[ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....

Vicki Martin Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au
Thu Mar 10 12:50:04 UTC 2016


Thank you for your considered response, Rob. I appreciate you taking time to send in your thoughts. I've just arrived in Brisbane for the ASC2016 conference so I'll reflect on what you've said over the coming days - plenty of food for thought!

Thanks again,
Vicki

_______________________________________________ ASC-list mailing list list at asc.asn.au http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=115 ------------------------------ Message: 5 Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 05:29:15 +0000 From: Rob Morrison To: Vicki Martin , "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists .... Message-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Which all sounds good and, in the hands of someone like Alex and Vicki would be, but it worries me a bit, for these reasons. Trying to get people actually to understand what science is and does is harder now than it was 30-40 years ago. That is largely an effect (I think) of the internet and, more recently, social media, but debates on scientific matters are now filled with statements about science that, even from those onside, are often way off the mark. "Science proves....", "The Science is settled...", "It is a scientifically proven fact...." , "breakthrough" to describe every minor advance and much much more. In this plethora of misinformation what is lost is crucial to our relatively recent profession of science communication - revealing how science actually sets about testing hypotheses and showing how it can, from a range of claims, determine what can be empirically supported by experimentation and similar tests and the extent to which such findings are reliable. I am one of the founders and current VP of Friends of Science in Medicine, which we started a few years ago to take on some of the many purveyors of pseudoscience in the alternative "health" practices that now infest our society and economy. These dodgy practitioners know exactly how to muddy the scientific waters to their own advantage - pervert the meanings of scientific terminology, describe as "research" a couple of anecdotes from friends and relations, invent some "sciencey" terminology for invented procedures, talk about the need for or lack of "proof" when there is no such thing- and on it goes. As a result, the general public is hopelessly confused as to what science does, and the extent to which it can be trusted or suspected. Mechanisms such as peer review, publishing in gold standard journals, double-blind tests, Cochrane reviews and the whole collection of techniques that science uses are a mystery to the average punter. While I am fully supportive of the social sciences that actually do deserve the title when they go about their business in ways consistent with science, there is a vast amount sitting under the social science banner that does not, and even deliberately eschews such practices, often citing some rubbishy postmodern doctrine that all belief systems are of equal value. Have a look at the recent controversy regarding the PhD awarded by the University of Woollongong for a thesis that purported to deal with vaccination but produced an absurd anti-vaccination 'revelation' about the WHO being in a conspiracy with major drug companies to inflict vaccinations on an unsuspecting world. It completely failed to adhere to any valid scientific process in evaluating the literature, using the appropriate resources, consulting the appropriate authorities (or ignoring what they said when consulted), evaluating available information with appropriate scientific techniques and more. In response to severe national criticism, the defence of this thesis has not been one of defending the argument but bleating about persecution. It has provoked a national outcry for good reasons, but the defence has also been a slippery one that the work was not done in a medical or science faculty but in either Humanities or Social Science. Apparently that allows an "out" for someone who was quite happy to use the science banner until they were shown to be doing so inappropriately, but it certainly doesn't help scientists, science or a public understanding of either. I would happily include in our fold the practitioners of social science who are genuinely trying to use scientific methods to justify giving their activities the "science" label, but many do not. Too many actually contest scientific methodology. I think that we have enough trouble trying to get people to understand the benefits and limitations of real science (witness the current debates on climate change, vaccination, nuclear science, etc etc) without taking on board the extra burden of trying to explain why so much that calls itself science is not deserving of the name. Even with orthodox science we have some ground to make up. Peer-review is great when it works, but we know that it gets fiddled. Quite a few recent reports have shown that many experiments reported in good journals cannot be replicated (this is a big problem for biotech companies when they try to replicate promising drug studies). Most studies never even receive an attempt at replication because it is hard enough to get a grant for something original, let alone repeating someone else's study, and the occasional fraud brings huge discredit to our discipline when it manages to get through all the self-correcting mechanisms that we claim makes science trustworthy. I would rather see us do a bit more to help the public understand what it is that makes properly done science such a powerful tool and how to evaluate scientific reports in the media and elsewhere than to dilute such effort by trying to shoehorn in other pursuits that want to gain the credibility of science by adopting its name but don't reliably adopt its disciplines. I know that there are many social scientists who are not to blame for any of the above, and I do not want to reflect on their work, but perhaps they, too, have a role to play in making sure that their discipline of social science deserves that label. With one third of Australian universities now offering pseudoscientific alternative "health" courses under the health science banner, those of us in science communication probably need to narrow the focus on what we are trying to explain and communicate, not broaden the view to the point where science becomes indistinguishable from other stuff in an increasingly smoggy landscape. Rob Dr Rob Morrison rob.morrison at flinders.edu.au Phone: (08) 8339 3790 ________________________________________ From: ASC-list on behalf of Vicki Martin Sent: Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:25 AM To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists .... A message from Alex Gaut, who was unable to post her reply. Alex has given permission for her response to be forwarded to the list. I hope to hear from non-social scientists, too, otherwise we are just talking amongst ourselves. If you have any thoughts, experience or other comments about the communication of social science in science communication practice, please let us know. Cheers, Vicki _______ Reply from Alex Gaut: I say emphatically, YES!! And not just communicating it, but also more collaborative projects including both social and other scientists are very much needed! I work in the environment sector and given that the world's environmental problems are due to humans, humans have to also be the solution, which means working with people, not against them. I am always (and I mean constantly) amazed at the lack of inclusion of social scientists in environmental projects, especially at the academic level. I have a background in hard science and last year finally signed up to do a Masters in a social science for this exact reason! So now I'm doing a research project in environmental psychology, to which most people say 'Oh, that's a thing?' and I constantly bang on about how much is known about human relationships with a variety of environments, including natural ones. -----Original Message----- Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 11:57:58 +0000 From: Vicki Martin To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" Subject: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists .... Message-ID: Speaking of social scientists (in a previous thread) made me wonder... How many of you immediately think of a social scientist when you think of: * a nominee for an Excellence in Research award * a collaborator * a Scientist in Schools * a scientist (?!) * a grant recipient * a science communicator And so on? Since so many of the world's problems are human induced, requiring human solutions, I am surprised that even within ASC we very rarely mention the social sciences. It is not uncommon to see other types of scientists trying to do social research (easy right, you just need to ask a few questions?!), resulting in poor research design and meaningless, misleading or useless results. Social scientists can help us understand why there is a problem in the first place, and what sort of interventions are likely to improve the situation. Of course it is not easy, which is why we need to defer to people who have trained in this area. Yet, how often have you heard about new or improved social research methods, results etc. lately? Is it just me, or do others think we should also be communicating social science more effectively, too? I would love to know your thoughts. Thanks, Vicki Vicki Martin PhD Candidate School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University PO Box 157 Lismore NSW 2480 Australia Phone: +612 6626 9356 Mobile: 0434 940 575 Email: vicki.martin at scu.edu.au ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victoria_Martin12 Twitter: @MarineSciComm Marine ExChanges Project: Public involvement in marine research Web: http://bit.ly/marineexchanges Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges YouTube: http://youtu.be/C2ihJMfI9Ow -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL:



