Australian Science Media Centre

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The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) ostensibly aims to provide a link between the scientific community and the Australian news media and is based on the model of the UK Science Media Centre. The organisation was launched by then South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Susan Greenfield on 2 August, 2005.[1]


In April 2005 Rebecca Morelle of the UK Science Media Centre alerted Australian science communicators that she was involved in setting up the Australian SMC:

As some of you may have already heard - and I think there has been some talk on this forum - that there is going to be an Australian version of the Science Media Centre, based in Adelaide. It is currently in the process of being set up. I am going to be coming over to Australia at the end of this month for a period of 6 weeks to lend a helping hand to this process, which I am obviously very excited about! One of the things I'll be working with Aus SMC on, will be to help carry out a similar process to one that the SMC Director (Fiona Fox) and I carried out in the UK before we opened - and that was to consult widely with the UK community (science correspondents, press officers, news journalists, scientists, politicians etc)[2]

Morelle appealed for help with the consultation:

during my 6 week visit (28th April to 10th June), I will be based in Adelaide but spending time in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne etc and I would like to consult people from the groups of key stakeholders of the centre: ie the science correspondents, press officers, news journalists, scientists, politicians, science communicators etc. So... it would be incredibly helpful if you could:
a. let me know if you are one of the above people that I should be meeting
b.Let me know of your top 10 people that I should be meeting.
c.If you could point me to any sites/documents on science and the media in Australia that would also be great![2]

On the launch of the Australian SMC its CEO Susannah Elliott noted that: ‘A National Consultation process directed by Becky Morelle, co-founder of the SMC in the UK, was used to guide the establishment of the Centre.’[3]



In July 2013 the SMC published an online 'Background Briefing: Is nuclear the answer to Australia’s energy needs?' on its website ahead of a national conference held by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (AATSE) in Sydney.

The conference, titled 'Nuclear Energy for Australia?' included presentations by Australian SMC Patron Professor Alan Finkel, Professor Ken Baldwin, Director of the Energy Change Institute at the Australian National University, and Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe from Griffith University, who also sits on the SMC Advisory Panel. [4] [5]

The SMC briefing discusses the following issues:

  • Does Australia need to resume the nuclear debate?
  • Cost of current renewable and low emission technologies – where does nuclear fit in?
  • What are the Australian public’s current attitudes to and concerns about nuclear power?



Staff team in 2013[6]:

Australian Patron

Board Members

The Board is chaired by Peter Yates AM and meets four times a year. Deputy chairs are Robyn Williams from the ABC andDr Graham Mitchell, Chief Scientist of Victoria. Other board members include:[7]

Science Advisory Panel

The Science Advisory Panel membership includes:[8]

Past SAP members



Address: Australian Science Media Centre, C/- The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Tel: +61 8 7120 8666
E-mail: info [AT]
Twitter: @AusSMC


  1. Australian SMC (2013), Our History, accessed 18 September 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Becky Morelle BMorelle at ASC-list - Australian Science Media Centre: hello from the UK Fri Apr 8 01:30:14 EST 2005
  3. Susannah Elliott ASC-list - Australian Science Media Centre, Mon Nov 28 18:45:19 EST 2005, accessed 13 August 2013.
  4. BACKGROUND BRIEFING: Is nuclear the answer to Australia’s energy needs?, ONLINE BRIEFING – Wednesday 24 July at 10:00 AEST, acc 26 August 2013
  5. Full presentation, Science Media Centre, Recording date:Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:32 am Australia Central Standard Time (Adelaide), Panelist Information: [nil] Duration: 54 minutes
  6. Australian Science Media Centre (2013), Staff, accessed 18 September 2013
  7. Australian SMC Board members, accessed 26 August 2013.
  8. Australian SMC Board members, accessed 26 August 2013.