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27 January 2016

Dr Kristin Alford.Futurist, science communicator, innovator, and marketer, Dr Kristin Alford, has been appointed to lead the University of South Australia’s new Science, Creativity and Education Studio (SciCEd), opening on North Terrace in 2018 as part of the University’s health innovation building currently under construction.

With a degree in Engineering and a PhD from the University of Queensland, Dr Alford forged her early career in metallurgy and the resources sector before moving into strategy development and science communications and completing a Master of Management at Swinburne University.

Prior to this appointment, she was the Founding Director of foresight agency Bridge8, a consultancy working with organisations on how to consider, communicate and act on complex challenges.

She has been CEO of a start-up company; a marketing consultant, a stakeholder engagement consultant and worked in human resources management and workplace strategy for major companies and organisations from BHP to Air New Zealand.

Announcing Dr Alford’s appointment, UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd says her diverse expertise and practical experience in science and science leadership, management and communications could not be a better fit for the role of Foundation Director of SciCEd.

“Our vision for SciCEd is that it will transform public perception and engagement with science in Australia - become a hub for community participation and exploration, collaborating nationally and internationally with science centres and galleries and showcase local innovation, science and creativity, Prof Lloyd says.

“All of this will be interactive, inspiring, fun and focused around education about science today and into the future.

“We want SciCEd to give more young people that ‘ah-ha’ moment where science and its power and potential in the world becomes crystal clear and exciting for them – so that they want to get involved and learn more.

“Kristin’s extensive experience in foresight, science communications and curation will bring a unique and innovative approach to engaging people beyond those who are traditionally attracted to science. Launching SciCEd with Kristen at the helm is incredibly exciting.”

Dr Alford is an Executive Committee Member of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies, Council Member at Annesley College, Trustee of The Awesome Foundation Adelaide and a Fellow of the South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation. She was the inaugural licensee for TEDxAdelaide, helping to develop events across South Australia.

Among her many recent projects, she curated the Climate Futures program, a community/artists collaboration on 100 year futures for Port Adelaide; developed a governance strategy for the delivery of the Inspiring South Australia program; and facilitated policy and leadership workshops on ubiquitous sensing, low carbon technologies, water and natural resources.

She was a key organiser for the Australia 2050 project with the Australian Academy of Sciences and also designed and delivered STEM Studio, a forum to encourage interest in STEM issues and careers for young women in Years 8 and 9.

Dr Alford says she is enthusiastic about leading such an important addition to the national public science education scene.

“I see SciCEd as a remarkable opportunity to put science in Australia in a different space – to make the link between science and our shared future, to develop a community understanding of the core creativity of scientific discovery and research and to encourage broader and deeper conversations about science and the way we live,” Dr Alford says.

“It is rare to be able to build a studio like this from the ground up and bring together the networks and collaborators that will make SciCEd an exceptional place for people to experience science and see how clearly it is integrated with arts, economics and all we enjoy and achieve as a society.

“I’m excited about designing spaces and events that will see us bring this wonderful concept to reality.”

Dr Alford will take up the new position on February 1 2016.

The idea to establish SciCEd (pronounced ‘psyched’) was a key initiative of unijam, an online consultation with staff, students and the wider UniSA community staged in 2013 to establish future initiatives and targets for the University.

The goal for SciCEd is to present science and technology in ways that go beyond the displays of many modern museums, with dynamic exhibitions, events, performances and installations that encourage the public to participate in, experience science, and engage in relevant and significant contemporary issues. 

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office +61 883020966 mob 0418823673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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