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Today's Topics:

   1. 1pm AEDT today online: meet Kylie Walker, Director of
      Communications and Outreach at the Australian Academy of Science.
      (Kali Madden)
   2. Alan Alda speaks at the National Press Club @ 12.30 today
      (Marina Hurley)
   3. Re: Speaking of social scientists .... (Vicki Martin)
   4. Re: Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences (Simon Carroll)
   5. Re: Speaking of social scientists .... (Rob Morrison)
   6. ASC and conferences (Niall Byrne)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 09:08:42 +1000
From: Kali Madden <office at asc.asn.au>
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] 1pm AEDT today online: meet Kylie Walker, Director
        of Communications and Outreach at the Australian Academy of Science.
Message-ID:
        <CAOVYUQUQSW15T_HZr1Ngw4LmtGsb=V0mWvym17X6FT=jiLYN0g at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Dear ASC-List,

The daytime webinars seem to work well so we are back again today just half
an hour earlier.

Use the "Show in My Timezone" button on the webinar page here
http://www.anymeeting.com/AuSciComm to quickly convert our *1:00pm AEDT*
time to your own.

Today's guest has covered science and medicine from the federal press
gallery, and coordinated media and political advocacy strategies to propel
national science and medicine advocacy groups to prominence and influence.
She?s created popular and influential public education programs and PR
campaigns, won government and philanthropic support for research
infrastructure and public awareness projects, and influenced federal health
and social justice policy. Kylie now works with Australia?s most
accomplished research scientists to raise the national media profile of
science, stage public events and coordinate public education
initiatives as Director
of Communications and Outreach at the Australian Academy of Science.

