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international SMCs

In the age of information, where news spreads across the world via the internet in a matter of minutes, it’s easy for any press office to claim they have global impact. But for the SMC, international reach has truly become one of the most exciting aspects of our work. The emergence of a network of sister centres based on the UK SMC is rapidly gaining credibility on a worldwide stage, with SMCs now well-established in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan (see below). And as we continue to welcome interest from around the globe, from the US to India, the family looks set to grow.

Clearly there are serious challenges in adapting the unique SMC model to such a wide variety of countries, but the success of the centres that already exist confirms how well the model works. Key to that success is a core commitment to independence, and a freedom from institutional brand or agenda. Each of the SMCs joining the global network has signed up to an SMC Charter underlining these guiding principles, and they have worked hard to earn the trust of journalists and scientists alike. They are able to fulfil the crucial need to inject accurate, evidence-based information into the headlines when science is in the eye of the storm.

This growing network of SMCs, operating independently but in collaboration, is proving invaluable and providing a wealth of opportunities not just for ourselves. Working together we help scientists reach a wider audience and journalists access the best experts of the day, wherever they may be. We are only at the start of this exciting journey and there will be challenges along the way but already we are building up examples of how this collaboration will be good for science and the media around the world.


Want to set up a Science Media Centre?

The Science Media Centre global network has grown rapidly in recent years and interested groups are regularly contacting us about the prospect of setting up an SMC in their country. We enthusiastically welcome these approaches having seen the tremendous benefits in working together, sharing ideas and good practice, and collaborating on briefings , rapid reactions and roundups.

It can take a number of years to get a SMC off the ground, so feel free to contact us early in the process to see what’s involved and check out our SMC Charter for more information on the guiding principles all SMCs sign up to and agree to adhere to, and visit the SMC Global Network website.

If you’d like to find out more about what is involved in setting up and running a Science Media Centre, you can contact us on:

t: 020 7611 8300

SMC australia

The Australian Science Media Centre is an independent, not-for-profit service for the news media in Australia. The national Centre was set up in Adelaide, South Australia, and is based on the UK Science Media Centre, being suggested by Baroness Susan Greenfield during her period as an Adelaide Thinker in Residence in 2004. The Centre is supported by a wide variety of sectors – split between media outlets, research institutions, governments and business – with each contribution capped at 10 per cent of total running costs.

Former South Australian Premier, the Hon Mike Rann and Baroness Susan Greenfield launched the Centre on 2 August, 2005. Staff were appointed in late 2005 and the AusSMC opened for business on 28 November 2005. The Centre is advised by a Science Advisory Panel and governed by a Board of Management.

SMC new zealand

The Science Media Centre New Zealand was established in 2008, the third SMC to open its doors and the first to be fully public-funded. The SMC NZ works with national and regional reporters across all forms of media — including online — to support accurate coverage of science and help inform public debate with up-to-date research on the major issues of the day.

The SMC NZ works pro-actively with general reporters to help them cover science, by connecting them with reliable expert sources and identifying science angles in everyday news stories. In 2009, the SMC NZ set up the science blogging platform Sciblogs, offering scientists an opportunity to develop their science communication skills.

The SMC NZ has been funded to date by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, through the Royal Society of New Zealand, and is currently in the process of diversifying its funding base to include a range of public and private sector sources.

SMC canada

The Science Media Centre of Canada is a non-profit charitable organization that helps Canadian journalists report on science stories. The SMCC is supported by over 130 Charter Members from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, with no more than 10 per cent of its funding coming from any single source to ensure objectivity and independence.

Approximately 20 respected Canadian researchers comprise the Research Advisory Panel, ensuring scientific accuracy. The Editorial Advisory Committee, made up of six veteran Canadian journalists, ensures objectivity and journalistic integrity.

SMC Japan

Developing the Science Media Centre of Japan (SMCJ) began in 2008 and the SMCJ opened up for service in 2010 after Japan’s Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) announced it would fund a three-year research and development project to establish the country’s Science Media Centre (SMCJ).

Not long after opening, SMCJ were faced with covering the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima.  A huge challenge for a new SMC, but amidst the chaos they managed to send out reliable information, and gain respect from the science community.

Working in Japanese and English has enabled SMCJ to take an extra step.  As part of the SMC network, they have been able to help the Japanese and overseas media get in touch with scientists from both sides of the language barrier.

international smcs