[ASC-list] Promoting prizes related to communication of science

Phil Dooley phil.dooley at sydney.edu.au
Tue May 3 04:10:43 UTC 2011

Hi Jesse

I agree, prizes are something we could get some mileage from.

I think the branches should make an effort to engage with prize winners -
maybe we can promote a national tour of a Eureka Prize winner, or at least
get in contact with them so that they at least meet their local branch and
any other states they travel too. Across the country there are lots of tall
poppy winners, too, who have a mandate to communicate.  Speaking slots for
prize winners at the national conference could be a possibility?

I think this would be a two-way interaction, to bring prize-winner into
contact with professionals, doing best-practice sci comm, so they can learn
that there is an industry in existence pushing back the frontiers.

They should also be interviewed for Scope, or asked to contribute? (and also
to the website, twitterfeed, facebook page, publicise their blog, etc)

It seems to me that judges may sometimes prefer something sexy ( but perhaps
transient and low impact) to a properly planned and evaluated program - or
is this the problem of giving a prize to a personality? (rather than an

Rob Morrison has made the point that ASC should develop and distribute a
scale ( educationalists call them a ...is it metric? No, Meerkat?! Ah
Rubric is the word I want) which would give prize judges (and ARC panels,
selection committees etc) some way of assessing science communication
achievements of applications.

Perhaps we should organise professional development sessions with prize
judges to develop our application skills.

Prizes for sci comm (alone) are a bit few and far between, so maybe ASC
should sponsor a prize (e.g. Eureka) too, it would be a good way to get a
bit more profile.  It does seem a little strange to me that we have a
"unsung hero" prize, isn't that essentially someone who has been really bad
at communicating their science?!

We could do some Darwin Awards-style prizes for bad sci comm, too that would
be fun, and could well go viral  :-)


On 29/4/11 5:53 PM, "Jesse Shore" <jesse at prismaticsciences.com> wrote:

> I see regular notices about the closing dates for nominations of the Prime
> Minister's Prizes for Science and the Eureka Prizes. It is appropriate for
> the ASC to help promote these prizes as some of their categories relate
> directly or indirectly to the communication of science.
> I'd like to move beyond merely rephrasing the standard promotional messages
> about such prizes. Perhaps there is a story from a prize schemes which may
> inform professional development of science communicators or something else
> of value. 
> I suspect we can learn from the successful outcomes of the efforts of the
> winners of science communication prizes. I expect there are many other
> angles to explore and different levels of information to drill into.
> What do you think? How can we work with the prize schemes to get added value
> for those of us who communicate science? Ideally we want a means which will
> also be beneficial to the prize schemes by attracting more attention, more
> nominations or some other desirable outcome.
> Tune your thinking caps into the frequency for 'easy to implement' ideas.
> With awards on the mind perhaps it's only fair that the ASC should offer a
> prize for any idea which is used. I welcome suggestions about what a
> suitable reward might be. I'll consider ideas from anyone although ASC
> members will get extra attention.
> Cheers, 
> Jesse
> Jesse Shore
> President, Australian Science Communicators, 2011
> http://www.asc.asn.au/
> Jesse Shore PhD
> Science Communicator
> P:   (02) 9810 2328
> M:   0415 841 276
> E:    jesse at prismaticsciences.com
> W:  www.prismaticsciences.com
> _______________________________________________
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Dr Philip Dooley | Manager of Outreach Programs
School of Physics | Faculty of Science

T +61 2 9351 3201  | F +61 2 9351 7726  | M +61 414 94 55 77
E Phil.Dooley at sydney.edu.au | W

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