Mr Toss Gascoigne was elected the inaugural President of the Scientific Committee of the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology, at the ninth international PCST Conference in Seoul in 2006. Based in Australia, he works at the interface between politics, science and the media. He served as Executive Director for three national organisations over the last 15 years: the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS); the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS); and Australian Science Innovations (ASI).
While at FASTS, he developed and organised a big national meeting in Australia between scientists and federal parliamentarians called ‘Science meets Parliament’. This has run annually since 1999, and brings 200 scientists to Canberra (the national capital) to meet with members of the national Parliament. Now working as a consultant, he continues to train scientists to improve their skills at dealing with the media and public speaking. He has run hundreds of workshops throughout Australia and internationally in conjunction with his colleague Jenni Metcalfe.
His publications on science communication issues include an investigation into “Scientists commercialising their Research”. This looked at the interaction between researchers and industry, and explored the reasons why many researchers failed to carry their work through to full commercialisation. He has co-authored studies on the attitude of scientists to the media, on the way journalists regard scientists, and on the history of science communication in Australia.
Toss Gascoigne is a past-President and Life Member of Australian Science Communicators (ASC), an organisation he helped found in 1994.