[ASC-list] The changing role of ASC

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Sun Oct 28 07:54:52 UTC 2012

Great idea Julian and I know Rob Morrison was also working on some
ethics as well!

I think this should be something that is addressed formally at the AGM
so that we can include something like this in our constitution or
however it is meant to be done!


Jenni Metcalfe

Director, Econnect Communication


phone: 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866

jenni at econnect.com.au

skype: jenni.metcalfe

PO Box 734 South Brisbane Q 4101

subscribe to Econnect's free monthly e-newsletter: 




From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au
[mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of JCribb
Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2012 9:58 AM
To: 'David Ellyard'; asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] The changing role of ASC


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 misapplied. 


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
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 knowledge
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


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


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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