Little Mermaid’s umbrella turns up in the Andamans
By Hasathi Bhagavatula, B.Sc Blended, Class of 2022 A biology enthusiast named Felix was vacationing in the Andaman Islands of India, when he accidentally spotted a peculiar-looking plant. On further inspection, he realized it looked similar to an algal species he studied before but something about it was…enthralling. It was brought back to laboratories for further investigation and after 18 months of …December 10, 2021
In vitro meat, the guilt-free alternative for meat lovers
By Camila Alfonso, Class of 2020. Animal welfare, greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns. These are some of the reasons people are choosing to become vegetarian or vegan. While all these reasons have science (or ethics) to back them up, there’s some people who just can’t say no to a juicy steak or a delicious cheeseburger. What if there was a …December 3, 2021
Cheese? Yes please!
By Kirsten Lee, Class of 2020. Cheese, glorious cheese. The melting, oozing, creamy goodness, loved the world over. Unfortunately for those who struggle with lactose intolerance, it is more of a love-hate relationship. From a young age I have struggled with dairy, and a few years ago I had to say enough was enough. It was doing me more harm than good. …November 29, 2021
Does time really exist?
By Madeleine Hedin, Class of 2020. Over the last 18 months or so (aka in lockdown), you’ve no doubt, at some point, had a little extra time on your hands to ponder the very nature of reality. I for one, find myself losing my grasp on time, which has led me to question “is time even real?” I decided to do a …November 19, 2021
Total, Utter CHAOS
By Isobel Abell, Class of 2020. Bourke Street on Christmas Eve. Eight dogs in a small room after you say “Walkies!” The state of online learning. We’d all describe these situations as chaotic, but what is chaos? Collins Dictionary describes chaos as a “state of complete disorder and confusion.” While this perfectly describes my undergraduate degree, it’s not quite enough for …November 14, 2021
Dude, where’s my attention span?
By Eilish Roberts, Class of 2019. Am I the only one who feels like my attention span is becoming shorter than a matchstick? I used to be able to read an article in one sitting, but now I get a few sentences in before mindlessly reaching for my phone. Once I’m in the distraction vortex, I’m in deep; it can sometimes …November 5, 2021
The science and power of first impressions
By Janine Jaramillo, Class of 2020. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers At some point in our lives, we have heard of this classic quote and understood its sentiments. First impressions can make or break our reputation and potential relationships with others. We must quickly act to ensure a proper first impression. In some …October 22, 2021
The Science of Ghost-Busting
By Cat Thomson, Class of 2020. Image courtesy of Lennart Wittstock via Pexels It’s now October which means that Halloween and the spooky season is just around the corner. If you’re like me, you’re planning out your costume and are getting ready to share some ghost stories with friends. We all (hopefully) know that there is no evidence to support the existence of …October 15, 2021
Silent but deadly – farts explained
By Sophia Giarrusso, Class of 2020. I’ve been wracking my brains the past week trying to think of an interesting topic to write about. A topic that will be useful to my readers in their everyday lives. So, I decided to get some advice from my boyfriend’s brother. I approached him this morning and said, “Bill, what is something that you’ve always wanted …October 9, 2021
Susceptibilis: the land of complete susceptibility
By Ekmini Ramanayaka Pathirannehelage, Class of 2020. Imagine that in the middle of the Pacific Ocean there is an island called ‘Susceptibilis’. It has a population of 150 people. Measles isn’t a problem on this island and no one is vaccinated against it. Suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, a case of measles pops up in the west of the island. …October 1, 2021
Lose weight by gaining fat – WTF???
By Wayne Du, Class of 2020. Before COVID19 hit Melbourne resulting in our countless number of lockdowns, I had so many good habits, including a healthy routine that involved going for a run every morning before heading off to uni. However, since March 2020, I have found myself a new routine, one that I cannot say I am much proud of. It …September 24, 2021
But HOW gay are you?
By Leela Calalang, Class of 2020. At the time of publication, Melbourne is on track to hold the world record for time spent in hard lockdown. Sitting at a running total of 228 days, our options for meeting new people are certainly limited under COVID-19 restrictions. Like millions of other Australians, you might have been tempted to take advantage of the …September 17, 2021
Russian spies in a park near you?