This webinar is the tenth Meet the Member in the 2016 ASC webinar series.
The series is free for all current members of the ASC and SCANZ.

You can read more about the event and post your related questions and
comments here even if you know you can't attend live:

https://web.facebook.com/events/187243678310129/
<https://www.facebook.com/events/560889277398854/>

Use this link to register to meet Kylie (register to receive both live
event access and replay links):

http://www.anymeeting.com/AuSciComm

Please NOTE that some users are having difficulty registering through the
above link due to an undiagnosed browser issue. If you cannot see the
events and registration buttons please contact the office for a direct
invitation to attend.

To keep up with new events as they come online you can subscribe to events
on the events tab at the ASC national Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/auscicomm/events

Register for individual events to receive your webinar invite, automated
event reminders and replay links from here:

http://www.anymeeting.com/AuSciComm

Contact us on members at asc.asn.au with any questions, suggestions and other
comments.

Best,


Kali
Executive Officer
Australian Science Communicators


* ASC Member note: if you have NOT been receiving our monthly member only
newsletter direct to your inbox your membership may have lapsed. Contact
office at asc.asn.au to check your membership status if uncertain.


<http://www.asc.asn.au/>


Kali Madden
Executive Officer, Conference Director, Australian Science Communicators
The national forum for science communicators and science journalists.

e.office at asc.asn.au
w.http://2016conf.asc.asn.au/
w.http://asc.asn.au/
Skype. office.asc <#>

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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:49:21 +1100
From: Marina Hurley <info at writingclearscience.com.au>
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] Alan Alda speaks at the National Press Club @
        12.30 today
Message-ID:
        <CAHJfoVuY7s5YkcoEPoNPd0ShGs2Z8gqvj-2kz1msxtL27am1Hw at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Reminder: Alan Alda speaks at the National Press Club @ 12.30 today. It
will be available on iview afterwards as well.

--
Dr Marina Hurley
Lecturer & Consultant
*Writing Clear Science *
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Science, UNSW
P.O. Box 2373
Richmond South
Victoria 3121
Mobile +61-416-09-7979

info at writingclearscience.com.au
www.writingclearscience.com.au<http://www.writingclearscience.com.au>
marinahurley at gmail.com (alternative email contact)
au.linkedin.com/in/marinahurley/

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Message: 3
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:55:41 +0000
From: Vicki Martin <Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au>
To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....
Message-ID:
        <SG2PR06MB05691CB5AC22226867360C57A2B40 at SG2PR06MB0569.apcprd06.prod.outlook.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

A message from Alex Gaut, who was unable to post her reply. Alex has given permission for her response to be forwarded to the list. I hope to hear from non-social scientists, too, otherwise we are just talking amongst ourselves. If you have any thoughts, experience or other comments about the communication of social science in science communication practice, please let us know.
Cheers,
Vicki
_______
Reply from Alex Gaut:

I say emphatically, YES!!

And not just communicating it, but also more collaborative projects including both social and other scientists are very much needed!

I work in the environment sector and given that the world's environmental problems are due to humans, humans have to also be the solution, which means working with people, not against them. I am always (and I mean constantly) amazed at the lack of inclusion of social scientists in environmental projects, especially at the academic level.

I have a background in hard science and last year finally signed up to do a Masters in a social science for this exact reason! So now I'm doing a research project in environmental psychology, to which most people say 'Oh, that's a thing?' and I constantly bang on about how much is known about human relationships with a variety of environments, including natural ones.

-----Original Message-----
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 11:57:58 +0000
From: Vicki Martin <Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au>
To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....
Message-ID:
        <SG2PR06MB05692443FBC53F451998AF79A2B30 at SG2PR06MB0569.apcprd06.prod.outlook.com>


Speaking of social scientists (in a previous thread) made me wonder...

How many of you immediately think of a social scientist when you think of:

* a nominee for an Excellence in Research award
* a collaborator
* a Scientist in Schools
* a scientist (?!)
* a grant recipient
* a science communicator
And so on?

