The Intersection

i-2c0ad59d594a208bb995a7af724cdd5a-Melbourne CBD.jpg

I looked out my window this morning in Melbourne–after sleeping off jet lag–and saw seven hot air balloons in the sky. You would never see something like that over a U.S. city.

It was a pretty good introduction to the awesome country that I have the fortune of visiting for the next 10 days.

I’ll have many more posts about Australia, I hope, but first, here’s a comprehensive listing of the public events I’ll be doing while down here. Originally there was one, then there were two…now there are four! My speaking schedule is kind of like exposing Gremlins to water. Anyway, here they are, after the jump:

Tuesday, April 17
9:00 AM-10:15 AM
Plenary Session on “Biasing Scientific Information” (PDF)
World Conference of Science Journalists
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Melbourne, Australia

* I’m giving the opening plenary talk of the conference at this session; the talk will be about 25 mins in length. The panel will be opened by Victoria’s Minister of Innovation, John Brumby, and chaired by Robyn Williams, who hosts The Science Show on ABC Radio. I’ll be sharing the panel with Jia Hepeng of, a Chinese journalist who has done great work on SARS, bird flu, and other issues.

Wednesday, April 18
9:00 AM-10:15 AM
Plenary Session on “Reporting Climate Change” (PDF)
World Conference of Science Journalists
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Melbourne, Australia

* I’m on this panel with Simon Torok (chair), CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Kevin Hennessy, a lead author of the Australian and New Zealand chapter of IPCC Working Group II; Geoff Love, director of the Bureau of Meteorology, and Ian Lowe, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. I’m not sure how long I’m presenting, but I may show some data (courtesy of Matt Nisbet) on patterns in media coverage of climate change in the U.S. This stuff is pretty eye-opening.

And here let me just stop and also say that with both of these panels, I’m extremely honored to be sharing the stage with such distinguished folks.

Friday, April 20
4:30 PM-5:30 PM
Melbourne Centre, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Bureau of Meteorology
700 Collins St
9th Floor East Seminar Room
Melbourne, Australia

This is a talk that I alone will be giving, as opposed to a panel. It will be focused on the framing of science and particularly climate science, as well as the hurricane-climate issue, which of course will be of particular interest to this science-heavy audience. See here for more details.

Tuesday, April 24
6:30 PM-8:00 PM
Berkelouw Books–Leichhardt
70 Norton Street
Sydney, Australia NSW 2040

* This is a cozy little bookstore talk, my only event in Sydney. I’m also planning to run into Tim Lambert and John Wilkins while I’m over there!

That’s it for now….

P.S.: I am still blogging in East Coast time, but it’s Sunday evening over here, not early Monday am. Weird feeling….


  1. #1 John Wilkins
    April 15, 2007

    Enjoy my home town, Chris. This time of year the balloons are common – also see if you can get out to the Yarra Valley.

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    April 15, 2007

    Welcome to Australia!

  3. #3 coby
    April 15, 2007

    Hey Chris,

    I just flew out of Melbourne this afternoon and am in Tasmania on business for the next two weeks! One week earlier and I could have made one of your talks again…

    BTW, you have the time conversion wrong, it is Sunday evening here, so middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday back in NA. For east coast, add 10 hours, subtract a day!

    A useful resource:


  4. #4 Chris Ho-Stuart
    April 15, 2007

    I hope to be down in Melbourne this week; I will try to go to one or other of these when I sort out what I am doing better.

    Welcome to Australia — Chris Ho-Stuart

  5. #5 Phil Plait
    April 15, 2007

    FWIW, there are balloons in the Albuquerque skies nearly every day. It’s amazing.

    Sigh. I miss Australia. I love it there, as nutty as they are. Enjoy!

  6. #6 Lorne Ipsum
    April 15, 2007

    FWIW, we also get balloons in Denver about half the year (south end of town, anyway). But a 10 day business trip to Australia — you lucky stiff! Just remember — never feed your schedule after midnight…

  7. #7 Chris Mooney
    April 16, 2007

    Thanks everyone. Coby, you’re right about the timing….my brain is messed up at the moment. As for the balloons, um, nevermind that either.

    It still rocks to be in Australia.

  8. #8 Jerry Sagos
    April 20, 2007

    Hi Chris ,
    glad you are enjoying Australia.It is funny as I just stumbled across your views on .Melbourne is my home town.I was wandering where I can get your discussion on alternative medicine.I see this as an “alternative science” which is making people make the wrong decision in health issues.

    Jerry Sagos

  9. #9 Mellors
    April 22, 2007

    What credibility should be given to Bjorn Lomborg’s
    view of global warming in Skeptical Environmentalist
    vs Kolbert position in Field Notes from a Catastrophe?
    Does anyone know who would know and can comment on Lomborg’s status in the debate—Republicans love him, after all.

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