Calling for Fresh Scientists; Vic and ACT science prizes; and a light revolution at Fed Square

Calling for Fresh Scientists; Vic and ACT science prizes; and a light revolution at Fed Square

It’s time to push your best early-career scientists into Fresh Science 2015 for a wild ride of training, pub talks, and press. We’re holding the competition in most states and we’re ready for your nominations. More below.

And if you’re a little later in your career, don’t despair—we can teach you new tricks too. We are running media training courses in Melbourne and Sydney in the next month, with dates below.

Victorian Fellowships are open for early-career scientists and researchers. There are 12 available, each worth $18,000. And the $50,000 Victoria Prizes are available for established researchers whose work has benefited the community. And the ACT is looking for nominations for the first ACT Scientists of the Year. More below.

We’re injecting a bit of science into Melbourne’s celebration of the winter solstice, as part of the International Year of Light. Join us for luminous discussion and a focussed debate about LEDs, lasers, and the loss of the night, with two events at Fed Square in June. See more details below.

I’ll be in Canberra next week for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Conference, celebrating 25 years of innovation since CRCs were established, and looking forward to the challenges of the next 25 years.

Kind regards,

Looking for fresh, young researchers with a story to tell

Fresh Science 2015

We’re looking for the best and brightest early-career researchers who have made a peer-reviewed discovery and received little or no media attention.

Fresh Science is a national competition that selects researchers with research results, an invention, or a discovery, trains them in how to tell their story, and helps them share their findings with the media and the public.

We’re looking for:

  • early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years post-PhD)
  • a peer-reviewed discovery that has had little or no media coverage
  • some ability to present your ideas in everyday English (something we can build on).

Successful applicants will participate in Fresh Science 2015. First, a day of media and communication training, learning how to find the key, compelling story in their research, and how to tell that story. Then, in the following pub night, they’ll face the challenge of explaining their research. We’ll also publish short profiles on each Freshie, and we’ll pitch the best story in each state to the media.

Nominations are now open and close 25 June.

Fresh Science Victoria will be at Melbourne Museum on 28/29 July and is supported by Biomedical Research Victoria and the Victorian government. Then, over the following months we’ll be in:

  • Perth – hosted by the West Australian Museum and supported by the five universities; Curtin, UWA, Murdoch, Edith Cowan and Notre Dame
  • Townsville – hosted by James Cook University and supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Brisbane and Sydney – stay tuned for more information
  • And we’re still working on Adelaide and the NT.

Read more, see the current schedule, and nominate online at

Please circulate this information to anyone who you think would fit the criteria.

Any questions? Contact Errol Hunt on (03) 9398 1416 or [email protected].

Media training courses

Improve the way you tell your science story

What’s your story? Can you condense your work into a narrative that will work for your stakeholders and the public? How can you increase your chances of getting your story on Channel Seven, Nine, and Ten, and be proud of the result? Are you just terrified of cameras or of presenting your story in 140 characters?

We have a few places available in our media training courses coming up in Melbourne and Sydney. And looking ahead to later in the year, we’re planning courses in Perth and Canberra too.

Spend the day with two experienced science communicators and working journalists from TV, print, and radio to workshop your science and find out how to make it work for the media whilst staying true to the science.

Our one-day communication workshop is for anyone who needs to communicate complex and technical ideas via the media. It will help you improve your chances of getting media coverage and being accurately reported.

Over the day you will:

  • learn how to refine the essence of your science into an interesting story that works for the media while remaining true to the science
  • hear from working journalists about what they need to make a story work for them
  • practice being interviewed by experienced journalists in front of the camera and on tape.

Courses are $800 (ex. GST) and include morning and afternoon tea, and lunch at a local restaurant.

Dates for upcoming courses:

  • Melbourne: Wednesday 3 June
  • Sydney: Tuesday 7 July
  • Melbourne: mid-July (date TBC)

And course dates for later in the year are available at

To book, or for more information, contact Ellie on [email protected] or myself on [email protected].