Since so many of the world's problems are human induced, requiring human solutions, I am surprised that even within ASC we very rarely mention the social sciences. It is not uncommon to see other types of scientists trying to do social research (easy right, you just need to ask a few questions?!), resulting in poor research design and meaningless, misleading or useless results.

Social scientists can help us understand why there is a problem in the first place, and what sort of interventions are likely to improve the situation. Of course it is not easy, which is why we need to defer to people who have trained in this area. Yet, how often have you heard about new or improved social research methods, results etc. lately?

Is it just me, or do others think we should also be communicating social science more effectively, too?

I would love to know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Vicki


Vicki Martin
PhD Candidate
School of Environment, Science and Engineering
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157
Lismore NSW 2480
Australia

Phone: +612 6626 9356
Mobile: 0434 940 575

Email: vicki.martin at scu.edu.au<mailto:vicki.martin at scu.edu.au>
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victoria_Martin12
Twitter: @MarineSciComm

Marine ExChanges Project: Public involvement in marine research
Web: http://bit.ly/marineexchanges
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges<http://www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges<http://www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges<http://www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges>>
YouTube: http://youtu.be/C2ihJMfI9Ow

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End of ASC-list Digest, Vol 136, Issue 8
****************************************


------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:49:30 +0800
From: Simon Carroll <simon.carroll at scitech.org.au>
To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences
Message-ID: <FDD743DE6B448748901CA93B6631D2C27DA855F420 at voyager>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Good point Vicki,

Nancy worked with the Inspiring Australia program to develop tools for evaluation.

You can find these at http://inspiringaustralia.net.au/toolkit/evaluation/    There is a heap of useful information here.

Simon




-----Original Message-----
From: ASC-list [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Vicki Martin
Sent: Wednesday, 9 March 2016 7:35 AM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Evaluating 'pop up' science experiences

Hi Pete and others,

Regarding evaluation of science events ...

Have you tried asking any social scientists working in this space? Nancy Longnecker (now Professor of Science Communication at University of Otago, formerly at UWA) has been working on evaluation for some time now and has a wealth of experience.

There are a lot of options within social science practice for evaluation, so if you can't get hold of Nancy, I'd strongly recommend talking to a social scientist who can guide you through the problems and pitfalls of various approaches.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Vicki


Vicki Martin
PhD Candidate
School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University PO Box 157 Lismore NSW 2480 Australia

Phone: +612 6626 9356
Mobile: 0434 940 575

Email: vicki.martin at scu.edu.au
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victoria_Martin12
Twitter: @MarineSciComm
Marine ExChanges Project: Research into public involvement in marine science
Web: http://bit.ly/marineexchanges
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges<http://www.facebook.com/MarineExChanges>
YouTube: http://youtu.be/C2ihJMfI9Ow


_______________________________________________
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au
http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=115


------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 05:29:15 +0000
From: Rob Morrison <rob.morrison at flinders.edu.au>
To: Vicki Martin <Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au>,
        "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....
Message-ID:
        <SG2PR0301MB0982F322CA11631B8D933983DFB40 at SG2PR0301MB0982.apcprd03.prod.outlook.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Which all sounds good and, in the hands of someone like Alex and Vicki would be, but it worries me a bit, for these reasons.

Trying to get people actually to understand what science is and does is harder now than it was 30-40 years ago. That is largely an effect (I think) of the internet and, more recently, social media, but debates on scientific matters are now filled with statements about science  that, even from those onside, are often way off the mark. "Science proves....", "The Science is settled...", "It is a scientifically proven fact...." , "breakthrough" to describe every minor advance and much much more.  In this plethora of misinformation what is lost is crucial to our relatively recent profession of science communication - revealing how science actually sets about testing hypotheses and showing how it can, from a range of claims, determine what can be empirically supported by experimentation and similar tests and the extent to which such findings are reliable.

I am one of the founders and current VP of Friends of Science in Medicine, which we started a few years ago to take on some of the many purveyors of pseudoscience in the alternative  "health" practices that now infest our society and economy. These dodgy practitioners know exactly how to muddy the scientific waters to their own advantage - pervert the meanings of scientific terminology, describe as "research" a couple of anecdotes from friends and relations, invent some "sciencey" terminology for invented procedures, talk about the need for or lack of "proof" when there is no such thing- and on it goes.

As a result, the general public is hopelessly confused as to what science does, and the extent to which it can be trusted or suspected. Mechanisms such as peer review, publishing in gold standard journals, double-blind tests, Cochrane reviews and the whole collection of techniques that science uses are a mystery to the average punter.

