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Scientell’s tagline is Science – in other words. That’s what we do. Part of our work is about distilling or summarising technical information into words for non-scientific audiences – policy-makers, young people, specific groups such as tourists – and putting those words out there in a brochure, booklet, book, website, or other format.
We’ve been fortunate to do this for interesting clients on a range of fascinating subjects, as described below.
Follow us on Twitter at @Scientell for updates, or check out our blogs at http://scientell.com.au/blog.
Simon Torok & Paul Holper
Inventing an inventions book
We launched our new children’s book from CSIRO Publishing, Imagining the Future: Invisibility, Immortality and 40 Other Incredible Ideas, at Readings in July. It aims to show young Australians the world they may very well find themselves in, all based on current scientific advances. Printed food, talking with animals, designer babies, weather control, and immortality: some concepts are more likely than others, while some are already happening, but all have science behind them.
We need to get more young people hooked on science and mathematics and this book will teach the next generation how to dream big, believe in their ability to make dreams a reality, and turn science fiction into science fact.
More information: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/7344.htm
Chris Krishna-Pillay (left) from CSIRO Education and Briana Melideo from CSIRO Publishing helped us launch our latest book at Readings in Carlton
Ensuring coastal communities are SAFeR
Scientell worked with Rohan Hamden & Associates, Bloom Communication and the South Australian District Council of Mallala to develop communication materials for a Community Emergency Management Plan for Middle Beach, north of Adelaide.
The low-lying coastal community faces periodic flooding during high tides and king tides. Sea-level rise is likely to worsen flooding. The residents and council need to ensure everyone is safe during large flood events. The community came up with ideas for communication products to remind them of emergency procedures.
We contributed to a fridge magnet and poster highlighting what to do before, during, and after a flood emergency, with prompts and a short summary of each stage to keep actions front of mind.
You can download a copy of the poster at http://www.rohanhamden.com.au/assets/Uploads/HEMP-poster.pdf.
Exchanging ideas on CoastExchange
Consultation with potential users of CoastAdapt (a coastal climate risk management tool developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, NCCARF) found a strong demand for peer-to-peer learning and advice through an on-line forum such as a community of practice. We’ve helped NCCARF develop and launch the CoastAdapt online forum – called CoastExchange. The online forum includes discussions on a wide range of topics relating to climate change and adaptation, news items and short feature articles, and includes regular sessions with a panel of adaptation experts who respond to user questions.
The forum has attracted almost 200 registrations so far. You can sign up and join the discussion at https://connect.coastadapt.com.au/.
Considering a climate legacy
We facilitated a workshop of about 40 representatives from CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of the Environment to discuss the legacy of the Australian Climate Change Science Programme (ACCSP), which concluded in June after 27 years.
Participants discussed scientific and other highlights from the ACCSP since its inception in 1989. Based on experiences with the ACCSP, we drew out recommendations for the research and operations of the new National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) Earth Systems and Climate Change (ESCC) Hub.
Under direction of the ACCSP Oversight Committee within CSIRO, the Bureau and Department of the Environment, Scientell are also undertaking a broad assessment of the value and impact of the ACCSP, from the quality of the science delivered to the impact the programme has had on the status of Australian climate change science, to the extent to which the ACCSP has enhanced scientific understanding and knowledge of Southern Hemisphere climate and Australia’s past and future climate.
Participants at the ACCSP workshop
What will oceans be like on a Future Earth?
We joined more than 300 presenters from 24 countries discussing the latest ocean acidification science, at the Oceans in a High CO2 World conference in Hobart from 3-6 May 2016.
The time scale over which ocean acidification is occurring is unprecedented in the past 66 million years. Acidification is an urgent, global problem that has local impacts. While we need to reduce the problem by limiting carbon emissions, we also need to increase resilience locally through adapting to the changes.
The conference, with Future Earth, has engaged Scientell to develop a summary for policy makers, highlighting the key themes in this rapidly evolving area of science.
Securing Australia’s Future
The Australian Government has recognised that an economy in transition in a rapidly evolving global environment presents both opportunities and challenges. The Government engaged the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to undertake a series of detailed multi-disciplinary national and international assessments to help guide Australian thinking and policy decisions.
Scientell has condensed these assessments as part of the Securing Australia’s Future Program Summary Report. We are also distilling all of the reports and their important findings into a new book on Securing Australia’s Future to be published by ACOLA and CSIRO Publishing in 2017.
You can download the summary report at http://www.acola.org.au/index.php/projects/securing-australia-s-future/saf12
Planning for climate change
The Department of the Environment and Energy supported regional Natural Resource Management organisations across Australia to incorporate climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches into their planning. They used the latest climate change projections from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au). Scientell edited the project summary reports from each of the eight cluster regions, ensuring that they were easy to understand and consistent.
Here and how; not gloom and doom
Science organisations want to explain their work to increase impact and use of results. But propagation of more and more information is not the way to engage people with complex issues like climate change. Social scientists have long realised that inclusion and dialogue are essential.
Improving public engagement with climate change: five ‘best practice’ insights from psychological science by van der Linden et al. (2015) provides recommendations on this topic. Rather than ineffective messages of gloom and doom, the more effective communication approach relies on familiarity, hope and optimism.
Check out our blog about the psychology of communication for more of van der Linden’s insights, at http://scientell.com.au/2015/12/07/the-psychology-of-communication-here-and-how-not-gloom-and-doom, and other blog topics at http://scientell.com.au/blog.
There are about 1.2 billion cars in the world, and in Australia there were 18 million registered in 2015. About three-quarters of Australians’ journeys to work in 2011 were by car, but the average car is parked 96 per cent of the time – 80 per cent of this at home.
Scientell is the media partner for a conference from 7-10 February 2017 involving the Australian Meteorological & Oceanography Society, the Australia-New Zealand Climate Forum, and the New Zealand Meteorological Society. The conference theme is ‘Australasian weather, climate and oceans: past, present and future’. (See http://www.amos.org.au/Main/Upcoming_Events/amos2017.aspx)
If you are interested in sponsoring the meeting or being part of the exhibition, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.