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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 is aimed 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:

• Act as local contacts for the media

• Make sure national SKA-related materials and resources are up-to-date and share 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 (the SKA Director of Communications should also regularly update the members of SKACON on SKA Organisation activities and key messages and should suggest responses to member issues that are in line with international SKA project messages when necessary).

• 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 quarterly teleconferences organised by the SKA Director of Communications.

Working Groups

To enhance implementation and coordination of transversal projects with global reach and potential local implications, various Working Groups (WG) have been (and will be) set up. These WGs intend to make the best use of the different level of expertise amongst the 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. An Evaluation WG shall for instance be set up 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. Other WGs under consideration include an SKA Ambassador Programme WG, an Education Programmes WG, and a Science Centre 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 SC).

Name Institution Country
William Garnier – Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Mathieu Isidro – Vice Chair SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Joe Diamond SKA Organisation SKA HQ (UK)
Jerry Skinner Department of Industry Australia
Flornes Yuen CSIRO Australia
Pete Wheeler ICRAR Australia
Sylvia LeRoy NRC Canada
Gao Qiyang NRSCC China
Géraldine Gondinet CNRS France
Norbert Junkes MFIfR Germany
Ishwar Chandra NCRA India
Solanki J.K. NCRA India
Eleonora Ferroni INAF Italy
Hiroyuki Nakanishi Kagoshima University Japan
Edward Duca University of Malta Malta
Roy van der Werp ASTRON the Netherlands
TBC TBC New Zealand
Jose Matos Fabrica, Ciência Viva Centre Portugal
Carla Leite

Instituto de Telecomunicações

Lorenzo Raynard SKA SA South Africa
Tommy Makhode DST South Africa
Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro IAA (CSIC) Spain
Emilio Garcia IAA (CSIC) Spain
Manuel Gonzalez IAA (CSIC) Spain
Robert Cummming Onsala Space Observatory Sweden
Lucy Stone
STFC United Kingdom
Corinne Mosese STFC United Kingdom
Dan Hillier STFC United Kingdom