By Kate Bongiovanni, Class of 2020. It’s a beautiful sunny day and you’re walking through your local park soaking up the warmth of the sun, listening to the breeze rustle through the trees, watching swans drift lazily through the pond. You can hear birds chirping, a couple chatting on a park bench and children frolicking in the playground. Then the calm …September 10, 2021
Frogs Under Fire
By Christina Renowden (@eco_christinar), Class of 2020. For over 200 million years, frogs have been happily chirping, peeping and hopping about the planet. Often referred to as a barometer of a healthy environment, frogs, now sadly, are increasingly under fire. Are their nightly calls diminishing to the point that we cannot hear their soft, melodic voices warning us the planet is …September 3, 2021
Soldier Flies Join the War against Antibiotic Resistance
by Jess Beecroft, class of 2020. Preventing plant diseases using fly larvae fat Black Soldier Fly Head, Hermetia illucens. Image by Thomas Shahan via Creative Commons Plant diseases present never-ending problems for food production. With loss of crops leading to food shortages and negative economic impacts that range from local to worldwide scales, it is no wonder that so much research is invested in …August 27, 2021
When Life Almost Ended Permian-tly…
By Kim Meyers, Class of 2016 What makes Earth so extraordinary is the life it homes. Life occurs in so many different shapes and forms and occupies so many different habitats. But there was a period in Earth's history when life almost... ...ceased. And scientists can't yet explain why. Mass extinctions have always been a part of Earth's history with our planet having to …August 20, 2021
Where did all the giant bugs go?
By Jasmine McBain-Miller, Class of 2016 We’ve all experienced the unpleasantness of having an insect fly into our mouths. If we’re lucky and fast enough, we might manage to spit them out. If we’re unlucky well… at least they’re nutritious! In the end we should just be thankful that swallowed bug wasn't any larger. Most insects are quite small, although stick-insects can be relatively …August 13, 2021
Epigenetics: A Thrifty way of using DNA
By Kim Meyers, Class of 2016 Most of us strive to lead healthy and happy lives. But our vulnerability to disease in adult life can be shaped long before we even leave the womb. Life is incredible. Strands of DNA drive our development and allow us to transform from a single cell, to a freaky looking bean before becoming functioning human beings. …August 6, 2021
Can coral create rain?
By Tim Brown, class of 2016 As I’m typing this, a group of researchers from QUT are cruising along the Great Barrier Reef. But they aren’t surveying fish or looking at coral. They are simultaneously sampling the water beneath them and the air above them for a small molecule called dimethyl sulphide (or DMS). So, why do they care about DMS? Well, …July 30, 2021
Video Explainer: F1 Drivers Aren’t Real Athletes – They’re Elite Athletes
By JT Yeung, class of 2017 (Image by www.twin-loc.fr via Flickr) I've always had a burning ambition to turn my scripts into videos. Particularly since we are living in a more visual-centric world, videos are effective at conveying information that words simply cannot. I made this video based off the article I wrote last year with the help of my friends - Margaret Ho, Joyce …July 27, 2021
Do sabre-toothed tigers prowl university campuses?
By Kimberley Reid, Class of 2017 (Sabre-tooth tiger image credit James st. John via Flickr) Do sabre-toothed tigers lounge in empty lecture theatres? Have you seen a grizzly bear queuing for coffee? They sound like ridiculous questions, but one-fifth of Australian university students would subconsciously answer yes…including me. A typical lecture during my undergraduate degree went something like this. I’d walk in to the …July 20, 2021
This building looks like a duck…and other facts about pareidolia
By Leslie Ng, Class of 2016 We’ve all experienced it before, and we can’t escape it. Whether it’s a building that looks like a duck, or electric sockets that stare back at us; we seem to be able to make out faces from ordinary objects. The good news is you’re not going crazy, looking for faces is something that the brain …July 13, 2021
To think or not to think?
By Po-Chen Liu, class of 2020. Visit Po-Chen's LinkedIn and Website. Mind control, is real, well basically. In 2012, a paper published in the journal Nature by Brown University demonstrated paralysed subjects can control a robotic arm using their thoughts, and only their thoughts, via a Brain Computer Interface (BCI). A new hope in the future of restoring damaged bodies using robotic prostheses? Cyborgs?! BrainGate BCI …July 8, 2021
High Seas and Low Lands: The Netherlands and Coping with Life Under Sea Level
By Chayton Bouwmeester, class of 2020. With roughly a third of the country below average sea level, you can imagine why the Dutch might have an adversarial relationship with water. So far, water levels have been managed by a complex system of dikes, dams, and sand dunes. However, as global water levels continue to rise, the sea threatens to return to …June 30, 2021
Zoonosis and the next pandemic: why hindsight must be 2020
By Calandra Grima, class of 2020. Image by James Wainscoat, via Unsplash (left); Image by Luke Jones, via Unsplash (right) From the Black Death, Spanish Influenza and HIV/AIDS, to SARS, Ebola, and now COVID-19. These are just a notable few of the numerous disease outbreaks in human history that originated from animals. Each of these diseases shook the world when they arose and caused widespread death, illness and fear. …June 23, 2021
A low-ranking monkey, or just blue balls?
