The area that the nominated workshop session will cover is: research institutions primarily, but will also include government agencies and industry and commercial interests.

The $3 billion Cooperative Research Centres program has been hailed as Australia's most innovative and ambitious applied R and D scheme in the last decade. Yet more and more centres are realising that however smart their science, their science communication has been poor, if not completely lacking. For many CRCs communication and extension of research resuits, either for public good or commercial benefit, is a low priority, with many centres allocating a pittance to science communication. Some centres give the job of information transfer and interactive communication with stakeholders to staff who lack skills, knowledge or experience in these specialised areas. Others, apart from a glossy brochure and annual report, don't allocate a communication or extension budget at all.

One of the better publicised Cooperative Research Centres, for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef (CRC Reef Research Centre), with a well funded and managed communication and extension program, has recently undertaken an independent review to evaluate its communication performance. The review assessed the impact of extension and training activities with internal CRC stakeholders; considered the effectiveness of the management and activities of the extension and communication program; evaluated the organisational culture and resource levels which enhance or detract from achieving program goals and strategies; and identified new opportunities for the future.

The review, undertaken by the environmental and science communication company Econnect, gives an insight for other CRCs and collaborative research programs into improving interactive communication with stakeholder groups, and distributing research results to scientific, education, management, policy, media and user groups.

The case study presentation and workshop will examine an innovative, marine science communication network and the implications of a first-ever evaluation into a CRC's communication and extension program.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Reviewing the effectiveness of an Australian CRC communication extension program

Don Alcock  

Elizabeth Eleniug  

The area that the nominated workshop session will cover is: research institutions primarily, but will also include government agencies and industry and commercial interests.

The $3 billion Cooperative Research Centres program has been hailed as Australia's most innovative and ambitious applied R and D scheme in the last decade. Yet more and more centres are realising that however smart their science, their science communication has been poor, if not completely lacking. For many CRCs communication and extension of research resuits, either for public good or commercial benefit, is a low priority, with many centres allocating a pittance to science communication. Some centres give the job of information transfer and interactive communication with stakeholders to staff who lack skills, knowledge or experience in these specialised areas. Others, apart from a glossy brochure and annual report, don't allocate a communication or extension budget at all.

One of the better publicised Cooperative Research Centres, for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef (CRC Reef Research Centre), with a well funded and managed communication and extension program, has recently undertaken an independent review to evaluate its communication performance. The review assessed the impact of extension and training activities with internal CRC stakeholders; considered the effectiveness of the management and activities of the extension and communication program; evaluated the organisational culture and resource levels which enhance or detract from achieving program goals and strategies; and identified new opportunities for the future.

The review, undertaken by the environmental and science communication company Econnect, gives an insight for other CRCs and collaborative research programs into improving interactive communication with stakeholder groups, and distributing research results to scientific, education, management, policy, media and user groups.

The case study presentation and workshop will examine an innovative, marine science communication network and the implications of a first-ever evaluation into a CRC's communication and extension program.

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

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