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Funding boost for SA science publisher

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An Adelaide charity that publishes science magazines and educational resources has received $2.7 million from the state government to expand its journalism output.

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The one-off funding will ensure the Royal Institution of Australia can continue to publish written, video and audio science publications until the end of next year while it searches for a longer-term funding model.

Known as RiAus, the not-for-profit publishing house has been operating in the CBD since 2009 and publishes Australian science magazine Cosmos, hosts science film festival SCINEMA and produces free resources for about 5500 science, technology, engineering and maths teachers.

It credits itself as being “among this nation’s few remaining independent science voices and its last independent science publisher”.

The state government says the $2.7 million funding grant will allow RiAus to expand its journalism, with a particular focus on emerging South Australian industries such as space and renewable energy.

RiAus founding chairman Peter Yates said the charity was planning to use the funding to launch new digital publications on energy, artificial intelligence, space and the environment.

“With this funding, we can continue our important activities and launch new products to better reach Australians and their need to connect with science,” he said.

Science Minister Susan Close said the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change emphasised the importance of “timely, accurate and trustworthy reporting on scientific issues”.

“As we decarbonise and transform our economy, it is vital there is access to in-depth and trustworthy sources of scientific information, as well as forums to discuss and debate ideas,” she said.

“The Government is pleased to provide this money to ensure RiAus can continue its vital work in educating and informing South Australians on science-related issues.”

RiAus’ foundation partners include the state and federal governments, as well as oil and gas producer Santos.

It also has a paid membership program, including both corporate and individual members.

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