By Sophia Giarrusso, class of 2020 (@GiarrussoSophia on Twitter) Vervet monkeys have small cute faces and bright blue testicles. Over the male’s lifetime, the blue colour will change according to social status. In other words, a low-ranking monkey will have much lighter nuts than an alpha. The male vervet monkey. Image credit Malingering on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Vibrant shades of blue are everywhere in nature. Blue hydrangeas …June 16, 2021
Give it up for hand hygiene!
By Ekmini Ramanayaka Pathirannehelage, class of 2020. I think our hands have been feeling extra special over the past few months, don’t you? From Prime Minister Boris Johnson to celebrities doing #SafeHands Challenge initiated by the WHO, prioritising hand hygiene has been a key message in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. Would you believe it when I say that it actually wasn’t so …June 9, 2021
I dreamed a dream… and dreamed it again
By Jordy Grinpukel, Class of 2016 You race down the corridor, trying to avoid the milling crowds lining the hallway. Get out of the way! Your final exam has just started, how are you so late? And why is everyone so in the way?! They won’t let you in, you’ll fail! And God, why now to need the toilet so badly?! …June 2, 2021
Have we been thinking about stress all wrong?
By Charles Tan, Class of 2016 No one likes stress very much. We’ve always been told we needed to deal with our stress by getting rid of it. But is that even possible? What if stress isn’t as harmful as we first thought and it’s just been misunderstood? When we think of stress, we almost always paint it in a negative light. …May 26, 2021
The Tea on Microplastics
By Kate Huckstep, class of 2019 Microplastics have been getting a lot of attention lately, as more and more of them are found in our oceans, rivers, air, and soil. Very recently, scientists have discovered yet another – somewhat surprising – location abundant with microplastics: a good old cup of tea. Morning Tea: Picture by katiew via Flickr What Are Microplastics? Microplastics, technically speaking, are tiny particles of …May 19, 2021
Out of this world: Finding exoplanets
By Trish Koh, Class of 2016 First direct image of an exoplanet (lower left red spot) orbiting its star (centre blue spot). Credit: European Southern Observatory via their website Movies have long explored the ideas of discovering exotic new landscapes that we could colonise and the potential to find extra-terrestrial lifeforms. Whenever we find a new planet, these reveries have the potential to …May 5, 2021
Why do we fear spiders? More importantly, should we?
By Caitlin Selleck, Class of 2016 Many people can’t stand spiders, and put it down to their hairy bodies, their many legs, or the way they move. Why are we really scared of spiders, how did this fear evolve, and is it still a useful response? I’ve always wondered why people dislike spiders, probably more than most. No, I’m not a psychologist, …April 28, 2021
Getting Handy with Sign Language
By Sabrina Lewis, Class of 2016 Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language used across Australia, primarily by deaf individuals and their family members. During the winter holidays I took a 1-week intensive subject: Auslan and Visual Communication. Over the course of the week I gained a number of skills and learnt a range of interesting facts about Auslan and deaf culture. Three things …April 21, 2021
12 years is a long time to wait to be able to chew properly
By Adrian D'Alessandro, Class of 2016 Last Thursday I entered the final phase of a 12 year journey. It involved a medieval torture device, metal all over my teeth and my face getting cut open just so I could chew properly. Of course I’m being a bit melodramatic when I say medieval torture device, but I’m not the only person to …April 14, 2021
Pigeons know the difference between good and bad art
By Leslie Ng, Class of 2016 (Pigeon image credit Hybrid via Unsplash) It’s a lovely day for a stroll in the art gallery. You find yourself standing in front of a painting that has caught your eye. It’s the ‘Impression, soleil levant’ by Claude Monet, famously depicting the port of his hometown of Le Havre. You try your best to admire the …April 7, 2021
The chickens that stand guard
By Jasmine McBain-Miller, Class of 2016 (Chicken image credit Stephen Mierendorrf via Unsplash) They are our avian defenders. Our silent watchers of disease spread. They warn us of imminent dangers. They are our sentinel chickens. While she may not look like a defender with her stumpy legs, tiny beak, and lack of scale armour, she is proving herself more than worthy of the title. Valiant chooks have …March 31, 2021
10 things that animals can teach you about flirting
By Ebony Ciarrocchi, Class of 2016 Welcome to the world of animal courtship. Things can get pretty brutal out there in the wilderness, so to score yourself a mate, you’ve got to be the best of the best. And there’s no Tinder in the animal kingdom, so these guys have gotta go back to basics. Basically, these animals have more game than …March 24, 2021
Oldest picture in the Universe: the Cosmic Microwave Background
By Adam Grodeck Sometimes a bit of nostalgia is a welcome distraction from the dreary drag of life. I often find myself flicking through old photo albums, especially the film prints of me and my brother as young’uns. There’s a unique pleasure in doing this; baby photos are damn cute! But the photo that you’re about to see is the mother of …March 17, 2021
Geoengineering: the only way to beat climate change, or is it too good to be true?
