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Talk to a scientist terms of use

The Talk to a Scientist program exists to allow members of the public to connect with ARPANSA scientists to address questions or concerns about radiation and nuclear issues.

The service is available by phone on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 12.30 pm Melbourne time (except holidays) and by email during normal business hours in Melbourne.

The program is currently experiencing a higher than usual volume of enquiries. As such, the average response time is longer than the expected turnaround time of five business days. We thank you for your patience and apologise for any inconvenience.

All users are required to comply with the Conditions of use.

How it works

  • When you call or email us, your query will be directed to an appropriate scientist with knowledge of the relevant topic.
  • Scientists available to answer phone calls are rotated within the allocated times shown above on a roster system – so you may talk with a different scientist each time you call.
  • We will use our best endeavours to answer emails within five business days of receipt and all correspondence will come from the Talk to a Scientist team collectively, rather than from individual scientists. This allows any of our scientists to pick up on previous correspondence rather than waiting for the original answering scientist, who may no longer be available, to respond to any follow up questions.
  • Where the program is experiencing high volumes of enquiries, response times may vary. Changes to expected response times will be communicated on the ARPANSA website or social media channels.
  • This service is available to all members of the Australian public, including medical professionals and industry representatives. Where we have recurring enquiries from the same source we may prioritise new enquiries over repeat enquiries due to resourcing constraints. Where we consider that there isn’t any further information that we can provide to recurring email enquiries from an individual or group, we may elect not to respond further, but we will tell you of our intention to do this.
  • You may choose to remain anonymous and all information will be dealt with in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Conditions of use

  • All correspondence with ARPANSA scientists must occur in a respectful and constructive manner. Aggressive or abusive behaviour or language will not be tolerated.
  • Scientists can provide health advice of a general nature but are not able to, and will not, assess individual symptoms or diagnose health conditions. If you are seeking specific medical advice related to your own personal circumstances, please see a medical professional to discuss your symptoms or conditions.
  • Scientists will not enter into debate about ARPANSA’s assessment of the evidence. They will provide advice and answer questions but will not participate in arguments based on differences of opinion.
  • ARPANSA scientists reserve the right to terminate a conversation or cease corresponding where they believe these conditions have not been met.
  • Individuals who fail to comply with these conditions may be barred from future use of the program.