And In Science

In 2013 I orchestrated the ‘And In Science‘ Campaign with the help of a few others (including Mel McKenzie). I petitioned the radio station  Triple J, Australia’s youth Radio Station on The ABC, to include more science in their news. This campaign was conceived after noticing that Triple J’s hourly news updates, which were invariably 3-minutes long, typically included about 30 seconds of sports news. I reasoned that if sports was important enough to be included in it’s very own news segment every hour, science, too, was worthy of explicit and regular inclusion.

We formed the following petition statement:

     We, the undersigned, believe that science deserves equivalent representation to that of politics, culture, breaking news, and sport. We believe that science is both interesting and relevant, and meaningfully contributes to our understanding of the world (and universe) around us. Thus, we hereby petition Triple J (Australia’s publicly owned youth radio station) to include an ‘In science’ report in their hourly news updates, of one or more contemporary and current science news items, of at least 20 seconds duration.

 

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I recruited a core team of  8 scientists, journalists, communicators and creatives (film-makers, musicians, event managers) to bring the campaign come to life. With their help we solicited more support from  public figures in Australia including Robyn Williams (Science Communicator), Lawrance Leung (Comedian), Will Andersen (Comdian), Richard Saunders (President of Australian Skeptics) and Meredith Doig (President of Rationalist Society of Australia), and many more.

We produced our first video, sent out press releases, and tried to gain traction…

In the first 24 hours we collected over 700 signatures. Over the next few weeks I did a number of interviews and media appointments, including 4-minutes live on ABC national on the 12pm news and coverage on The Conversation.

We released our second video… 

Ultimately we raised over 2300 signatures, gained national attention (albeit briefly). We directly contacted the ABC on several occasions (including some bigwigs), but who ultimately failed to open a dialogue. We sent not one, but two open letters and received no love.

Though the campaign was unsuccessful (in 2013) much was learned. While I still honestly believe the goal to be worthy, and Triple J accountable, the campaign had run its course. The energy, organization, time, and resources required were not sustainable (even though the campaign came in at less than $150 in cash-terms). Watch this space…

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