In Australia science communication is a relatively new field. It is estimated that there are about 500 professional science communicators working in Federal and State government organisations, universities, Cooperative Research Centres, and private consultancies.
     

A study of the background, skills and motivators of Australia’s current science communicators has demonstrated that there are a number of pathways that these professionals have taken to enter the field.
     

The skills required by these professionals varies depending on the type of organisation which employs them and primarily on the size of the team in which they work.
     

Some science communication professionals have an initial background in science which they believe to be a great advantage. For these professionals were not aware of science communication as a discipline when they did their science degree but stumbled into it later an many have since done further study in communication. The key motivator to enter science communication is a desire to enthuse others about science.
     

The implications of these findings for the professional society of Australian Science Communicators and for courses in science communication are discussed.
 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The long and winding road
The background, skills, and motivators of australia’s science communication professionals

Anne Leitch  

In Australia science communication is a relatively new field. It is estimated that there are about 500 professional science communicators working in Federal and State government organisations, universities, Cooperative Research Centres, and private consultancies.
     

A study of the background, skills and motivators of Australia’s current science communicators has demonstrated that there are a number of pathways that these professionals have taken to enter the field.
     

The skills required by these professionals varies depending on the type of organisation which employs them and primarily on the size of the team in which they work.
     

Some science communication professionals have an initial background in science which they believe to be a great advantage. For these professionals were not aware of science communication as a discipline when they did their science degree but stumbled into it later an many have since done further study in communication. The key motivator to enter science communication is a desire to enthuse others about science.
     

The implications of these findings for the professional society of Australian Science Communicators and for courses in science communication are discussed.
 

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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