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If only scientists could better communicate their work. If only students could better understand the processes of science, and could see the diversity of science careers.

Sound familiar? Last year, our Australian pilot of I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! supported by DIISRTE and DFEEST (SA) engaged 15 scientists with over 900 secondary school students across the country. At the end of two weeks of online madness, Upulie Divisekera, Kate Patterson and Aimee Parker were crowned zone winners as voted by students and everyone had learnt a lot about science and science communication in the process.

We have now opened registrations for scientists ( http://imascientist.org.au/scientists/) and schools/teachers ( http://imascientist.org.au/scientists/) for our next event which will take place from 14th – 25th May.
For further information about the event or sponsorship, contact Kristin Alford at admin@imascientist.org.au.


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Iraqi students studying their masters in water agriculture in Adelaide are now heading home with a new set of skills to help in the rebuilding of Iraq.
AusAID sponsored 100 Iraqi students in a $16 million dollar education programme, 60 students have studied at the University of Adelaide. *Riverland Today’s Jessica Swann spoke with Dr Amanda Able Deputy Head of School Learning and Teaching, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.  Listen to the <Interview with Dr Amanda Able on AusAID >.

*Riverland Today, ABC Riverland and Mallee 1062 AM on Monday 12/12/2011.

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Golden Grains Pavillion

The Golden Grains pavilion at the the Royal Adelaide Show is hosting the “Ground 2 Grub” (G2G) exhibit. This exhibit showcases the South Australia’s award winning grains plus contains interactive science-based displays focusing on plant breeding for quality grain, pests in the paddock, soil health and precision agriculture.
Show goers in this pavilion get to touch, see, smell and understand the process of growing quality grain from the scientists in the lab to the farmer in the field to the food on the plate. The G2G exhibit was developed over two years with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s Grain and Fodder Committee.   This year the School of Agriculture, Food & Wine is presenting a number of hands on activities as part of G2G. These include:
  • See and taste barley exhibit: showcasing what foods barley is used in
  • Plant and soil health: come and test soil pH and see how salt effects plant growth
  • Just what does gluten do in bread?
A crucial aspect of the display presents the myriad of career opportunities for Agricultural Science Graduates.  The Show runs from 2 Sept-10 Sept 2011.

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Congratulations to Associate Professor Petra Marschner, who has seen the third edition of Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants through to publication!


From the Elsevier website:

“Respected and known worldwide in the field for his research in plant nutrition, Dr. Horst Marschner authored two editions of Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. His research greatly advanced the understanding of rhizosphere processes and trace element uptake by plants and he published extensively in a variety of plant nutrition areas. While doing agricultural research in West Africa in 1996, Dr. Marschner contracted malaria and passed away, and until now this legacy title went unrevised. Despite the passage of time, it remains the definitive reference on plant mineral nutrition.


“Great progress has been made in the understanding of various aspects of plant nutrition and in recent years the view on the mode of action of mineral nutrients in plant metabolism and yield formation has shifted. Nutrients are not only viewed as constituents of plant compounds (constructing material), enzymes and electron transport chains but also as signals regulating plant metabolism via complex signal transduction networks. In these networks, phytohormones also play an important role. Principles of the mode of action of phytohormones and examples of the interaction of hormones and mineral nutrients on source and sink strength and yield formation are discussed in this edition. Phytohormones have a role as chemical messengers (internal signals) to coordinate development and responses to environmental stimuli at the whole plant level. These and many other molecular developments are covered in the long-awaited new edition.

“Esteemed plant nutrition expert and Horst Marschner’s daughter, Dr. Petra Marschner, together with a team of key co-authors who worked with Horst Marschner on his research, now present a thoroughly updated and revised third edition of Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, maintaining its value for plant nutritionists worldwide.”

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Improved nutrition for billions of people around the world and the development of clean, green biofuels are two key aims of the new ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, a $32 million biotechnology centre based at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus.

