Background: CSIRO is the first Australian Government Agency apart from broadcasters to successfully produce podcasts of its primary product -its scientific research. Since the first pilot during Science week in August 2006, CSIRO has loaded up over 58 short sharp interviews with scientists about their work under the name CSIROPOD, onto its website. The number of downloads has increased each month to February 2007, when there were over 30,000 downloads.Downloads are still strong, and on average there is one new podcast a week.

Objective: To reach the public directly with CSIRO's science, and let the scientists speak without mediation by the media. Methods: When podcasts were first suggested at CSIRO in 2005, there was very little existing research on who the audience was. The research found people were moving towards a more convenient and interactive programming. It found podcasting had radically changed the face of "broadcasting" with podcasts outnumbering radio stations. A pilot podcast was launched during National Science Week in August 2006. It was a simple format, consisting of a straightforward interview with a scientist. The result was immediate. The reaction to the first podcast was extremely favourable. CSIROpod then became a regular podcast.

Results: In November 2006, it hit number 1 on the Science and Media list of iTunes Australia. CSIROpod stayed at number 1 for six weeks. CSIROpod is now responsible for more than half the downloads on www.csiro.au. ABC Radio Australia is broadcasting our interviews across the Asia Pacific, and New South Wales state education is distributing podcasts to hundreds of schools. Our international profile has increased with calls from journalists who have listened to the podcasts and want further information. Conclusions: CSIROpod has found a new way to connect with audiences and communicate our science in a user friendly format. The scientists are delighted with the opportunity it gives them to communicate their science clearly and honestly. And it appears from download figures that what interests audiences most is the explanation of risks to health, life and the environment. Presentation Preference Oral presentation

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CSIROpod -how science podcasts became a number 1 hit on iTunes

Marilyn Chalkley   CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia)

Kylie Johnson   CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia)

Background: CSIRO is the first Australian Government Agency apart from broadcasters to successfully produce podcasts of its primary product -its scientific research. Since the first pilot during Science week in August 2006, CSIRO has loaded up over 58 short sharp interviews with scientists about their work under the name CSIROPOD, onto its website. The number of downloads has increased each month to February 2007, when there were over 30,000 downloads.Downloads are still strong, and on average there is one new podcast a week.

Objective: To reach the public directly with CSIRO's science, and let the scientists speak without mediation by the media. Methods: When podcasts were first suggested at CSIRO in 2005, there was very little existing research on who the audience was. The research found people were moving towards a more convenient and interactive programming. It found podcasting had radically changed the face of "broadcasting" with podcasts outnumbering radio stations. A pilot podcast was launched during National Science Week in August 2006. It was a simple format, consisting of a straightforward interview with a scientist. The result was immediate. The reaction to the first podcast was extremely favourable. CSIROpod then became a regular podcast.

Results: In November 2006, it hit number 1 on the Science and Media list of iTunes Australia. CSIROpod stayed at number 1 for six weeks. CSIROpod is now responsible for more than half the downloads on www.csiro.au. ABC Radio Australia is broadcasting our interviews across the Asia Pacific, and New South Wales state education is distributing podcasts to hundreds of schools. Our international profile has increased with calls from journalists who have listened to the podcasts and want further information. Conclusions: CSIROpod has found a new way to connect with audiences and communicate our science in a user friendly format. The scientists are delighted with the opportunity it gives them to communicate their science clearly and honestly. And it appears from download figures that what interests audiences most is the explanation of risks to health, life and the environment. Presentation Preference Oral presentation

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

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