By Sakib Kazi, Class of 2016 When it comes to climate change, humanity’s response has been one failure after another. We were late in realising it was a thing, we were late in organising a legal framework to deal with it, and a large proportion of the public still aren’t all that worried about it. We tried to tell ourselves that …March 10, 2021
This is a blog post about memes. I’m not even going to try and hide it.
By Kate Trewin, Class of 2016 Everyone in the world loves a good meme, and everyone’s ideas on what a good meme are vary widely, but we love them none the less. Why is this? Well, science might have the answer! To begin with, lets delve into what makes a meme; the most common memes are your well known ‘advice animals’ such …March 3, 2021
Déjà vu and you
By Moshe Jasper, Class of 2016 I remember the moment like it was yesterday. The busy bustle of the state library lawn. Trams clanging, pedestrians hurrying, uni students relaxing. A clear-skied, relaxing spring day. There I stood, gaping as an incredibly tall, slightly freaky activist literally jumped up and down on the spot in front of me, chanting about how "Help …February 24, 2021
Manakin mania: the birds that dance with style
By Elizabeth Newton, Class of 2016 Have you ever heard of dancing manakins? No, not dancing mannequins. Manakins are small birds found in the forests of South America. They’re special because many of them are great lookers, great dancers, or a combination of both. It’s the male that takes all the attention, for it is he that goes to great lengths to …February 17, 2021
Cringe-attacks: learning how to #scicomm
By Lachlan Tegart, Class of 2016 You know those memories that you think of and immediately undergo a whole body cringe? They're just the worst. One of my most vivid cringe-attacks was back in Year 9. I really loved school, especially in Year 9. I was very much a self-admitted nerd. It was the day before our first maths test; we were quite anxious. We …February 10, 2021
Science & Art, Flowers & Feynman
By Sam Spillane, Class of 2016 Is it artists, or scientists, who can most appreciate the natural world around them? Richard Feynman has this beautiful piece from a BBC interview, often referred to as "Ode to a Flower". He talks about a disagreement he had with a friend of his, an artist. The artist told Feynman that he sees the beauty of the flower, and …February 3, 2021
Zombies Among Us…
By Sidney Ruthven, class of 2020. Zombie is a relatively modern word, but the idea spans many cultures and centuries. Wherever we look, the world’s media is riddled with stories about these monstrous creatures, but they’re just stories, right? Various ideas come to mind when I say zombie. The word invokes images of iconic movies like I Am Legend, tv shows such …December 9, 2020
Feature Friday: Sat Dushyanthen
This Feature Friday, I'm delighted to introduce you to another of our former students, Dr. Sat Dushyanthen, and her YouTube channel, Science in Motion. Sat studied with us during her Masters of Biomedical Science in 2013 to 2014, specialising in oncology. "Science communication was a core subject at the time. I'm so glad it was - I'd never even heard of …December 4, 2020
How to be a Laundry Legend
By Vicki Huang, class of 2020. For those of us who brave Melbourne’s changeable weather: Give yourself a pat on your back. But let’s especially congratulate Melburnians who hang their laundry outside - which takes extreme skill and courage. To perfect this chore, laundry legends need to consider weather patterns, clothes-line angles and pegging tactics. As someone who has been lectured …December 2, 2020
Feature Friday: Catriona Nguyen-Robertson
We've all heard about the "new car" conundrum. As soon as you think you want to buy a new car (a red Mazda 2 in my case), you start seeing it EVERYWHERE. Like, "Were there always this many red Mazda 2's on the street, or am I just noticing them now?" Well I feel like Catriona Nguyen-Robertson is the Melbourne Science …November 20, 2020
It’s official: weeds have magic!
By Rebecca Du, class of 2020. Have you ever tried to kill weeds in your backyard? No matter how thorough you worked, they just popped up later. Well, they are protected by magic, the evilest kind, like he-who-must-not-be-named from Harry Potter. Yes! The weeds have horcruxes!!! Lord Voldemort made seven of those, with each holding a piece of his soul. Even he …November 11, 2020
Feature Friday: Animals Make Us Human
This Feature Friday, I’d like to introduce you to a book for you to add to your Summer reading or Christmas gift list: Animals Make Us Human. When people around the world think of Australia, they’ll usually think about the incredible wildlife. Whenever I go overseas, I’m always asked to explain what the heck a platypus is, if the ground is …November 6, 2020
At the University of Melbourne, we believe it is essential for scientists to learn how to share their ideas with a variety of audiences in an effective and engaging manner. These audiences may include scientists from other disciplines, school students, research funding agencies, media, government, industry and the public.
