Finley and Louie Ilsley are excited!

Quote of the month

‘Time spent on Twitter is time, well, spent.’


Surf club

When you’re waiting to be interviewed or to present to a room full of people, what’s your posture like? Are you spread out, taking up lots of space, or are you all folded inwards?

Your body language shapes who are are, according to social psychologist Amy Cuddy.

She claims that ‘power posing‘ — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.


Welcome to our December 2012 newsletter: Christmas wish lists

Was Karl Popper right in claiming that it is impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist?

Is there a Santa?

We’re hedging our bets and popping our letters to Santa in the mail.

What’s on your wish list for science communication? Share it with us on our Facebook page.

Many thanks for continuing to read our newsletter and for sending us your supportive messages. It’s always good to hear from you when we hit the mark.

Happy Christmas from the @EconnectTeam:

Techy Christmas to you 

By Robbie Mitchell

Dear Kris,

I think we are at that stage in our relationship where we can refer to each other by first names.

Here are my Christmas requests.

Can you please:

Science billboard - You see better when you're scared
A brilliant science billboard by not-for-profit Science World

Packet of chips enclosed.

Your friend, Robbie

Space, time, energy

By Jenni Metcalfe

This year my Christmas wishes are all about me! But don’t worry. My wants are cheap so you should have plenty of money left over to help those in much more need than me.

Wish number 1: Space to create ideas and products without feeling driven by the need to immediately respond to emails, texts and phone calls.

Wish number 2: Time to read stories about real people rather than about stakeholders working within novel integrated frameworks.

Wish number 3: Energy to act for the people and places that need my help and cannot afford to pay for it.

Let me go!

By Tom Dixon

Dear Santa,

On this cold, wet, and very long and dark night in England, I dream of blue skies, palm trees, white sandy beaches, the amazing innovation that Aussie grain growers are demonstrating and the prospect of my return to Brisbane in January to write about it.

[To the tune of ‘Let it snow’]

Oh, the weather in London’s frightful,
But Queensland looks so delightful.
To Brisbane I’d like to go,
Can I go, can I go? Let me go!

It looks cold and uninviting
And I’ve got lots of things to be writing.
Aussie grain growers need me, so
Can I go, can I go? Let me go!

So, my time here is nearly dying,
And to some folk I’ll soon be goodbye-ing
But as long as Bris loves me so,
Let me go! Let me go! Let me go!

Thank you.
Love from Tom (aged 35 ½)

Clouds and fast cars

By Alison Binney

Dear Santa,

I am sorry you didn’t get my letter last year. I was of the understanding that all my written communication was now stored and delivered via a cloud. So I slipped a note for you in my DropBox.

I had thought that this cloud computing stuff was a bit nebulous.

And when I didn’t get what I wanted, I feared my letter got a bit wet in the cloud – what with that Madden-Julian Oscillation pulsing over northern Australia in December.

So I am getting in early this year, before the summer rains arrive. As a backup, I am also slipping a copy into this newsletter which is delivered by a monkey from a different cloud.

And, just in case, I am also sending you a bird called @Maserati_HQ. He’ll be carrying this message:

@alisonbinney wld love a #maserati for #xmas

Fly safe up there. Alison

Words, winds and magic

By Sarah Cole

Dear Santa,

You have a lot going on this year, as always. However, if you mosey past Econnect, I’d very much like:

  • a way of keeping my Microsoft Word set to Australian English, not American English (have tried every online help forum known to (wo)man)
  • my work days to be graced by the lovely night-time breezes that rustle through my office
  • a lens into other people’s minds for perfect understanding, less miscommunication and work that turns out as everyone wanted
  • a magical repository of notes that appear as conversations happen and work is done, to reduce the need for emails

With gratitude, Sarah.

An evidence-based Christmas

By Mary O’Callaghan

Dear Santa,

I’ve told you before, we don’t do PR. We do science!

So if you want me to get you some media coverage, it would help if you gave me some hard evidence.

Start by sending me these items and I’ll see what I can do:

  • a dictionary of concise plain English expressions for scientific terms
  • a quoting machine (human is ok) – I email it the request for quote; it emails me the quote
  • 2 more hours in the day (4 on weekends)
  • a cure for pancreatic cancer
  • something (not a golf club) that kills Cobbler’s pegs, cane toads and march flies

Cobbler's pegs

Cobbler’s pegs (Bidens pilosa)

Photos are good too. But not photos of you sitting at your computer checking lists. I need photos of you out in the field getting your hands dirty – squeezing down chimneys, shovelling reindeer poo, that sort of thing.

Yours in anticipation,