uni week 08

Lots and lots of reading for my assignment this week. I’ve certainly read enough to become bored with the subject of nanotechnologies or derived products.

I’m over the initial excitement of learning that working at the scale of 1-100 nm is nanoscience or nanotechnology. What I don’t get, is why it is seen to be a separate science when it appears that it is most definitely cross-disciplinary. Why can’t scientists just work together to bring their research to fruition rather than competing against each other for funds and resources.

The Conversation Circle and UniSpeakers Club in just one week has made a difference. In conversation was enjoyable, and the only feedback that indicated an area to improve was that I needed to control the conversation better. I guess this would be easier to do if I knew what the purpose was other than being polite and amiable and making conversation 🙂

At the UniSpeakers Club I was able to speak with a stronger voice and not bob my knees while speaking. Something which I did not know that I did until it was drawn to my attention last week. This included using a lapel microphone and being aware of the cable that attached me to the lectern. I found it easier to hang onto the cable, so I knew where it was, but eventually let go and was able to walk around without feeling attached or thinking I would trip up. I felt a certain sense of achievement having being able to implement change based on feedback from the previous week. All good practise for my presentation next Friday.

The lecture and tutorial session this week was re-visiting what do science communicators do and who benefits?

We then were put in the hot seat in the role as the public communications officer to respond to public enquiry when the Australian Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) was no longer contained on Wardang Island (off the coast of South Australia), and was found on mainland Australia. Catharina Landström’s paper titled The Australian Rabbit Calicivirus Disease Program: A Story about Technoscience and Culture published in Social Studies of Science was used for background information.

Our tutorial group decided that as the communications officer we would consult with the experts and collate some key responses and frequently asked questions to distribute amongst staff and people staffing an information call line. A spokesperson would be called upon to talk to the media, once the key messages had been agreed. A series of press releases was planned to reassure people that the calicivirus is only harmful to rabbits, and not to humans amd native fauna. Fact sheets were to be prepared to explain the extent of the rabbit problem and the success of the RCD program. The program was subsequently implemented in other states which sort of showed that CSIRO was now in control of the situation.

Landström’s paper was the first time I had read the term technoscience and technoscientific actors. Other disciplines certainly have their own jargon.

Next week I get to test my nanotechnology survey instrument and collate my report ready for presentation on Friday. Phew!


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