We offer three subjects to help science students develop the written and spoken communication skills they will need to be successful in their careers. These subjects focus on providing many opportunities for students to receive feedback and improve their own written and spoken communication skills.
MULT20011 Science Communication and Employability (Level 2 Breadth)
and SCIE90012 Science Communication (Graduate)
In both subjects, we discuss the important role science and technology plays in twenty-first century society and explore why it is vital that scientists learn to articulate their ideas effectively to non-scientists. Topics include giving talks, blogging, writing press releases, communicating about climate change, communicating with politicians, science performance, and how science is reported in the media.
In Science Communication & Employability, we also focus on effective communication in the context of employability: writing a CV or job application, interview skills, interpersonal communication and what communication skills employers are looking for in science graduates. Science Communication students undertake exciting internships with a variety of science organisations in Melbourne, including Zoos Victoria, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, 3RRR Community radio, EPA, CSIRO, University High School, Royal Botanic Gardens, Prader-Willi Research Foundation Australia, Melbourne Space Program and Museums Victoria.
Communication for Research Scientists (Graduate)
As a scientist, it is not only important to be able to experiment, research and discover, it is also vital that you can communicate your research effectively in a variety of ways to other scientists, including those outside your field. Even the most brilliant research is wasted if no one knows it has been done or if your audience is unable to understand it.
This subject is for research students and includes effective science writing and oral presentations across a number of formats: writing a thesis; preparing, submitting and publishing journal papers; searching for, evaluating and citing appropriate references; peer review, making the most of conferences; applying for grants and jobs; and using social media to publicise research.
Looking to improve your science communication? Here are some web resources you may find helpful.
Why communicate about science?
Effective Communication, Better Science – a quick read that defines science communication more broadly
Why Communicate Science? – why scientists should explains science to non-scientists and generally have a much greater presence in society. If Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein found the time for it, so should we!
Why We Need Science Communication
What Does Research Say About How To Effectively Communicate About Science?
Is It Your Duty To Communicate Your Science?
Science, Politics And Science Communication
Storytelling in science
Alan Alda On The Art Of Science Communication: ‘I Want To Tell You A Story’
How To Communicate Your Work Through Stories
And, But, Therefore: Randy Olson And The Art Of Science Storytelling Part 1
And, But, Therefore: Randy Olson And The Art Of Science Storytelling Part 2
And, But, Therefore: Randy Olson And The Art Of Science Storytelling Part 3
Using Narratives And Storytelling To Communicate Science With Nonexpert Audiences
Books on writing
Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words by David Lindsay
Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword
How to write a Better Thesis by Evans, Gruba & Zobel * E-book $16.99
How to write a Better Minor Thesis by Gruba and Zobel *E-book $11.99
Blogs on writing
I’m Writing A Journal Article – What Literatures Do I Choose?
You Have To Believe That What You Do Matters
Writing Introductions: First Or Last?
Writing Guides- Colorado State University
The Writer’s Diet- Is Your Writing Flabby Or Fit?
The Flesch Reading Ease Readability Formula
General science writing advice
Give Us Science Stories That Illuminate, Not Click-Bait
The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing
Stephen King On Writing, Fear, And The Atrocity Of Adverbs
10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly
11 Smart Tips For Brilliant Writing
Secrets Of Good Science Writing
Communication: The best words in the best order
Science Writing: Some Tips for Beginners
Carl Zimmer’s Advice For Aspiring Science Writers
Why Academics Stink At Writing
Some Well-Known Tricks For Clear Writing
Advice For Scientists Who Want To Write For The Public
Writing a journal article
How To Write A Scientific Paper
Righting Scientific Writing: Focus On Your Main Message
Infographic: How To Write Better Science Papers
Tips For Writing Better Science Papers
The 5 Pivotal Paragraphs In A Paper
Writing a lay summary
Lay Abstracts And Summaries: Writing Advice For Scientists
Opinion: Lay summaries needed to enhance science communication
Scenarios For Writing Lay Summaries
Writing a conference abstract
Writing A Better Conference Abstract
How To Write A Scientific Abstract In 6 Easy Steps
How To Write A Killer Conference Abstract
Distracted By Abstracts: Tips For Writing A Good Abstract For A Scientific Conference
Writing The Academic Conference Proposal
Writing An Abstract: Understanding And Developing Abstracts
Writing a literature review
Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review
Guidelines For Writing A Review Article
Tips for writing your first scientific literature review article
How To Write A Good Scientific Literature Review
Writing a project proposal
Writing A Research Proposal: A Guide For Science and Engineering Students
Critical Thinking – Critical Reading
Infographic: How To Read A Scientific Paper
How to (seriously) read a scientific paper
English grammar and expression support
Ten Essential Qualities of Science Bloggers, from PLOSBLOGS
6 Quick and easy ways to better explain science to non-scientists
5 Ways to Improve Your Science Writing
How to create a successful science blog
Science Blogging — Finding Your Voice
Blogging Tips for Science Bloggers From Science Bloggers
Why do academics blog? An analysis of audiences, purposes and challenges
General public speaking advice
8 classic storytelling techniques for engaging presentations
How to give a dynamic scientific presentation
How to speak so that people want to listen – Ted Talk
Presentations: Pressure to perform
Career toolkit: Crafting an impressive presentation
Communication: Two minutes to impress
7 habits of highly successful speakers
Advice on Giving a Scientific Talk
How to Become an Authentic Speaker
The Top 5 TEDTalks on how to give a great TED talk
Science stories, not science talks
The elevator pitch
The elevator pitch: more harm than good?
