Sorry for the subject line – too damn many different chains feeding into this.

In order of importance (for me… your mileage may differ):

1) Election. But I said that already.

2) ASC executive really needs to be proactive about diversifying its online presence. Thank you to Susan Kirk for outlining the issue so well, and presenting potential solutions along with George Aranda, Kali Madden and Julian Cribb. And yes, I think direction for this does have to come from executive to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort between the state chapters. Otherwise, what are you for?

3) ASC as a whole needs definition. Who are we? What is our role? Is ASC trying to be a big tent or should it be restricted to a few narrow forms of science communication? Adam Carroll was particularly eloquent on this, so I won’t bother attempting to duplicate or add to that effort.

4) ASC executive needs to take feedback and criticism seriously enough to allow it to define the discussion at the AGM. The hard work of a few has been acknowledged. It has also only benefitted a few, and in only a few ways.  Should a small organisation be targeting its national efforts better? If so, how? I don’t have answers to this, though I do have a few opinions (*cough* conference*cough*) – I tried to raise the question.

5) Can we please just get on with the ethics statement discussion? Its fundamental importance to any professional association should be a no-brainer.

6) When the point of the discussion is the role of the national executive, deflecting to “So what are YOU doing locally?” is a change of subject.

7) Nancy I have no problem with the word criticism. I was criticising, and said so several times. The problem occurs when one thinks that criticism and feedback are two separate things; they’re not. Criticism is a subset of feedback, and one should always be prepared to receive it.

8) I like Nancy’s idea re: the vote. Just make sure that it’s well advertised, organised and technologically supported. If something is needed in order to make this happen, advertise that fact on this forum and see who, if anyone, comes to the party to help out.

9) Thank you to Cobi regarding her well stated points about gathering a broader evaluation base. Well put.

10) If diversity of opinion, strongly held or otherwise, strongly stated or otherwise, is a rarity on this forum then that suggests there may be something wrong with the forum.

All of this aside, after a quiet year in our state chapter we are now enthused with new ideas that seem workable for crowds or small groups, with the effort appropriately spread around. I’m honestly excited and interested again in what we could do. I will be working, and working better than I have previously, for science communication in our state. This brief brangle with national executive is born out of a desire to see just what this organisation could become, and I  think the same applies to Susan, Julian and all others involved. This organisation, nationally, feels like it’s been treading water for a decade; frustrations are starting to come to the surface, which should not be surprising. I will now bow out of this discussion and focus on the state level (unless I see something really interesting…).

Lee Harrison

Mobile Science Education


0430 588 757 or (08) 8395 9586

PO Box 556, Ingle Farm, SA 5098