Well said Ian. I too think the Newsletter is going very well and I'd be very interested to hear the feedback of others on the list. I have found myself reading almost every article each time it lands in my inbox. 

Like the ACT committee, the WA committee is made up of passionate people giving what time and energy they can to help design and deliver events that cater for our members. As for the ASC exec, having been Treasurer for the past 6 months or so, I'm very impressed by the commitment and level of activity I've encountered, but I can see that while there's lots of things happening behind the scenes, this can go unseen by the rest of the association (especially if you're not reading the Presidents update) until things are suitably well progressed to be let out into the open. 

At the end of the day the ASC is a relatively small association (~450 members) with a small executive team trying to do a lot in their spare time. I would encourage any members who want to play a part in brining about the new era of ASC to let the executive know. There's plenty of work to go around I assure you. Right now the conference, a major affair, is dominating the bandwidth of most of the executive, but even while this is happening we're trying to organise the AGM, get branches to report a little on their activities, deal with some very important matters relating to our Not For Profit and tax status and get all our ducks in a row to make sure that the ASC continues to grow, evolve and flourish in the years to come. This all takes time, especially when most of those doing this work are volunteers trying to get things done in between making ends meet.


Pete Wheeler
Manager, Outreach & Education
Ph: +61 8 6488 7758
Ph: +61 423 98 2018

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On 15/11/2013, at 7:00 AM, Ian M. wrote:

I'll bite....

Knowing a little bit about how the ASC runs, being actively involved over the past 3 years - to post onto the ASC e-lists you need to be a member but to receive the emails posted to the list - you don't...so potentially people who are emailing you back privately aren't members but want to reply?

I agree the list should be about us starting discussions, learning about events in your region and getting advice from those in the field....obviously the media list should be kept to media releases and promoting science.

I hope someone from the exec replies but I know that alot of the things you have suggested such as website and professionalism are well underway and I also look forward to hearing of the progress as well  - potentially at National AGM. Which - just to remind you the ACT branch is hosting on the 29th of November, so hopefully local members can come along if in Canberra.

I disagree with your comment on the Scope Newsletter - what is the justification for saying it's a flop? I thoroughly enjoy recieving it each month and think more members should contribute. Plus I always read a message from the National President giving us updates on national activities - http://www.asc.asn.au/blog/2013/11/02/presidents-update-rocketing-towards-the-end-of-the-year-agm-and-members-abroad/

As for members not being involved in events - the ACT branch ran multiple events this year targeted at members and didn't get a great response - so this is something our committee is working on, the age old question - what do members want? 

How do we best target events for our members? Do members want more webinars rather then events you have to physically attend? 

We are using ASC money after all to run these, so we want to make sure that members are happy with what we are doing.

As Susan stated, join in, it is a great way to learn from each other - we are all a friendly bunch and if you are worried about posting from your work email - post from a personal email.


Dr Ian McDonald
Science writer and presenter
M: 0439 746 556
Twitter: @ianmcd85
Skype: ianmcd85
ABN: 91 575 957 824

Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:23:11 +1000
From: skirk@iprimus.com.au
To: asc-list@lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] Where's ASC headed? Was science or persuasion

I think Charles has a valid point..  ASC is beginning to look like Food4media or TravMedia. 

Maybe we should do what some other associations do and charge a premium for these media release postings? They are after all advertising.  I think there are other better places to get media release, AusSMC, Eureka, Google alerts are a few of the places I subscribe and of course science direct topic alerts.

I personally would like to see more communication about communication on this list.  I know you can take the horse to water etc. But why don't members feel comfortable airing their bits on here?  So many times people have responded to me off the list.  I feel like shouting.  Keep it on the list.  

I would also like to see more communication from the executive on this list.  We haven't heard anything about the new website.  We keep employing scope editors and the newsletter keeps flopping.  We keep talking about becoming more professional but what's happening to our charter and code of ethics?  

Members are not involved in any of the communications for any of the events or funding or anything really, the only communication comes from those few that can be bothered to raise questions or liaise on the list. 

I repeat.  We can't operate in a vacuum.  

Please don't email me off the list with your replies.  Keep it on the list.


Susan Fairbairn (nee Kirk)  
B.comm  freelance Journalist
Member and Queensland Web Editor -  Australian Science Communicators (ASC) 
Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) 
tel: +61 7 5478 6761 | mobile: 0414645953 | email: susan@susankirk.com.au
www.susankirk.com.au |  Skype: susanakirk | Tweet: @SusanAKirk
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“If you don’t ask the right questions you won’t get the right answers.”

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