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SKA Communications and Outreach Steering Committee

The SKA Communications and Outreach Steering Committee (SKACOSC, “SC” or Comms SC) is composed of the SKA Director of Communications, Outreach and Education based at the SKA Organisation Headquarters, the Deputy Communications and Outreach Manager, and one representative per member country. The SC is chaired by the SKA Director of Communications.

The main objective of the SC is to ensure proper coordination, management, planning and control of the SKA-related communications and outreach initiatives. To achieve this, all SC members agree to communicate regularly about their own activities and plans, and share material for re-use by the other partners. Each member is requested to collaborate and contribute resources and expertise and all members agree to work together wherever possible.

The SC convenes quarterly teleconferences and a face-to-face meeting, at least once a year and on an ad-hoc basis as deemed necessary by the SC members. Other persons may be invited to attend meetings of the SC at the invitation of the SC members.

The fundamental aims of the SC are to achieve consensus where possible, avoid duplication of work where our aims and activities coincide, and promote one another’s mutual success, maintaining productive relationships and goodwill. SC members will also be involved in monitoring the use of our branding.

Members of the SC are listed in the table below.

Name Institution Country
William Garnier – Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Mathieu Isidro – Vice Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Jerry Skinner Department of Industry – SKA Australia Australia
TBC NRC Canada
TBC TBC China
Tirth Choudhury NCRA India
Eleonora Ferroni INAF Italy
Frank Nuijens ASTRON the Netherlands
TBC TBC New Zealand
Lorenzo Raynard SARAO South Africa
Robert Cumming Onsala Space Observatory Sweden
Chris Buratta STFC United Kingdom

SKA Communications and Outreach Network (SKACON)

The SKA Communications and Outreach Network (SKACON) is composed of the Steering Committee members and other individuals in SKA Member states (also includes SKA Observer countries) who serve as liaison with the SKA Director of Communications, Outreach and Education and act as local contacts for the media in connection with SKA developments, Press Releases, etc. At the same time, they may help to provide useful contacts between the media as well as SKA-related scientists and engineers in their respective country. The SKACON members either belong to the institution which represents a member country in the SKA Board or are strongly connected to such institution and the national players (media, academia etc.). In certain cases, when several institutions in the country are involved in the SKA, several representatives per country can be allowed. The SKACON members are designated by the Board members in their respective countries. The SKACON aims to be an evolving entity, open to science communicators from countries which are not yet member countries of the SKA.

Specific tasks for SKACON members include:

By being part of the SKACON, members agree to dedicate time and undertake the following:

  • Take part in monthly catch-up calls and other meetings as much as possible
  • Act as local contacts for media
  • Make sure national SKA-related materials and resources are up-to-date and shared within the SKACON.
  • Ensure that the SKA Communications Strategy and the SKA Brand is adhered to and properly used.
  • Work with the SKA Organisation to develop the international communications and outreach strategy.
  • Update the other SKACON members on activities, news and potential issues
  • Adapt generated material to their audiences: this includes translating material (where relevant), adapting it by focusing on topics of interest, highlighting local aspect, etc.

The SKA Director of Communications, Outreach and Education supervises the SKACON. The SKACON convenes in person every 2 or 3 years. Regular communication and interaction amongst the SKACON members is done through an email exploder and, and via monthly teleconferences organised by the SKACON’s vice-chair.

Working Groups

To enhance implementation and coordination of transversal projects with global reach and potential local implications, the SKACON includes various Working Groups (WG). These WGs intend to make the best use of the different level of expertise amongst SKACON members. The scope of the WGs is to focus on specific initiatives within a defined theme, to assess the potential impact of proposed initiatives against the available resources across the partnership’s communications offices, and to make recommendations to the SC. The objective of these WGs is to ensure the communications and outreach projects to be undertaken at a global level have the maximum impact vs. available resources ratio. Current WGs include:

  • Evaluation WG (Chair: William Garnier) to define and develop metrics mechanisms to better assess the impact and efficiency of current and future projects both using a qualitative and quantitative approach.
  • Visitor Centre WG (Chair: Lorenzo Raynard) to provide best practice and key messages to be used in all visitor centres including SKA content, both in host countries and non-host countries.
  • Virtual Reality WG (Chair: Mathieu Isidro) to coordinate the development of VR between the SKA countries, share resources and materials developped and ensure complementarity between the different apps/platforms.

Other WGs under consideration include a SKA Ambassador Programme WG and a Education Programmes WG. These WGs shall include members of the SKACON and can also include outsiders whose expertise is relevant for the WG in question.

Members of the SKACON are listed in the table below (in bold are people also members of the Steering Committee).

Name Institution Country
William Garnier – Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Mathieu Isidro – Vice Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Cassandra Cavallaro SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Joe Diamond SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Jerry Skinner Department of Industry Australia
Ben Scandrett Department of Industry Australia
Annabelle Young CSIRO Australia
Pete Wheeler ICRAR Australia
Kirsten Gottschalk ICRAR Australia
TBC NRC Canada
TBC   China
Géraldine Gondinet CNRS France
Norbert Junkes MPIfR Germany
Tirth Choudhury NCRA India
Eleonora Ferroni INAF Italy
Hiroyuki Nakanishi Kagoshima University Japan
Edward Duca University of Malta Malta
Frank Nuijens ASTRON the Netherlands
Roy van der Werp ASTRON the Netherlands
Iris Nijmegen ASTRON the Netherlands
Olivia Allison  AUT New Zealand
Domingos Barbosa Instituto de Telecomunicações Portugal
Sonia Anton Fabrica, Ciência Viva Centre Portugal
Lorenzo Raynard SARAO South Africa
Sam Rametse SARAO South Africa
Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro IAA (CSIC) Spain
Julián Garrido IAA (CSIC) Spain
Marina Fernández-Peña IAA (CSIC) Spain
Robert Cumming Onsala Space Observatory Sweden
Rebecca Johnston STFC United Kingdom
Hilary Kay STFC United Kingdom
Dan Hillier STFC United Kingdom
Corinne Mosese STFC United Kingdom