A David Letterman-like countdown to the 10 biggest pitfalls in scientific presentations
Talking the Talk: Tips on Giving a Successful Conference Presentation
Using PowerPoint effectively
10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert
How to avoid death By PowerPoint
Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures – it makes students more stupid and professors more boring
Using PowerPoint to shine on stage
Making Better PowerPoint Presentations
The power of pictures. How we can use images to promote and communicate science
The PhD’s Guide to Academic Conferences
How to make the most of academic conferences – five tips
10 Tips for grad students to make the most of a scientific conference
Networking tips for graduate students
Advice: how to network at conferences
Crash course on socializing at a scientific conference dinner
An Introvert’s Guide to Conference Networking
Don’t be a conference troll: a guide to asking good questions
Working with your research supervisor
Ten types of PhD supervisor relationships – which is yours?
PhD students: what to do if you don’t work well with your supervisor
Top 10 ways to annoy your PhD supervisors
3 Step Method Of Communicating Effectively With Your PhD Supervisor
What to Expect from your PhD Supervisor
Applying for grants
The ins and outs of research grant funding committees
Research funding: 10 tips for writing a successful application
Research grant applications 101
Dr. No Money: The Broken Science Funding System
The words that make a successful research grant application
Imposter Syndrome and Academic Writing
Think like an impostor, and you’ll go far in academia
One Scientist’s Approach to the Imposter Syndrome
Social media for scientists
An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists
It’s time for scientists to tweet
Do blog posts correlate with a higher number of future citations?
What is Twitter? – a crash course
Why should scientists use Twitter?
A scientist’s guide to social media
New study reveals how scientists use social media
How I Use Social Media as a Scientist
Using Instagram for Science Communication
Learning to Instagram Science – #LSUSciFund
Scientist Guide to Social Media – this article has an awesome table comparing the different platforms, as well as tips for each different platform
A social media survival guide for scientists – some excellent survival tips to responsibly using social media for science communication
How social media helps scientists get the message across – results from a study showing that research shared on social media (mainly Twitter) gets more academic citations
Ten Reasons for Academics to Use Social Media and Twitter – look the title basically sums it up. 10 punchy reasons, an easy skim read
Social media as a scientist: a very quick guide – a quick, condensed guide to using social media for science, and examples of how you can use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to network, exchange scientific ideas, or advance a career
Social media: A network boost – a thorough guide how scientists can use Twitter to increase their networks, as well as how employers use Twitter when recruiting
Scientists, do you want to succeed on Twitter? Here’s how many followers you need – a look into how many followers is needed to start reaching the broader public
Citations are not enough: Academic promotion panels must take into account a scholar’s presence in popular media – why research publications are not nearly as high reaching as social media, and why scholars’ influence on policy and public debates should be considered just as much as publications
How Articles Get Noticed and Advance the Scientific Conversation – explaining that the best way to get a newly published article more attention is to Tweet about it, as well as 5 great tips to get you started on Twitter
Science Communication Breakdown – a blog full of tips on science blogging
Science Blogging and Citations – a blog post explaining a paper about how science blogging can increase the citations of papers… It’s less confusing than it sounds I promise
Science Blogging for Institutions: Your Virtual Roundup of the ScienceWriters2014 #OrgBlog Session – an awesome roundup of tips for science blogging from a panel discussion at the National Association of Science Writers. It covers tips from starting a blog, sourcing content, developing a voice, promoting your content and metrics and analytics
Do more tweets mean higher citations? If so, Twitter can lead us to the ‘personalised journal’; pinpointing more research that is relevant to your interests – how Twitter leads to more citations, as well as using Twitter as your own resource collecting tool
Academic promotion by media presence? – it’s important that our research solves problems that are presented by society
Why We Scientists Do Instagram – why Instagram is an awesome platform for scientists, and how it helps boost visibility and correct gender stereotypes, especially for women in STEMM. There’s also includes a nice mind-map of the motivations to blog about science
A General Overview of Reddit’s Science Communities – a list of communities in Reddit that are all about science
Explainer: the ins and outs of peer review
Peer review is in crisis, but should be fixed, not abolished
How Science Works – the Peer Review process
Peer review and scientific publishing at The Guardian
The peer review system has flaws. But it’s still a barrier to bad science
The peer-review system for academic papers is badly in need of repair
Communicating about climate change
Why is climate communication so hard?