While I am fully supportive of the social sciences that actually do deserve the title when they go about their business in ways consistent with science, there is a vast amount sitting under the social science banner that does not, and even deliberately eschews such practices, often citing some rubbishy postmodern doctrine that all belief systems are of equal value.  Have a look at the recent controversy regarding the PhD awarded by the University of Woollongong for a thesis that purported to deal with vaccination but produced an absurd anti-vaccination  'revelation' about the WHO being in a conspiracy with major drug companies to inflict vaccinations on an unsuspecting world. It completely failed to adhere to any valid scientific process in evaluating the literature, using the appropriate resources, consulting the appropriate authorities (or ignoring what they said when consulted), evaluating available information with appropriate scientific techniques and more.

In response to severe national criticism, the defence of this thesis has not been one of defending the argument but bleating about persecution. It has provoked a national outcry for good reasons, but the defence has also been a slippery one that the work was not done in a medical or science faculty but in either Humanities or Social Science. Apparently that allows an "out" for someone who was quite happy to use the science banner until they were shown to be doing so inappropriately, but it certainly doesn't help scientists, science or a public understanding of either.

I would happily include in our fold the practitioners of social science who are genuinely trying to use scientific methods to justify giving their activities the "science" label, but many do not. Too many actually contest scientific methodology.

I think that we have enough trouble trying to get people to understand the benefits and limitations of real science (witness the current debates on climate change, vaccination, nuclear science, etc etc) without taking on board the extra burden of trying to explain why so much that calls itself science is not deserving of the name.

Even with orthodox science we have some ground to make up. Peer-review is great when it works, but we know that it gets fiddled. Quite a few recent reports have shown that many experiments reported in good journals cannot be replicated (this is a big problem for biotech companies when they try to replicate promising drug studies). Most studies never even receive an attempt at  replication because it is hard enough to get a grant for something original, let alone repeating someone else's study, and the occasional fraud brings huge discredit to our discipline when it manages to get through all the self-correcting mechanisms that we claim makes science trustworthy.

I would rather see us do a bit more to help the public understand what it is that makes properly done science such a powerful tool and how to evaluate scientific reports in the media and elsewhere than to dilute such effort by trying to shoehorn in other pursuits that want to gain the credibility  of science by adopting its name but don't reliably adopt its disciplines.

I know that there are many social scientists who are not to blame for any of the above, and I do not want to reflect on their work, but perhaps they, too, have a role to play in making sure that their discipline of social science deserves that label. With one third of Australian universities now offering pseudoscientific alternative "health" courses under the health science banner, those of us in science communication probably need to narrow the focus on what we are trying to explain and communicate, not broaden the view to the point where science becomes indistinguishable from other stuff in an increasingly smoggy landscape.

Rob

Dr Rob Morrison
rob.morrison at flinders.edu.au
Phone: (08) 8339 3790


________________________________________
From: ASC-list <asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au> on behalf of Vicki Martin <Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au>
Sent: Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:25 AM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....

A message from Alex Gaut, who was unable to post her reply. Alex has given permission for her response to be forwarded to the list. I hope to hear from non-social scientists, too, otherwise we are just talking amongst ourselves. If you have any thoughts, experience or other comments about the communication of social science in science communication practice, please let us know.
Cheers,
Vicki
_______
Reply from Alex Gaut:

I say emphatically, YES!!

And not just communicating it, but also more collaborative projects including both social and other scientists are very much needed!

I work in the environment sector and given that the world's environmental problems are due to humans, humans have to also be the solution, which means working with people, not against them. I am always (and I mean constantly) amazed at the lack of inclusion of social scientists in environmental projects, especially at the academic level.

I have a background in hard science and last year finally signed up to do a Masters in a social science for this exact reason! So now I'm doing a research project in environmental psychology, to which most people say 'Oh, that's a thing?' and I constantly bang on about how much is known about human relationships with a variety of environments, including natural ones.

-----Original Message-----
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2016 11:57:58 +0000
From: Vicki Martin <Vicki.Martin at scu.edu.au>
To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: [ASC-list] Speaking of social scientists ....
Message-ID:
        <SG2PR06MB05692443FBC53F451998AF79A2B30 at SG2PR06MB0569.apcprd06.prod.outlook.com>


Speaking of social scientists (in a previous thread) made me wonder...

