Communicating science with hope, not fear

Have you ever lost motivation in something because you’ve felt hopeless? In climate change communication, maintaining hope is crucial to encourage local action. Explore our tips on how to promote climate action through hope-driven and solution-based narratives.

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Scientell’s support for Indigenous engagement

Scientell staff were upset and disappointed by the negative Indigenous Voice to Parliament result. But Australia’s rejection of the referendum doesn’t mean we will stop considering how to better engage with Fist Nations people.

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When someone tells you something, do something

If someone tells you something, use the information. Change your mind. Join those who use their voices, votes and choices to do something about climate change.

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Statement from Scientell supporting a Yes vote for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament

At Scientell, we support the Yes vote for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. We believe that a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice is a crucial step towards reconciliation, recognising the unique status and rights of First Nation’s people in Australia, and

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Science communication supporting robust emissions reporting

There is a growing number of companies announcing net zero targets. But these targets come with an array of technical and often confusing data and information. Specialised science communicators can help companies understand their emissions and ensure targets are robust and accurately reported.

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Science communication: breaking the language barrier

Have you ever felt like scientists were speaking a whole other language or felt spoken down? Rather than assuming the public lacks understanding, approaching science communication as a two-way conversation means scientists and the public can exchange ideas and knowledge.

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Phone anxiety: Is texting taking over our communication skills?

If you get performance anxiety when talking on the phone, you’re not alone. But just like with public speaking, practising speaking on the phone allows you to regain (or establish) your confidence.

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Measuring the worth of measurements

Every day people use measurements. But measurement is a fairly abstract concept. So how can we make it more relatable?

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Pointing your presentation in the right direction

Many of us stifle a groan when we see a mass of slides at a talk, conference or workshop. But if you do it right, a well-crafted PowerPoint can be an effective tool. Here are our top tips.

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Tailoring science messages to support evidence-based decision making

There are many ways we can communicate a message. Imagine you were teaching someone to wash their hands for the first time. You could use an audio message, a fact…

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Engaging audiences in science

Encouraging our community to use science to solve problems with wide ranging impacts, such as climate change, is a key goal of science communication. These key science communication principles were discussed at a recent science communication panel session.

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Social-science media

Social media continues to be a dominant news source for many, especially young people. Here are a few tips on maximising the impact of your science through social media from the experts.

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Having difficult conversations

Communication often involves a conversation, and sometimes those conversations are difficult. Back when I worked at CSIRO, I was fortunate that conversations were usually easy, but I did do a…

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Why a brochure isn’t just an executive summary with pictures

We often prepare brochures based on detailed technical reports. One of our clients asked us what the difference was between the text in a brochure and that in a report’s…

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DIY science experiments at home

From Zap! Amazing science experiments, by Paul Holper and Simon Torok (ABC Books) Science is everywhere and what better time to enjoy an experiment or two from the comfort of our…

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Webinar workshop wisdom

With COVID-19 leading to an increased use of webinars in place of face-to-face workshops, we’ve compiled a summary of our findings, recommendations and tips for using this technology. While being…

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10 entertaining science books

Science and technology lie at the heart of so much that is good about modern life. As researchers rush to create a COVID-19 vaccine, let’s begin with a chillingly prescient…

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On Writing – Stephen King

Despite being written 20 years ago, Stephen King’s book, ‘On writing: A memoir of the craft’, is an entertaining read and a great source of information. Someone who has sold…

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The science of communicating science

Looking for the ideal Christmas gift for a science communicator, budding or experienced, or for anyone interested in science and its applications and promotion? Look no further. Science communication guru…

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The story of a budding science communicator – why I’m excited to share science

Late last year, I met Paul and Simon at the Royal Society of Victoria’s celebration for the 50th anniversary of Earthrise, following which, they invited me to be a part of the…

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The march of technology

Moore’s Law, named after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore, reflects his 1965 observation that computer transistors, or processors, were shrinking so fast that every year twice as many could fit onto…

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Seven essential steps to effective communication

Scientell is a science and environment communication business. We take complex, often technical information and present it in a compelling way for audiences such as policy makers. The product could…