Climate Communication – science and outreach
Science Communication and Climate Change
The Psychology of Climate Change Communication
Communicating the science of climate change
Relevant, immediate, local: guide to communicating climate change in Australia
Communicating climate change: Focus on the framing, not just the facts
11 Ways to Overcome Procrastination
20 Strategies to Overcome Procrastination
Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination
To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved
Hosted by Associate Professor Jen Martin and Dr Michael Wheeler, Let’s Talk SciComm is the podcast of Unimelb SciComm. Listen for advice, tips and interviews about how to communicate science in effective and engaging ways.
Where to Listen
Anchor by Spotify, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts
Overcast, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, CastBox, Breaker, RadioPublic
Facebook: Let’s Talk SciComm Podcast
Production Team: Stephanie Wong and Steven Tang
Logo design: Chris Evans
Sound effects: Organ Boogie by JuliusH, Flavour by Wataboi, Jazz loop by FrankyBoomer
Dr Jen Martin
Dr Jen Martin spent many years working as a field ecologist until she decided the most useful thing she could contribute as a scientist was to teach other scientists how to be effective and engaging communicators. Jen founded, leads and teaches the University of Melbourne’s acclaimed Science Communication Teaching Program. She is deeply committed to helping scientists develop the skills they need to be visible, make connections and have impact. In 2019, she was invited to join the Visibility Team within the Homeward Bound teaching Faculty.
Jen also practices what she preaches: for nearly 15 years she’s been talking about science each week on 3RRR, Australia’s largest community radio station, she writes a popular science blog Espresso Science, is a member of the Science Gallery Melbourne Leonardos and writes for CSIRO’s Double Helix Magazine. Jen was named the Unsung Hero of Australian Science Communication for 2019 by the Australian Science Communicators.
In order to face the imposter syndrome head-on, Jen is currently embracing a variety of new challenges. These include hosting medical podcasts, MCing events, writing a science communication textbook and running marathons.
Dr Linden Ashcroft
Linden Ashcroft grew up in country Victoria on the lands of the Yorta Yorta people, and teaches weather and climate science as well as science communication. When she’s not teaching students how to share their science with the world, Linden researches the past to help us prepare for the future. By exploring the climate of Australia using historical documents and weather observations, she combines her love of science and stories!
She is a current Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM, a program that aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists. Linden communicates science regularly on community radio, edits a peer-reviewed journal on scientific data, and her writing was selected for the 2019 Best Australian Science Writing Anthology. You can learn more about her work and outreach at lindenashcroft.com.
Dr Graham Phillips
Graham’s been a scientist, journalist and science communicator. After completing a PhD in astrophysics and holding a few postdoctoral positions, he realised his true passion and moved into science journalism and communication. He’s written for almost every newspaper in Australia and had regular science columns in a number of them. He’s had regular television science spots on Channels Nine, Ten and Seven, and has spent many years with the ABC. He was the host and a producer-reporter on ABC TV’s Catalyst for a long time, and was also a presenter on Channel Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow. He has contributed many, many hours of science radio, and has had four popular science books published. He has also set up and taught in university journalism and science communication courses.
Dr Michael Wheeler
Michael studied undergraduate exercise science at Dublin City University, Ireland. He moved to Australia to undertake a PhD jointly at The Baker Institute in Melbourne and the University of Western Australia (UWA) investigating the combined effects of exercise and sedentary behaviour on cardiovascular and cognitive function in older adults. He was awarded his PhD in 2019 along with The Paul Korner Medal from The Baker Institute and The Robert Street Prize from UWA for outstanding achievement. He is currently an active researcher investigating the effects of diet and exercise on human health.