How many of you immediately think of a social scientist when you think of:

* a nominee for an Excellence in Research award
* a collaborator
* a Scientist in Schools
* a scientist (?!)
* a grant recipient
* a science communicator
And so on?

Since so many of the world's problems are human induced, requiring human solutions, I am surprised that even within ASC we very rarely mention the social sciences. It is not uncommon to see other types of scientists trying to do social research (easy right, you just need to ask a few questions?!), resulting in poor research design and meaningless, misleading or useless results.

Social scientists can help us understand why there is a problem in the first place, and what sort of interventions are likely to improve the situation. Of course it is not easy, which is why we need to defer to people who have trained in this area. Yet, how often have you heard about new or improved social research methods, results etc. lately?

Is it just me, or do others think we should also be communicating social science more effectively, too?

I would love to know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Vicki


Vicki Martin
PhD Candidate
School of Environment, Science and Engineering
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157
Lismore NSW 2480
Australia

Phone: +612 6626 9356
Mobile: 0434 940 575

Email: vicki.martin at scu.edu.au<mailto:vicki.martin at scu.edu.au>
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Message: 6
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 07:12:18 +0000
From: Niall Byrne <niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
To: "'asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au'" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: [ASC-list] ASC and conferences
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Dear ASC members,

Last year I wrote to you about a plan for ASC conferences for the next few years. Following your feedback  the ASC endorsed the plan and organised the terrific one day conference in Brisbane tomorrow linking with the World Science Festival.

There's also been interest from Business Events Sydney and Brisbane Convention Bureau in bidding for the World Conference of Science Journalists and also for the Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference (PCST). Both are likely to be long term projects looking at 2021 and 2022

My Science in Public colleagues Tanya Ha, Lydia Hales, and Ellie Michaelides will be at the ASC conference but I'll be an apology. I'm in Brisbane but being kept busy by the Brisbane Convention Bureau who are working to get people excited about Brisbane as a conference venue.

I've also stepped down from the ASC exec. The recent decisions on membership take the ASC in a direction I don't support. But I'll continue to explore some of these conference ideas and present possibilities to the ASC as they emerge.

Regards,

Niall

For background, here's my original note on conferences.


Your national committee has been thinking about the ASC conference and opportunities to develop the conference over the next decade. We'd like your thoughts, firstly on holding a small conference next year in association with the World Science Festival in Brisbane, and secondly on a longer term plan.

Organising a conference is hard work and we've tended to do it every two or three years. It requires an enthusiastic volunteer committee to work (quite hard) with a professional conference organisers). But a national conference is also a powerful networking opportunity for many of our members and it helps mark the changing world of science communication. Potentially the conference can also be a source of income for the ASC. Some organisations successfully subsidise their operations through an annual conference.

Twice the ASC conference has also been an international conference - with the 1996 PCST and the 2007 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). Both were arguably landmark events for science communication in Australia.



2016 The starting point for this strategy is a one day event in Brisbane back to back with the World Science Festival in March. Later in the year the PCST will be in Istanbul.

2017: The World Conference of Science and Factual Producers may be in Sydney in November 2017. This conference attracts everyone who makes, buys, and broadcasts science and factual TV - BBC, RAI, ABC, SBS, PBS etc. We could possibly tack a one day ASC conference on to the back of it. The WCSJ will be in San Francisco in 2017.

2018: the PCST will be in Dunedin, NZ.  We will approach them to see if they are interested in ASC involvement.

2019: the NSW government is interested in hosting the World Conference of Science Journalists in 2019.  But this will only happen if the ASC and or the Medical Writers agree to make a bid.

2020: A possible full ASC conference somewhere in Australia.

2021: ASC small conference

2022: Possible PCST conference in Australia if someone is willing to drive a bid and run the conference.

I'm personally enthusiastic about bidding to host the WCSJ and will put my hand up to drive that. I'm not so excited about the PCST but this would be an opportunity for the more academic practitioners of science communication to build their and their university's international reputation.


-----------

Niall Byrne
In Brisbane for the World Science Festival
Back in the office Tuesday, 15 March
+61 (417) 131 977
Or call the office - +61-3-9398-1416
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Twitter scienceinpublic<https://twitter.com/scienceinpublic>
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