Hi, as a long-term ASC member, occasional ASC conference goer and very regional member (Albury - are we in NSW or Victoria anyway?), I would agree with more interest based SIGs rather than geographic basis. I am a science communication PhD student/researcher and an organisational communicator - and comparatively isolated - so this would better suit my situation, and might widen membership outside the cities, where a lot of science is done.
So, are any other members in the same boat? Time to talk!
Cheers, Wes Ward
CSU Media and PhD trekker
From: ASC-list [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Regan Forrest
Sent: Tuesday, 19 November 2013 4:28 PM
To: Jess Tyler; George Aranda
Cc: ASC Lists
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Past, present and future of ASC
Like Merryn, I have experience of SIGs within Museums Australia (I'm one of the people keeping the Evaluation and Visitor Research Network going). I'm also President of the SA Branch for my sins (see why I usually take a back seat with ASC? ;) )
Looking at how the discussion is unfolding, I'm starting to wonder whether geography (ie. state branches) is necessarily the best way to organise such a diverse group as ASC, particularly in the era of Skype, Wikis and Google Hangouts. Geography-based branches are starting to feel like the legacy of a bygone era.
This is not to denigrate what happens at state level by any means. But in my experience of comparable organisations, it does kind of build up the assumption that "something", usually event-focused, needs to happen in each state for people who happen to be there to feel like they're getting a slice of the action. And events are time consuming and increasingly costly to organise (unless you have a tame venue provider who can offer you space for free or as good as). Also, smaller states are always going to struggle to 'compete' (not quite the right word,
sorry) with those that have larger memberships and so can put more things on. Then of course there are the members based outside of capital cities.
ASC is a big tent and grouping people by geography seems a bit arbitrary when shared interest might be a better way of doing it. This would be a longer-term decision than for next week's AGM, but maybe ASC might want to entertain the prospect of de-emphasising a state-based branch structure and building more activity around groups with shared interest such as SIGs.
Just putting it out there . . .
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