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Communicating the big stuff: stories from the ATNF

19 June 2024 at 4:00:00 am

T22 Talk

15 min


Behind the scenes of a national facility, run by one of the country’s most trusted organisations, are competing priorities, siloed projects, legacy ideals and future goals. How do science communicators cut through and attain the objectives of a modern facility? CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) includes Murriyang, the famous Parkes radio telescope on the east and the record-breaking ASKAP radio telescope on the west. But the ATNF is not just a network of radio telescopes – it is the workplace of extraordinary engineers and innovative researchers. Where do communicators sit in the CSIRO structure and how can they support, connect and grow the recognition of a national facility and its people? What choices are we making in the stories we choose to tell? Focusing on the ASKAP radio telescope as a case study within the ATNF, discover how we share its story, its science, its engineering, and its place on Country, to build its reputation as world-class infrastructure.


Ms Rachel Rayner

Relevance to conference themes

Our role as communicators at the ATNF is to support the researchers, engineers and their projects, connect them with the general public, and grow the reputation of the ATNF. We are learning to lean on the trusted CSIRO brand, the legacy of infrastructure like Murriyang, the Parkes radio telescope, and the future promise of instruments like ASKAP, to foster a community both internally and externally to the ATNF for the benefit of all.

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