Australasian Medical Writers Association


Speaker: Veronica Pitt, lecturer Australasian Cochrane Centre

Where: Upstairs at the Redback Brewery Hotel, 75 Flemington Road, North

Cost: Free (drinks and meals at bar prices)

Date: Wednesday 4 February 2009

Time: 6.30pm for a 7pm start

RSVP and enquiries to L.E. Ohman  LE at medicalwriters.org or Jacinta
Miller jacmil at bigpond.com



Cultural and scientific communication in a Web 2.0 world: this Thursday


Web 2.0 technology is changing the way we communicate. From
corporations, to broadcasters, to cultural organisations such as
museums, libraries and science centres, it seems everyone is looking to
transform themselves with this new technology. 


And audiences are using social networking to communicate more about what
they want.


Theses ideas and issues are some of the topics to be covered at the
Transformations in Cultural and Scientific Communication conference on
at Melbourne Museum 5 and 6 March.


Preview the discussion at the pub this Thursday with Angelina Russo from
Swinburne University, and Laura Miles and Anne Thoday from Museums
Australia Victoria. 


And read about the conference at


Where: Redback Brewery Hotel, 75 Flemington Road, North Melbourne

Cost: Members: free; Non-members: $10, Non-member students: $5 (drinks
and meals at bar prices)

Date: Thursday 5 February 2009

Time: 6.45pm for a 7pm start




Celebrating Darwin at St Paul's: this Sunday

This Sunday, a church service at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in
Melbourne kicks off a year-long celebration of evolution.

Entitled Science and Faith: The Intersection the service will be the
first official event of Evolution - the Festival, a public celebration
of 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years since the
publication of the book in which he set out his theory of evolution by
natural selection, On the Origin of Species. 

2009 is also the International Year of Astronomy, celebrating 400 years
since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the sky.

Given that many Christian groups still dispute the idea of evolution by
natural selection, and that the Roman Catholic Church placed Galileo
under house arrest for his view that the Earth revolved around the Sun,
the service sets out to explore whether faith and science can be
harmonised as different paths to truth.


*         The Most Revd Dr Philip Freier, the Anglican Archbishop of
Melbourne, whose first degree was in biological science 

*         Prof John Pilbrow, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Monash
University, who is current president of the Institute for the Study of
Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology (ISCAST)

*         Prof Phil Batterham, a committed Baptist, who is associate
Dean of Science at Melbourne University.

Where: St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Corner Flinders and Swanston
Streets, Melbourne

Date: Sunday 8 February

Time: 2pm

More at:




Eat your way through 4 billion years of evolution: Thursday week

Celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin with a cocktail dinner at
the Melbourne Museum.

Graze your way through the evolutionary tree starting with crusty
arancini symbolising the earth's crust. Then move onto primordial soup -
represented by shots of seafood bisque - and filled with invertebrate
life - represented by scallops, prawns and oysters.

Continue on through fish and move from the oceans to the land with
dinosaurs, birds and mammals.

And Chris Darwin, Charles' great great grandson, will cut a unique 200th
birthday cake modelled on an Aldabra Island tortoise from the Museum's
collection. (These tortoises grow to over a metre and can live for more
than 100 years demonstrating the gigantism that Darwin saw on the
Galapagos Islands.) 

The menu was developed by John Long, one of Australia's leading
palaeontologists, and head of science at Melbourne Museum. 

Entertainment will be provided by the National Institute of Circus arts
and their spectacular Whale Evolution show, IMAX film features, and the
museum's own exhibits. 

Where: Melbourne Museum, Carlton

Cost: Tickets are available for $150 which includes all food and
beverages during the night and entertainment

Date: Thursday 12 February 2009

Time: 7pm start

Details and bookings at



And more evolution: all next week

See Steve Jones, Bill Ballard, Michael Ruse, Tim Flannery, Bert Roberts,
Geoffrey Miller, Frank Nicholas, Marcus Feldman, Jon Marks and a host of
others at a series of public talks. 

Details at




Web 2.0: an ASC workshop: April

Following on from the successful session at the Redback last year, RMIT
are hosting a workshop for the Australian Science Communications on
using web 2.0 in their work place. The course will be tailored to the
needs of attendees.


Date: Friday 3 April 2009

Venue: RMIT

Time: late afternoon to 9pm

Price to be advised but likely to be in the range of $250 to $300 per


All enquiries and RSVPs to Jason Major jmajor at unimelb.edu.au, (03) 9348




ASC Vic planning: 19 Feb

Have you got ideas for ASC session? Would you like to get involved in
running ASC? Join us at the Redback for a planning session on 19
February for an informal planning session. 




Media and communication training for scientists: March through June

Science in Public runs media and communication workshops for scientists
once a month. This course is for scientists and anyone who needs to
communicate complex and technical ideas via the media. The workshop will
help you create and present a compelling view of your research to the
media, the public and your stakeholders.  

The dates for thte first Our media and communication workshops for the
first half of the year are 

*         Wednesday 11 March 

*         Tuesday 7 April 

*         Tuesday 5 May 

*         Tuesday 9 June.

Three working journalists will join us in the course of the day to talk
about newspapers, radio and TV, and conduct practice interviews.
Journalists we have used in the past have included Gerard Scholten from
Channel Ten, Chee Chee Leung from The Age, Dina Rosendorf from the
Herald Sun and Donna De Maio from 3AW news. 

Previous participants tell us that after the course they feel more
prepared, not just for media interviews but also for other presentations
to stakeholders, customers and the public.

This workshop is a modified version of the courses developed by our
colleagues at Econnect Communication and is licensed from them.

Each course is limited to 12 participants. 

For more on the course and future dates visit

Time: 9.30am-5pm

Where: Redback Brewery Hotel (upstairs), 75 Flemington Road, North

Cost: $650 + GST per person. Morning and afternoon tea and lunch will be

Discount available for financial ASC members.





Niall Byrne

Science Communication Consultant
Science in Public

ph +61 3 9398 1416
mobile +61 417 131 977 
skype: niall_byrne

niall at scienceinpublic.com.au  





Niall Byrne


Science in Public

26 Railway Street South, Altona Vic 3018


ph +61 (3) 9398 1416 or 0417 131 977

niall at scienceinpublic.com.au <mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au> 


Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com


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