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When in doubt, cut it out: editing tips

Recently I edited a large, complex scientific report. As an editor, one of the first things you do is remove extraneous words. Why force a reader to read two or…

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Communicating Climate Change Internationally

The international climate change assessment body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has launched a communication guide for scientists, put together by Climate Outreach — a UK-based team of…

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20 Top Twitter (and social media) Tips

These pointers come from Twitter science social media stars ‪@AstroKatie, ‪@EuanRitchie1 and ‪@astroduff who were panellists during an Innovation week event hosted by @miss_toni on 11 November 2016, at the Royal Society in Melbourne. Hash…

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Writing in Nature, naturally

Scientell’s new home, the historic Royal Society of Victoria building, houses a stunning library that includes the first edition of the journal Nature. It’s clear that people communicated science in 1869…

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Lead influencing crime, Ice drug contaminating homes, and other highlights from CleanUp2017

700 scientists, engineers, regulators and other environmental professionals from more than 20 countries have been in Melbourne this week at the biennial CleanUp global forum. CleanUp 2017, organised by the…

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Winning, even if you don’t win (and we did)

Recently our company Scientell won the 2016–17 Monash Business Award in the Micro Business category. My co-Director, Simon Torok, said in his acceptance speech in front of a packed ballroom,…

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Today Al Gore reminded me that when someone tells you something, do something

Ten years ago I saw the Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth. Driving home from the cinema that night, I passed a car with its headlights off – and flashed…

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Climate change and health: the future isn’t what it used to be

Climate change could have far‐reaching consequences for human health across the 21st century. But there is at least some good news on how health systems are adapting. ‘It doesn’t take…

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How to write a media release

Scientell prepared this summary for members of the Ecological Society of Australia, who have employed us to provide communication support and advice. Despite the rise of social media, writing and…

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Everyone has a good story

I had the privilege of interviewing half a dozen of Australia’s newest ecologists this week, after more than $1 million in funds for students were announced by the Ecological Society…

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Being a mentor can feel like being a mentee – in a good way

Discussing the communication of scientific and technical information with the next generation, and influencing their thinking about it, is something I’d like to do for all students. As Director of…


On stones, mathematics and eschewing bad puns

Excluding patients with multiple titanium joint prostheses, the most common metal in the human body is calcium. This fact will assist in countless pub trivia competitions. Chemist Humphry Davy first…

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Book review: ‘Surviving the 21st Century: Humanity’s Ten Great Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them’

Australia has no better science writer than Julian Cribb. He is knowledgeable, extraordinarily well informed and superbly adept at presenting accurate, fascinating information in a way that just begs to…

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Imagining the future: a guide to the incredible inventions just over the horizon

We are living in a rapidly changing world – when most of today’s primary school students grow up, they’ll have jobs that don’t exist right now, and they’ll be using…

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How to create a blog that everyone will truly love

This blog is competing for your attention with more than 152 million others. Nearly 173,000 blogs are added to the Internet ever day. There are now four more than when…

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New climate change brochures for Victoria

Recently we worked with the Victorian Government to prepare a series of regional brochures explaining the likely impacts of climate change and describing how best to adapt. This project was a collaboration…

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Cli-Fi: cautionary tales to prompt action

Cli-fi, or climate fiction, also known as Eco-fiction, is a relatively new genre of literature that sets narratives in an often dystopian world affected by climate change. I love it…

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The psychology of communication: Here and how; not gloom and doom

Science organisations want to explain their work to increase impact and use of results. Scientists know that science is important and would like others to feel the same. They also…

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Communicating to a young audience

Ever since the early 1700s, when the first books for young people were written by authors including John Newbery, Thomas Boreman, and Thomas and Mary Cooper, communicators have endeavoured to…

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Beginners guide to editing

For starters, there’s editing and editing. And editing. Three forms really: substantive, copy and proofing. For most clients, ‘editing’ means copy editing. That is, reading through a document and checking that…


10 tips for great public speaking

If I could just say a few words…I’d be a better public speaker.  Homer Simpson Captivate, compel and communicate clearly next time you give a talk. Here are 10 tested…