News, stories and tips from Scientell
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We just celebrated Scientell’s second birthday. Thanks to all our clients, colleagues, friends and family for supporting us through Scientell’s second year. 

We hope you have an enjoyable break over summer.

Follow us on Twitter at @Scientell and @Paul_Scientell for updates, or check out our blogs at

Simon Torok & Paul Holper
Directors, Scientell

Scientell making news
‘Science is having a tough time in Australia . . . It's an environment that makes it more important than ever to tell the story of science.’
Fairfax newspapers have profiled us in their newspapers across Australia. The article by Sue White describes Simon’s journey from research into science communication, our 20-something books and the range of Scientell clients. As the story says, we are both passionate about science, and want it to be understood more widely.

Managing pollution
You may have seen a recent ABC TV Four Corners report on the problems caused by chemicals known as PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances). PFAS have been used in consumer products and firefighting foams. It’s the firefighting foams that have contaminated land and waterways in some places. EPA Victoria engaged Scientell to help prepare a national management plan for PFAS. 

An important part of the job was supporting stakeholder communication on a trip that began in Melbourne on a Monday morning and ended on the Friday evening, with the team conducting workshops in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth.

For more information, see here.

ABC radio broadcast
Scientell managed media communication at the 2017 CleanUp conference in Melbourne. In conjunction with the Australian Science Media Centre, we organised a national online media briefing on lead contamination in Australian soils and its link to crime. We also worked with Mary-Anne Waldren, who organised a panel session at the conference hosted by the ABC’s Bernie Hobbs. Entitled ‘Emerging Chemicals’, the program aired on ABC radio.

Scientell in India
Scientell presented a series of hands-on science shows to primary and secondary students at the Velammal International School in Chennai, India. Simon presented the interactive and entertaining science shows with Melissa Lyne through a program run by Kids Unlimited. Altogether, they presented more than 25 shows to both primary and secondary students.
The series of science shows provided students with an engaging learning experience based on Australian education and teaching styles. It also enabled teachers to interact with, and observe, an Australian approach to education.


Presenting . . .
Scientell trained a dozen early-career scientists at the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) in Newcastle, NSW. The one-day course included development of the participants’ presentations, as well as recommendations on preparation prior to a talk, suggestions on developing structure and style, lots of advice and tips, hands-on experience and individual feedback.

Eavesdropping on nature
In November, Scientell managed media communication for the Ecological Society of Australia’s annual conference in the Hunter Valley. One of the more fascinating research items that we profiled was the establishment by Professor David Watson from Charles Sturt University of an Australian acoustic observatory, consisting of an array of 400 microphones across the country to track changes to ecosystems.

Solar powered microphones, forming part of the Australian acoustic observatory. (Photo courtesy of David Watson)

ABC AM ran an interview with David and ABC TV’s News 24 broadcast a live interview. See all our ESA media releases here.

2018: It's a date
The 2018 Ecology Society of Australia calendar features spectacular images of Australian flora, fauna, landscapes, coasts, skies and marine environments. Scientell is a proud sponsor of the calendar. Send us an email with ‘Calendar competition’ in the subject line for a chance to win a calendar. Competition closes on 31 Dec 2017. Please include your postal address.

Royal evening

What a night! Scientell recently joined the Royal Society of Victoria in hosting a small gathering for its science and communication networks. We joined RSV staff and Eucalypt Australia over drinks and light refreshments, connecting with old and new colleagues who were treated with a grand tour of the heritage building and the incredible Cudmore Library.

Hi! I’m Jamie, a Neuroscience major at the University of Melbourne. Along with my passion for science, I absolutely love writing, editing and anything creative – so I was lucky to come across Scientell. Paul and Simon were very welcoming and threw me in the deep end immediately. In my first week, they asked me to write three press releases – with lots of guidance, of course – and even trusted me to interview two scientists on my own. These press releases were published by the Ecological Society of Australia and led to media coverage for the scientists I interviewed. I was ecstatic for them because they are doing fantastic research, and felt incredibly humbled that I played a part in it. Next, I’ll be building Scientell’s Facebook and Instagram pages to let more people discover what Scientell is all about – stay tuned!
Jamie Liew
How many times a day do a clock's hands overlap?
  1. 12
  2. 22
  3. 24
  4. 48
(answer below)
Scientell is sponsoring and supporting a conference organised by the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The Joint 25th AMOS National Conference and 12th International Conference for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology and Oceanography, AMOS-ICSHMO 2018, will be held at UNSW Sydney from 5–9 February 2018.

Correct answer: b) 22: the clock hands approximately overlap at 12:00, 1:05, 2:10, 3:15, 4:20, 5:25, 6:30, 7:35, 8:40, 9:45 and 10:50 twice a day.


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