[ASC-list] More science in the news petition

JCribb jcribb at work.netspeed.com.au
Mon Jul 22 05:22:12 UTC 2013

When we studied this at CSIRO in the 1990s we found the same thing, that
science was of greater interest than sport - and it looked very exciting for
those of us who love science.


However when we explored beneath the surface of the raw numbers we found:

-          Around a half of people were actually terrified of science and
how it was changing their lives and their "interest" in it consisted more of
wanting to know what fresh nasties, challenges or inconvenient developments
(like losing your job to a robot) it had in store for them.

-          Only about a third of people were actually enthusiastic and
wanted more science because they loved it.


So before we indulge in too much self-congratulation, we should try to find
out what it is in science that people are really interested in, and why.


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 Toss Gascoigne
Sent: Monday, 22 July 2013 12:44 PM
To: Tamzin Byrne
Cc: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] More science in the news petition


I'm a bit sceptical about news polls showing people want more science in
their news.  


If that's the case, why aren't sales of New Scientist higher than New Idea?
(FYI: New Scientist about 20,000; New Idea audited at 294,000)


There are a string of these polls - here's one from 1997:


Science tops in poll vote


A new poll shows that Australians are more interested in brains than brawn. 


The survey of 1060 Australians from across the nation shows that they would
rather follow media stories about science, medicine and technology than
sport, crime or politics. It was conducted by AGB McNair on behalf of CSIRO.


Dr Joe Baker, President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and
Technological Societies (FASTS), said that he was writing to the editors of
Australia's top media outlets urging them to give greater coverage to


"The batting performance of Mark Taylor and the political agenda of Pauline
Hanson have come under the most intense media scrutiny. But where is the
equivalent scrutiny of S&T?


Ho hum.


And Tamzin is right - if we (the release writers) want science in the media,
we have to make it relevant or interesting to ordinary people.  


Toss Gascoigne



Toss Gascoigne and Associates

56 Vasey Cres



P. 02 6249 7400

M. 0408 704 442

E. director at tossgascoigne.com.au

W. tossgascoigne.com.au

Skype. tossgascoigne


ABN:  31 068 557 522



On 22/07/2013, at 12:15 PM, Tamzin Byrne wrote:

And for their first story - 20 seconds on why we should all eat our greens?

I'm not sure a petition is the way to go. They shouldn't be obliged to cover
science - it's our job as science communicators to persuade them to, with
interesting stories which are relevant to their audience. How many science
releases have a youth angle?

Plus - Hack seems to do a pretty decent job covering science. I can't claim
to have listened recently, but in their online story archive at
http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/stories/ I count 10 out of 20 stories
with a science/health/environment link.

Tamzin Byrne
Science Communicator
Science in Public

Message: 2
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:38:20 +1000
From: Melanie McKenzie <melaniemck at hotmail.com>
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] More science in the news petition
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP4313E668325D95FA4747E33CD6E0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hi All,
Would you like to hear more science in the news? According to a recent
Australians are more interested in a variety of science topics over politics
or sport. And yet 45% feel "not very well informed" or "not informed at all"
about science.

Please support our petition to lobby Triple J (as Australia's publicly owned
youth radio station) to include a short "In Science" report in their hourly
news updates.

To sign the petition:

For more information about the campaign:

We're aiming for 20, 000 signatures, so we'd be most grateful if you'd ask
your friends and colleagues to consider signing the petition. International
supporters are also welcome!

Thanks in advance,
Melanie McKenzie (Science Communicator)
and the rest of the "And In Science" team

ASC-list mailing list
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