A special event was held on Wednesday 3 June at Culham Science Centre to celebrate the retirement of Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith from his post as Culham Director. In the morning the ITER Director of Communication, Neil Calder, discussed the ITER communication strategy with visiting Heads of Associations and senior European Commission staff—how to present a multi-billion-euro project and make the most of the current wave of public support for new energy sources.
Later in the day an impressive line-up of speakers joined Chris in presenting their views on his chosen topic—energy, environment and communicating science—to a large and attentive audience of staff and visitors. After Chris himself had given his views on communicating these important issues, Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, talked on getting the message to governments and emphasized the distance between the state of knowledge in research institutions and the understanding of that knowledge by governments around the world. He was followed by Lord Taverne, founder of the Sense about Science organization, a independent charitable trust promoting good science and evidence-based public debates, who discussed to what extent he considered the public should be involved on scientific issues and Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature, who explained the need to understand the changing landscape of the media to be able to get your message out—both to and via the media. return to Newsline #84