Category Archives: Outreach

All outreach – schools, tours, public talks etc — feeds to the “community – outreach” page

Announcing the CNBP legacy website

1 September 2020

We are incredibly proud to announce the launch of our legacy website www.cnbplegacy.org.au.

Over the past seven years, the CNBP has developed an incredible track record of success, and this legacy website is designed to share our successes with the world.

From the convergence of disciplines spanning physics, chemistry and biology to deliver innovations in pain, wound and IVF research, through to the development of novel tools and capabilities, our researchers and collaborators are, literally, shedding light on biological systems that enable us to explore them in new and innovative ways.

CNBP has also fostered an incredible culture amongst our researchers, developed extensive collaborations and partnerships, and seen great success in the translation of research into commercial outcomes.

While we could not capture every story, we’ve done our best to create stories that showcase the diversity of impact we have had.

A huge thank you for your support over the past 7 years; we would be unable to celebrate such a legacy without your involvement, engagement and commitment.

Finding Your Voice

13 August 2020: By Kathryn Palasis and Aimee Horsfall

On Wednesday July 22nd, the Adelaide node CNBP ECRs met with Kylie Ahern and LJ Loch from STEMMatters to learn more about how to effectively engage with the media. Kathryn Palasis and Aimee Horsfall have summarised their key takeaways below.

The media landscape has changed a lot over the past 5 years and is continually evolving. The news cycle is moving 24/7; a strong headline and accompanying multimedia are becoming essential to grab the reader’s attention. Journalists have a more significant social media presence, making it easier to track the trends, people and stories they are interested in, and learn how they portray different stories. Twitter is a great platform that allows you to contact people directly…

Confused ECR: Hi @STEMMatters, I’ve got an interview coming up and haven’t spoken to the media in a while! What do I need to consider when speaking to a journalist?

STEMMatters: You need to keep in mind that this is an interview, not a conversation! Your objective is to communicate your key messages, and the journalist is looking for the best possible story. But there are definitely some specific DOs and DON’Ts.

Remember that you’re not speaking to other scientists – think about how you can simplify the key concepts into general language. 

Confused ECR: How do I keep the concepts simple enough to be understood by a general audience?

LJ: Go with the BBQ pitch analogy – would this explanation work if you gave it to family or friends over a BBQ?

Kylie: The key questions to address are who, what, when, where, why and how. You also need to pass the “so what?” test –  make it clear to the audience why this work is important and why they should care.

JL: And don’t forget to avoid scientific jargon as much as possible… keep the story simple so it can be easily retold!

Don’t be apprehensive about speaking to the media, but do prepare for any question.

Confused ECR: And how do I handle the “tricky” questions?

Kylie: It’s important to combat misinformation, which can be rife. We like to say don’t blame the media, just be the media!

LJ: Also don’t get caught up overpromising when asked the common question “when will we see this on the market?” Redirect the question and comment on what is interesting about your work now.

You don’t need to wait to be asked for an interview!

Confused ECR: That is all really helpful! Is there anything I can do to keep up my media presence in the future, without needing to wait for another interview?

STEMMatters: Creating your own content and posting it online is easier, and more important, now than ever. Find your own style and see what people respond to. We have some tips to help you get started!

Get out there and give it a go – if you’re excited, everyone else will be too!

Confused ECR: Thank you so much, any final suggestions?

LJ: Smile and show passion when you speak! Don’t underestimate the “wow factor” of your science and remember people are interested in it, so show  your excitement!

Kylie: Don’t be overly critical of yourself if you make small errors, and don’t be scared of the media – continue to give it a go at every opportunity!

The CNBP ECR Network would like to thank STEMMatters for their entertaining and insightful presentation – we all took a lot away from it and will be ready to implement the tips and tricks as soon as we get the chance!

Taking the path less travelled to stop brain diseases in their tracks

2 July 2020:

Tiny structures called nanocages have the potential to revolutionise treatment of conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Two researchers, seemingly worlds apart: one a nanoscientist, the other a neuroscientist. Born in different hemispheres with labs in different states, at the start of their game-changing collaboration 2 years ago, they felt they were speaking different languages.
Continue reading

People Conducting Research – Philipp Reineck

11 June 2020 – originally published by the Science Convergence Science Network

By Catriona Nguyen-Robertson

“Diamonds are forever”. This is not only true for the gemstones themselves, but also for the colouration and fluorescence that many diamonds display. Dr Philipp Reineck uses this rare property to engineering tiny diamond particles with unlimited fluorescence. Continue reading

How this researcher is collaborating against pain

15 April 2020:

Pain is one of the most complicated ailments to treat because the symptoms and severity are subjective and current medications are associated with a variety of problems including addiction and abuse. This makes it tough for doctors to accurately assess patient’s pain levels and prescribe the best pain management tool for the individual. The complex mechanisms underlying pain are the reason why researchers can take decades to develop new treatments. Continue reading

Lessons learnt managing a remote research community

26 March 2019:

By Prof Mark Hutchinson and Dr Kathy Nicholson

As we move into week two of voluntary self-isolation, remote workplaces have become the new normal.

Within the CNBP network, we find ourselves drawing on the past six years of managing a community of over 200 researchers who work and collaborate on our research program across the globe. Continue reading

International Women’s Day – lessons from 6 years of building a nurturing environment

5 March 2020: By Kathy Nicholson

It is international women’s day this Sunday and, like many research organisations in Australia, we need to keep talking about Women in STEM.

Fortunately, from its foundation, CNBP has been focused on building an inclusive, diverse and supportive research environment.

Here’s some of what we have learned over the past six years. While it may seem overly simple, it is still remarkable how many of these things are not happening.

Hopefully these insights will provide you, not matter what stage of career you are in, with tools to create change. Continue reading