The light revolution: LEDs, printed jet engines, plastic solar cells and $2 microscopes

We’re marking the Winter Solstice with a public forum as part of Melbourne’s Light in Winter Festival. Join Andrew Holmes, James Whisstock, Shane Thatcher, Tanya Ha and others for this free event.

It’s on Sunday 14 June from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.

The Light Revolution is transforming our lives: LEDs are making lighting more efficient, illuminating our homes and cities, and empowering refugee women and children.

Lasers are printing jet engines, tracking space junk, and carrying the internet across oceans and continents. The inner secrets of how we fight disease are being revealed by elegant $2 microscopes, synchrotrons, and x-ray light a billion times brighter than the sun. Book your free tickets.

After the forum, see Fed Square filled with laser light, with a laser installation by renowned UK artist Chris Levine running daily from 5:30pm until late, 1 to 21 June.

Then we’re turning to the night sky.


Reclaiming the stars, fireside chat – 19 June at 6pm, Federation Square, Melbourne 

Star light, star bright, how many stars do you see tonight? Our view of the night sky is contracting. Many children in our cities have never seen a starry night sky. Artificial light from high-rises, streetlamps and stadiums scatters skyward, which means we’re seeing fewer stars than ever before. The loss of darkness is affecting wildlife and even human health.

Join us by the fire with a panel of experts to learn more about light pollution and efforts to save the night skies. Featuring Tanya Hill from the Melbourne Planetarium. Keep an eye on The Light in Winter website for tickets.

Coming up in June:


A calendar of illuminating events

The UN-declared International Year of Light kicked off at the Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks and has been continuing with mass media and social media coverage.
You can add your own light-related event to the calendar here.

Victorian and ACT science prizes

Victoria Prizes and Victoria Fellowships
  • Do you know a scientific leader in Victoria, someone whose research has aided the community?
  • Are you an early-career Victorian scientist or researcher?

The 2015 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation and Victoria Fellowships are now open. Nominations close Thursday, 25 June 2015.

The two Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation—one for physical sciences and another for life sciences—are worth $50,000 each. They recognise Victoria’s most outstanding leaders in science, and the contribution their research has made to the community. Nominate a colleague here.

And 12 Victoria Fellowships—six in physical sciences and six in life sciences—are worth $18,000 each. The Fellowships support early-career scientists and researchers to study abroad. Apply here.

Capital science award

Are you an ACT scientist within ten years of your PhD, or do you know an up-and-coming Capital scientist performing excellent research?

The inaugural ACT Scientist of the Year will receive $30,000 and become an ambassador for ACT science: encouraging young Territorians to consider a science future, and championing the ACT’s role in Australian science. Nominations are open until 9 June.

The secret life of coral

Marine science open day in Townsville

Why should we care that Ningaloo’s tropical day octopus keeps ending up as bait? What is ‘ghost fishing’? And what does coral get up to when it thinks we’re not watching?

The Australian Institute of Marine Science has an open day at Cape Ferguson, 50 km out of Townsville, North Queensland on Sunday 14 June from 10am to 4pm.

As well as some of Australia’s cleverest marine scientists unlocking the secrets of coral and octopi, there will be theatre, workshops and tours of SeaSim—Australia’s national sea simulator.

More about Science in Public

Contact me to find out more about our services to train, mentor, plan and deliver media and communication strategies for science. We offer:

Communication plans, mentoring and training

We can review your stakeholders, messages and tools and help you and your communication team refine your plans. We offer this service for individual announcements or for a whole program or institute.

Media releases, launches, and campaigns

We can help you develop an outreach program, from a simple media release through to a launch, a summit, a conference, or a film.

Publications and copy-writing

From a tweet to a newsletter; from a brochure to a Nature supplement, we can write compelling and accurate science-driven copy which captures the essence of your story and purpose.

Kind regards,

Niall Byrne

Creative Director
Science in Public

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC 3015
PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015

03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977

[email protected]

Leave a Comment


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Contact us
Hide Buttons