“We’re Trending In Sydney!” First Day Of Twitter At The The Australian Science Communicators National Conference #ASC2012

I’m in a little internet cafe on Liverpool Street, Sydney and I think I can best describe the dim, muggy climate outside as “Bladerunner-esque”. All we need is a few replicants being pursued by a perspiring Harrison Ford.

I’ve got a radio interview at 7pm with the fine folks at Generation Next 94.9FM Melbourne, which is why I’m not at the Cocktail party down the road at UTS. I’ll catch up with friends for dinner afterwards, don’t worry. BYO Voight-Kampff machine.

Shall we look at some of the Tweets that caught my eye today during the sessions? I think we shall:

@sciencesarah  #asc2012 beers n chats tonight great way to kick it off. Met so many celebs of the tweeting science world. See you all bright n early

@is_chris  Jealous of everyone having fun at #ASC2012 while I have to go to meetings and write grants. Also jealous of cats who sleep all day.

@Nessyhill This week I’m tweeting from the Australian Science Communicators conference. Prepare for #scicomm, art & the occasional dinosaur.

@Fossilcrox: Don’t tweet anything embarrassing while at #asc2012 – they have a tweet wall!

 @geoffcrane  Listening to the actual Robyn Williams give the Robyn Williams address at the Australian Science Communicators conference in Sydney #ASC2012

@cobismith  ABC’s Robyn Williams wants to revoke Eureka prize he helped award Ian Plimer back in the day, before Plimer became climate skeptic #asc2012

@museummike  IanChubb: we need to get better – at “doing media” – expectations of good communication are high when spending public money. #ASC2012

@nessyhill  #asc2012 Ian Chubb: the media will do science better when science does the media better.

@heatherbray6  We need to explain what science can’t do, what it’s not, as much as we need to explain what it is #asc2012

@sciencesarah  Ian Chubb: quoting scary stats on perceptions of importance of science in ‘young people’; basically they can’t see how it matters #ASC2012

@JB_blogs  0.3% of world pop in Australia directly produces 3% world knowledge and obviously contribute to the remaining 97% #asc2012

@ScientistMags  #Socmed in Australian #scicomm will be seen as frivolous until scientific leaders get involved. E.g. @ChiefSci_WA does a good job. #ASC2012

@JB_blogs  “Do you believe in climate change?” “I don’t get into politics.” #asc2012

@twinsterv  Geoff Garrett at #ASC2012 believes in a team effort with researchers communicating with professional communicators.

‏ @heatherbray6  Ooh and @theMelanieMcK is talking about values in evaluation! More qualitative work! I feel a change coming :)

@MrMikeShaw  #ASC2012 Interesting to hear that Australia has the same challenges in science communications as New Zealand.

@dr_krystal  Just met the Chief Scientists of Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland & South Australia all in quick succession! #ASC2012

@kshetts: Intimidating but invaluable speed mentoring #asc2012 . Take home msg- start doing and build your experience and portfolio

@tribalscientist  So glad to hear social science is on the rise. Anthropology and sociology are being seen a a vital piece of the scientific process. #ASC2012

@heatherbray6 1/3 of scientists in Suzette Searle’s study felt that communicating with the public was part of their job #ASC2012

@dr_krystal  Essential! -> “Need to make credible information search engine friendly” People’s first response to a new topic is to google it #ASC2012

@sciencesarah Research Session: Patrick Mahony and Jasmine Leong from “Science by Email”, talking about target audience versus actual audience #ASC2012

@1nbm  It’s great to have the chief scientists here with us today. Are there any state or federal politicians coming to the conference? #asc2012

@ASTA_online: Prof Lyn Beazley – scientists should hone their skills by communicating their science to schoolkids< YES! #asc2012 #ozscied

@sciencesarah  Lyn Beazley: learning better comm skills will make you a better grant writer! It’s not just for comms with general public #ASC2012

@1nbm: You can do the best science in the world, but if you don’t communicate it you haven’t completed your Job – @ChiefSci_WA #asc2012

‏ @dr_krystal  Mary O’Kane: Australia is good at science media, less good at talking about the contribution of science to the economy & innovation #ASC2012

@tannic_teeth  Had a nice little chat with @DoctorKarl and Bernie Hobbs at #ASC2012 nice nails Dr Karl!

@sciencesarah Geoff Garrat from Qld: all scientists should talk about their work + journos need to be more discriminatory in what they present #ASC2012

‏ @tribalscientist  I might be wrong, but are there more panelists than audience members in the IA panel? #ASC2012

@nessyhill  I think I’ve experienced every ‘regional’ frustration that Keely Quinn just voiced. I just want to give her a hug! #asc2012

@SimonCopland  Good comments on the essential role of social science in science. No point to science of the community isn’t engaged. #ASC2012

‏ @sky_pointer Craig Cormick: what does success look like? Set goals guys!#ASC2012

@dr_krystalVictoria evaluated science events not in terms of attendance & numbers, but how attendees perceived science before & after event#ASC2012

@SeanMElliott: common comment today: “We are doing so much, but it is having such little impact.”#ASC2012

@geoffcrane: Making Most of Slow Media (exhibitions) in a Fast World. Museums are social experiences with our famly & friends.#asc2012

@kristinalford @bobbycerini Is that a little like support team for scientists where scientists are the ‘talent’?#ASC2012

@sciencesarah Graham Mitchell, Vic: scientists should actively align themselves with bodies like the Aus Science Media Centre#ASC2012

@Diseasemuseum: @chriskp2 going to cut a long story short*#ASC2012 *may not actually cut long story short

@ockhamsbeard: I never drink more coffee or eat more miniature muffins in a single day than when I’m attending a conference.#asc2012

‏ @PezRojizo Graham Mitchell recommends being memorable & a bit ambiguous (ambiguously memorable?) when doing #scicomm #asc2012

@PezRojizo Graham Mitchell says-not his bread & butter so has no fear of giving wrong advice. Is tickled pink re twitter chatter #asc2012

@museummike  #ASC2012 Timothy Daly demonstrating beautifully why skilled practitioners in one field have so much to offer another.

 @Tillsify  The audience group of ‘Hoodlums’ finally addressed. Cris Kennedy, master of sci comms! #ASC2012

@kyliesturgess  Not anecdotal or just own impressions of events; need to move forward to being measured and considered – learn from experiences. #ASC2012

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.