The Centre is based on the UK’s acclaimed Science Media Centre (SMC), an initiative of Baroness Susan Greenfield from the University of Oxford. The AusSMC was inspired by the Baroness during her period as an Adelaide Thinker in Residence in 2004.
The establishment of the AusSMC was guided by a National Consultation Report conducted in April-May, 2005. The idea was to gain a clear understanding of the Australian context, the cultures of the science and media communities and how the AusSMC could be of value within the Australian science media. The report was based on interviews around Australia with a cross section of key stakeholders such as news editors, science and medical journalists, scientists, communication officers, and science communicators.
The Centre was incorporated on 1 March 2005 and officially launched by then South Australian Premier, the Hon Mike Rann and Baroness Greenfield on 2 August, 2005. Staff were appointed in the second half of 2005 and the AusSMC opened for business on 28 November, 2005. Baroness Greenfield is the Patron of the AusSMC.
“The Australian Science Media Centre is a very exciting initiative that continues the work that was started by the Science Media Centre at The Royal Institution (Ri) in London. As such, I am delighted to endorse a similar facility in Australia, which will enable the media to gain fast access to informed and articulate scientists. Over the last three years we have proven that such a forum is vital for democratising science in the 21st Century.” Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield, University of Oxford and former Director of the Royal Institution.