See the following Adelaide Now link: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/research-to-change-plants-for-better/story-fn6bqpju-1226115599605

Also: The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls http://www.adelaide.edu.au/plant-cell-walls/

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David Bruer of Temple Bruer Wines (and former Roseworthy Ag College Academic) would like to invite interested people to an event on  Tuesday 26th July at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.
This event is announcing and celebrating his aim of becoming the first organic and carbon-neutral winery in Australia. It is closely linked with the results from David’s recent environmental carbon audit.
He has a seven-point plan to reduce carbon emissions from his winery, which he has already started with his switch to lightweight bottles.
David will speak about his plans at a reception at the National Wine Centre of Australia, at the corner of Botanic and Hackney Rds, Adelaide, on Tuesday July 26 at 11.15am. Mark Gishen, Chief Environmental Officer of the SA Wine Industry Association will also be speaking. Interested journalists and media have been invited. Wine from David’s vineyard and light refreshments will be served.
RSVP: Please RSVP to Sarah Cole (0402 833 193 or sarah@econnect.com.au) as soon as you’re able so we can cater for you.
Getting to the National Wine Centre: A passenger set down area is available on Hackney Road. Short term parking is available along Hackney Road and Plane Tree Drive, and car parks are located on Frome Road, Rundle Street and North Terrace.
Sarah Cole
Science Communicator
Econnect Communication
Post: 228/55 Flemington Road, North Melbourne, VIC, 3051
Ph 0402 833 193
Head office: 14 Horan St, West End, Brisbane, Qld, 4101
Ph 07 3846 7111, Fax 07 3846 7144

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Science Alive!- is the three day SA National Science Week event held in the Goyder Pavilion at the Adelaide Showgrounds from Friday 5th – Sunday 7th August.

Friday is a Secondary Schools ‘Careers focus’ day- Saturday and Sunday are general public.

The Science Alive Committee is looking for speakers to assist in a ‘Speed Networking’ activity (x 2) on:

Date: Friday, 5th August 2011
Location: Goyder Pavilion, Wayville Showgrounds
Times: 10.15am – 10.40am & 12.15pm – 12.40pm

Breakdown of the ‘Speed Networking’ activity:

  • During these events- (10.15 – 10.40, and 12.15 – 12.40), There will be ~20 chairs set out in a semi-circle around the back of the theatre with a working Scientist at each, complete with laminated A3 sheet giving name and ~ 3 words max re their science.
  • Wranglers will organise ~ 1/20th share of the students per speaker, then the Scientists will have 5 minutes to speak with their captives along the lines of how sorry they feel for all the other speakers because , “I HAVE THE BEST SCIENCE JOB IN THE WORLD!”.. here’s what I do, here’s an artefact or three from my work, my education pathway was. 1 minute for questions.
  • A blow from a whistle and all student groups (assisted by wranglers) rotate one Scientist clockwise.
  • Repeat ~4 times.
  • Speakers collapse, wranglers gently guide students into the Careers presentation seating which has, until this point been fenced off with bunting.

Current draft of Friday’s timetable:

10.15 – 11.00; speed dating and RiAUS Science Careers Presentation by Director and former Catalyst TV Presenter Paul Willis

10.15 – 10.40; speed dating (20 scientists)

10.40 – 11.00 RiAus Science Careers Presentation

11.30 – 11.50 Spectacular Chemistry Science Show

11.50 iPod draw #1 on main stage (5 mins max)

12.15 – 1.00; speed dating and RiAUS Science Careers Presentation by Director and former Catalyst TV Presenter Paul Willis

12.15 – 12.40; speed dating (20 scientists)

12.40 – 1.00 RiAus Science Careers Presentation


1.30 – 1.50 Spectacular Chemistry Science Show

1.50 iPod draw #2 on main stage (5 mins max)

Ian Maynard, one of the Science Alive Committee members for this event is coordinating the above Speed Networking activity. He needs several scientists to participate for this to work effectively.

If you are interested in helping out on the day, please contact:

Donna Montes
Marketing and Outreach (Events & Web)
Faculty of Sciences Office
The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA 5005
Ph : +61 8 8303 4325
Fax : +61 8 8303 4386
e-mail: donna.montes@adelaide.edu.au

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