Michael has developed a passion for all aspects of science communication from publishing scientific papers and presenting at scientific conferences, to publishing science blogs and podcasts, to representing The University of Western Australia at the Three-Minute Thesis Competition and working with The Naked Scientists podcast in Cambridge.
Catriona is a PhD candidate at Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. She studies the immune response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection that causes tuberculosis in hopes of boosting immunity. On the side, she is the Science Communications Officer for the Royal Society of Victoria and Convergence Science Network, and Associate Editor of the scientific journal, Immunology & Cell Biology.
Catriona is passionate about encouraging diversity in STEM fields and engaging students in science. She regularly engages with science mentoring and outreach programs, such as Skype a Scientist, Pint of Science, In2Science, BrainSTEM, and the Gene Technology Access Centre – sharing science online, in pubs, and in schools all around Victoria.
Catriona also loves music and is a Singing Scientist on YouTube as Nyuroscientist, so you might get to hear some songs…
Rosie completed her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Biomedical Science at the University of Melbourne. She took both Science Communication and Communication for Research Scientists during her Masters degree, and attributes heavily attributes her ability to write her thesis to the skills she learned in those classes. Her thesis was on the Placebo Effect in depression treatment, and she hopes to continue researching in the field of neuroscience and psychiatry. She featured on Triple R Radio’s Einstein A Go-Go as part of the Science Communication subject, where she mostly talked about bees. Her favourite bee fact is that despite the common phrase, bees have jointed legs so they don’t have a kneecap. Alas, there is no such thing as bees knees.
She’s now working with the UnimelbSciComm team as Social Media Manager, where she will be focussing on sharing our students’ awesome science communication work. She’s also a Science Communication Officer at Convergence Science Network alongside Catriona, and a former member of Science Gallery‘s think-tank, SciCurious.
After graduating from my Bachelor of Science, I started working as a Digital Content Producer in the International Marketing and Communications division at Deakin University. My job keeps me on my toes and I’m responsible for a spectrum of things which include executing large-budget digital campaigns, managing content marketing blogs, and leading end-to-end video production duties. A large part of my …October 2, 2017
I hadn’t even heard of science communication as a concept, let alone an industry, until I took Jenny’s class back in 2013. The idea that I could write or talk about science in a fun and interesting way — as a job — changed what I thought I would be able to do with my science degree. Since then I …October 2, 2017
After completing my Masters in Bioinformatics, I worked as a Bioinformatician at the Victorian Life SciencesComputation Initiative for a year before starting a PhD in the Bioinformatics group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. My project is all about developing computational methods to help diagnose children with genetic disorders. I am heavily involved in the bioinformatics community. I served as Vice President and then President …October 2, 2017
Interesting times when I enrolled in science communication subjects taught by Jenny Martin. As an international student, living for the first time away from Brazil while changing my career from IT management to research in Bioinformatics, I not only enhanced my English skills quickly, but also learned to deliver my ideas more efficiently and effectively by “knowing and engaging my …October 2, 2017
I am currently in the third year of my PhD undertaking a project that involves a partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. My research focuses on how environmental variables affect the transmission of a marine parasite that affects both wild and farmed salmon populations, and how to prevent it. I started my PhD …October 2, 2017
I am currently studying medicine at the University of Western Australia. I am heavily involved in student advocacy, currently serving on the general committee of Western Australian Medical Students Society (WAMSS) – WA’s peak medical student body. Immediately following the Science Comm unit with Jenny, I finished up and submitted my masters’ thesis in November 2015, completed under the tutelage …October 2, 2017
Hello! I’m a scientist, artist and science communicator. I have recently finished my Master of Science (Botany) at the University of Melbourne. Back in 2014, I was quick to enrol into Dr. Jenny Martin’s two science communication courses. At the time, I knew precious little about this area of work…but I had a hunch I was a science communicator at heart. …October 2, 2017
I’m a recent Master of Science graduate from the Kolev Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Research Group. I have spent the past two years endeavouring to make water quality monitoring accessible by developing cheap, easy to use paper-based sensors for environmental contaminants. Since studying with Jenny I have given my completion seminar, and written and submitted my major research thesis. Without …October 2, 2017
Although I’ve always had an interest in biology and writing, it never really occurred to me to combine these two loves. Studying science communication at the University of Melbourne made me realise the importance of sharing research as widely as possible ‒ to both scientific colleagues and the general public ‒ and tailoring my writing to its intended audience. In early …October 2, 2017
One of the best decisions I ever made was to take up the Science Communications course in my 3rd year at the University of Melbourne. Not only has it allowed me to combine my strong interest in both Science and Communications, it has led me down a most interesting career path. After completing the Science Communications course, I volunteered at Melbourne …October 2, 2017