_SMC case studies from around the world
On Friday 11th March a massive magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan.
This in turn triggered a devastating tsunami that swept across the coastline of 18 prefectures obliterating whole towns and villages in its path and killing tens of thousands of people.
The AusSMC went immediately to work contacting the experts in seismology and tsunami warnings amongst other fields and rounding up scientific analysis and comment to ensure the media, and through them the wider public, were supplied with accurate scientific information to help comprehend the causes and consequences of such a devastating natural disaster.
And when the news broke that a fire had sarted at the Fukushima nuclear plant and a major nuclear incident loomed, the AusSMC again provided the media with constant reactions, analysis and opinions from a wide range of nuclear and radiation experts on all aspects of the incident such as the emergency measures being put in place to contain the incident, the effects of radiation on human health and the potential impact on the agricultural and fishing industries.
Starting immediately on the afternoon of March 11 right up until April 13 the AusSMC distributed eight detailed email alerts containing expert analysis and commentary to our database of over 400 journalists, published three blog posts written by scientific experts, and held two online briefings attended by over 100 journalists. A conservative count found Australian experts who provided comments through the AusSMC were quoted 3,359 times on the nuclear incident worldwide.
889 of these quotes featured in the Australian media and 2,470 internationally including newspapers in countries as far and wide as Japan itself, the US, Germany, UK, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand and Spain, as well as online sites in the Philippines, Iran, Ireland, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, China and Nigeria amongst others. From March 11 to April 13 we also received 103 media enquiries on the topics of nuclear power and radiation and 31 media enquiries on the topics of earthquakes and tsunamis. Throughout it all the AusSMC liaised closely with their counterpart organisations; the Japan SMC, the UK SMC and the New Zealand SMC thus providing a 24/7 international flow of communication between the media and scientists across continents.
Examples of coverage
8000 times more energetic than NZ [The Australian]
Another huge quake likely [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Chat: Kevin McCue [Sixty Minutes - Nine MSN]
Japan Sends 50,000 Rescuers to Quake Area; Death Toll Rises [Bloomberg Businessweek]