[ASC-list] The changing role of ASC

JCribb jcribb at work.netspeed.com.au
Sat Oct 27 23:57:48 UTC 2012

David and colleagues -


As your foundation president, I believe It is also time ASC seriously
considered adopting a professional code of ethics or charter of practice,
like other professions.  We need this not only for our own professional
standards, but also to protect science communicators from exploitation or
misuse by science organisations seeking to employ them for institutional
propaganda purposes.


I invite all members to consider whether we should adopt a code similar to
the following, (which I proposed several years ago, but which the then ASC
executive took no action on). I'm happy to explain the thinking behind each
element, as members may require:





1.      Scientific knowledge is the common heritage of all people.

2.      The sharing, or communication, of scientific knowledge is as
important as its discovery.

3.      The future of Australia depends on the equitable sharing and rapid
adoption of sound scientific knowledge.

4.      Scientific knowledge should be communicated as truthfully,
ethically, fairly and widely as practical for the benefit of Australia.

5.      The future of Australian science depends on its ability to shape
itself to the needs, values and standards of Australians.

6.      The interests of the Australian people are higher than those of any
individual, scientific institution, funding agency, commercial entity or
government body.


Code of practice


Science communicators hold the future in our hands. We help to move the new
knowledge generated by scientists to the people who need and will use it.
We spread awareness of new insights into Australia, humanity and the world
we live in. We educate, inform, stimulate, challenge, inspire and warn. We
are agents of change, transmitters of new technologies, heralds of ideas for
a sustainable and prosperous society. We also help scientists to understand
the needs and wishes of our society, so their science may serve it better.


We are professional communicators, journalists, writers and authors,
teachers, lecturers, scientists and technologists, engineers, social
scientists . We value scientific knowledge for itself and for the benefits
it can bring society, and we recognise the potential harm it can cause if


As science communicators we commit ourselves to:


1.	Communicate science truthfully, factually and professionally in the
interests of all Australians
2.	Communicate science as widely as possible, in order to promote the
useful, safe and rapid adoption of new knowledge and technologies for the
benefit of Australia.
3.	Recognise that the Australian public through their taxes pay for
most science and that their lives may be affected by it.  They are therefore
owed a factual report or explanation.
4.	Encourage and assist scientists and scientific organisations to
share the new knowledge they have gained through research with Australian
governments, industry and the community as widely as possible.
5.	Encourage and assist scientists and other researchers to communicate
their work to the public and other audiences in a skilful, informative and
respectful fashion.
6.	Encourage scientific institutions to listen closely to community and
national opinion about science in order to respond to the needs, wishes and
concerns of Australia and promote the useful, rapid and safe adoption of new
7.	Observe and uphold high professional standards of honesty, integrity
and fairness in the communication of science.
8.	Acknowledge that almost all technologies have potential downsides or
capacity for misapplication, and communicate these accurately and in a
balanced fashion, as well as the potential benefits.
9.	Not permit personal interest, belief, payment, suasion or coercion
to undermine our commitment to truthfulness, fairness, balance or
professional integrity in communicating science.
10.	Not allow commercial, bureaucratic or other organisational
considerations to undermine the principle of providing a fair, truthful and
balanced report to the Australian people. 



Julian Cribb FTSE

Julian Cribb & Associates

ph +61 (0)2 6242 8770 or 0418 639 245


Skype: julian.cribb


If you EAT, you should follow: http://twitter.com/#!/ComingFamine


From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au
[mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of David Ellyard
Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2012 8:43 AM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] The changing role of the ASC President






Up till now the ASC has been a typical volunteer organisation, reliant on
the unpaid and spare-time efforts of our  members and officers, though
modest honoraria have been paid to some of the latter. This approach has
allowed us to make a significant impact, but with  the rising profile of
science communication, as represented  inter alia by the Inspiring Australia
initiative, your National Council believes it is time to move on and adopt a
more professional style  of management and operation.


We have already appointed Kali Madden as our paid, though still part time,
Executive Officer. In that capacity she is responsible for the efficient
running of our internal operations, such as membership management.  The next
proposed step is the appointment in the next few months of a General Manager
to undertake similar efficient management with regards to our external
relations, including our significant  involvement with Inspiring Australia,
linkages with like-minded organisations, the staging of National Conferences
and so on. We believe that such an appointment will further raise our
profile, enhance our impact on science communication in Australia and
increase our membership.


The changing role of the ASC President 


The new appointment will have a significant impact of the role of the ASC
President, much as the work of the Executive Officer eases the burden on the
Treasurer. It is intended that the General Manager will take over many of
the roles currently filled by the President. The latter would become more
like the Chairman of the Board, providing leadership and oversighting the
development of policy, with  the implementation of policy and the
development of new programs resting with the General Manager. As a result
the position of President will be much less time-consuming than it has been,
and should be more attractive to a wider range of members, including some in
senior positions in the sci-com community.


Under  our constitution, the President is supported by one or two
Vice-Presidents, who can be assigned specific roles. These officers are
appointed by the National  Council from among its number, or (as now)
co-opted from the wider membership. This provides a further opportunity to
ease the workload on the President.


The President is elected at our Annual General Meeting, which this year will
be Brisbane on 27 November. If you have an interest in taking up the
Presidency (or any other role) and would like to discuss the matter further,
contact our current (and soon to retire) President Jesse Shore
(jesse at prismaticsciences.com) or our Treasurer David Ellyard 

(david at davidellyard.com)  


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