top of page

[Newsletter - March 2023] AMEL and IDF updates and Globalscape

March 22, 2023

CEOs : Pre-register for the International Director's Forum (IDF 2023)

On November 14–17, 2023, we will hold the first International Directors Forum (IDF2023) in Helsinki, Finland hosted by Heureka. The six regional science engagement networks of ASPAC, ASTC, Ecsite, NAMES, RedPOP and SAASTEC are collaborating with Heureka to produce a high-level science engagement meeting for the CEOs of member institutions. The program will center on sharing among the leadership in our organizations how we can tackle Misinformation and the Planetary Crisis. There are 40 slots available to ASPAC CEOs but BEFORE you can register for the IDF by the end of March, you have to fill in this sheet. After you submit the completed sheet, you will receive a unique code after April 3 to enter in the registration when the IDF registration is ready. You CANNOT register for IDF without this code. IDF 2023 is for CEOs of "Planet" (full members) only in good standing. So please make sure that your membership fee is updated. IDF 2023 is a safe space for exchanges for the leadership across the networks. Should a CEO cannot attend but want to send a deputy, please email me first before you pre-register. For more detailed information on the IDF2023 including the program, pricing and accommodations, please click here. You can also direct your questions to me if you cannot find the information you need for you to be able to decide.


You can now register up to 2 per institution for AMEL in The Mind Museum (Philippines) for April 18-20.

Climate change is arguably our planet’s greatest challenge, bringing together science, technology, society, politics and almost everything in-between – effective communication, engagement and education is critical. As science centres, we have a role – and obligation – to play! This first of 2 ASPAC Masterclass for Emerging Leaders (AMEL) 2023, will bring together participants from across ASPAC to explore content for science shows, hands-on activities and tinkering focussed on climate change and energy production. Prof. Graham Walker of Australian National University will be our masterclass facilitator. Together we can take local action for Asia-Pacific wide impact on one of Earth and humanity’s biggest challenges! ASPAC will shoulder the Masterclass fees and meals during the masterclass (lunch and snacks) for ALL 25 participants so registration is FREE for ASPAC Planet members. Airfare, transfers and accommodations would have to be shouldered by your institution. We recommend booking at SEDA BGC or F1 Hotel (both within 10-minute walking distance from The Mind Museum). As a participant you will:

  • Receive written resources and experience in-person ideas for demos, activities and more developed at the Australian National University, including a detailed Teacher Workshop booklet you can adapt to your context – and share innovative approaches you’re already using

  • Learn and apply fundamentals that underpin effective climate communication, such as making it relevant and balancing problems with solutions to inspire and empower

  • Codevelop and refine content to suit the different cultures, audiences, geographies, curriculums, etc. you work with

  • Create prototype content and an action plan for sharing it with other staff and delivery to the public back at your centre

  • Share your successes, challenges and learn from each other as part a community of practice going forward

  • Take part in research so we can understand what works, what doesn’t, and why – and measure the impact we make as team ASPAC!


GlobalSCAPE workshop “Promoting Research from Your Institution” Miraikan

Preparing Press Releases 101

Nice to meet you! I am Serah Hoeks, science communicator at ‘Miraikan – the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation’ in Japan. I arrived here from the Netherlands about a year ago, after the Covid-19 border measures were finally relieved. At Miraikan, I do a variety of different science communication activities, from talking about science with visitors in the exhibition space and organizing events to writing blogs. Last year I attended a workshop on written science communication by the GlobalSCAPE project. This workshop focused mainly on press releases about new research. Those are probably mostly used at universities and research institutions, but the principles behind it can be applied to science news and other science related writing as well, so I would like to share my experience here. This workshop takes participants through the process of writing a press release (or a science news related story) in four steps: 1. Sourcing your stories 2. Understanding your audience 3. Writing your press release 4. Maximizing external promotion

Sourcing your stories Let’s be honest: you can only write about new research if you can actually find it. So this part was about how to find suitable research, which is mainly a question of networking, staying up to date with journals and general news in your area of interest, and making sure researchers and other people in your network can easily reach out to you. Understanding your audience Once you have found some interesting news or information, you have to think of your audience: will they find this news interesting? Or the other way around: for what kind of audience is this news suited? You can use ‘scoping strategies’ for this, for example having a look at what people in your audience say about your topic online. Writing your press release Once you know what to write about and what kind of audience you have, you need to write your actual article/press release. To do so, you need to identify the most important information, such as why people should care about this or what problem you are addressing. And you need to structure your information in a clear and compelling way; for example making it a story or narrative with characters taking action or experiencing something, while avoiding unnecessary jargon. Maximizing external promotion You could sit and wait for people to find your story after you are done writing, but then you will hardly reach anyone. To reach as many people in your target audience as possible, you can use social media, traditional media like newspapers, your institution’s website, etc. Be careful to choose media that your target audience actually uses. In the case of a press release, holding a press conference, using services like EurekAlert!, or directly contacting relevant journalists may help too.

General Impression

There were a few ‘tips’ in this workshop that I had heard before as examples of bad or unethical science communication. For example, they recommended to always frame your story in terms of a ‘victim, villain and hero’, but that is not necessarily appropriate and creates the risk of making people or organizations out to be the bad guy when they actually did nothing wrong. Nevertheless, this workshop gave a comprehensive overview of basic science communication writing skills in the context of press releases. Also, the workbook contained many links to valuable resources, such as the ‘dejargonizer’ that helps you find out whether you use too much jargon and how readable your text is. (I can send a copy of the workbook to those who are interested. In the workbook, you will find more detailed descriptions of the ideas presented in the workshop as well as practice exercises and the list of useful websites and resources.)

Facts and Figures

When? 11 November 2022 9:30~18:15 Where? Tokyo, Japan (also in other countries worldwide throughout 2022) Who? (trainer) Jeffrey Robens, Lead Trainer & Senior Editorial Development Manager at Springer Nature Who? (participants) About 20 participants, mainly PR staff and managers of universities and research institutions, a few researchers, a few people with no prior experience on the topic, two Miraikan science communicators Language English How much? Free (support for travel expenses also available) Official link

About Serah / Miraikan’s science communicators: Mail address:

Any ASPAC member can post their events and offerings in the ASPAC Facebook Page. That will be the best platform for all our simultaneous announcements. However, should there be an event that you need the ASPAC leadership to officially endorse and solicit participation in, please click here to email details to the current Executive Director.

Whatever your role in your organization, if you love to write, please send me your article on whatever it is you think would be worthwhile to share with ASPAC. I cannot predict or limit what that will be as there are so many connections between our work and the rest of what others in the world are doing, This is especially ripe in these strangest of times. We are excited to see your insights! Please send me your piece and we will see how it fits in our ASPAC human story. We are excited to unearth the evolving pool of ASPAC writers! Thank you!

231 views0 comments


bottom of page