‘Inspiring Australia’ – the future of science communication in Australia

A-Ha! This little story has popped up on ABC News. It would seem that the opinion article by finance minister Lindsay Tanner mentioned in my previous post has done a little pre-empting of this press release. I should have known it wasn’t simple reminiscing of a lost Julius Sumner-Millerised childhood…

 Today marks the release of the Inspiring Australia report, led by australia’s national science and tecnhlogy centre, Questacon. The >100 page report, which is available for download here, attempts to outline the future of science communication in Australia in order to increase the public’s awareness of, and engagement with, research and development undertaken in our country.

The report suggests that the sciences must be made to seem directly applicable to people’s everyday lives. And whilst we do see these stories from time to time (things like “you wouldn’t have a mobile phone or computer if it weren’t for science!”), the reality is that research scientists do work that is hard to understand and it isn’t applicable to everyday life. The reason you need a minimum 4 year degree plus most likely a doctorate to do research is because it’s HARD and if anyone could do it, then it would have been done already.

I really want to write more about this but I am running out of time. I will keep an eye out for further reporting of this story on the news tonight. I doubt the commercial channels will cover it, and if it will be reported at all it will most likely be on the ABC, either in the 7PM news bulletin or possibly The 7:30 Report. Stay tuned.

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