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, 2020 alumni. 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 is …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
Silent but deadly – farts explained
By Sophia Giarrusso, 2020 Alumni (@GiarrussoSophia on Twitter) 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. Image adapted from Cristian Newman on Unsplash So, I decided to get some advice from my boyfriend’s brother. I approached him this morning and said, “Bill, what is something …November 4, 2020
Shining light on sunscreen application
By Janine Jaramillo, class of 2020 Last week, I was on an early Zoom call with a close friend who lives overseas (different time zones can be tough). While we were debating which dog breed reigns supreme, I was also doing my morning skincare routine, and she noticed that I’ve put on my sunscreen. “Sunscreen? Isn’t it useless to put that on if …October 28, 2020
Feature Friday: Aviva Reed
This Feature Friday, I'm thrilled to introduce you to another of our former students, Aviva Reed. Aviva Reed started her journey with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania, then moved to study a Masters of Environments at the University of Melbourne. During her Masters, she began to branch towards science communication and education. "I had a background in activism …October 23, 2020
Aurora Australis? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country?
By Joshua Sibbing, class of 2020. Every now and then, southern Australia is blessed with a spectacular light display called Aurora Australis. In the northern hemisphere, where auroras are more common, indigenous cultures associate the aurora with celebration. However in Australia, many ancient oral traditions describe the lights as an evil omen due to its rareness and red colour. Auroras over Kangaroo …October 21, 2020
Feature Friday: Science humour
Okay team, I think I've lost it a little bit. Everyone in Melbourne will probably be feeling this right now. It's week-whatever of isolation. We stopped counting somewhere in August. We've abandoned all the hobbies we took up in lockdown-one, and find ourselves staring at phones or walls for hours on end. I reckon what we need this Feature Friday is a …October 16, 2020
Insomnia on the Red Planet
By Isobel Abell, class of 2020 Do you find yourself struggling to wake up in the morning? Do you wish you had an extra 39 minutes to snooze? Well look no further, Mars has the solution for you! One sol (a Martian day) is approximately equal to 24 hours and 39 minutes by Earth standards (or 12 hog and 15 malops …October 14, 2020
Feature Friday: Australasian Dark Sky Alliance Youth Ambassador Program
This Feature Friday, I'm thrilled to introduce you to another of our awesome student-led projects! Our students Matteo, Kelvin and Camila have teamed up with the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance (ADSA) to create a Youth Ambassador Program for 2021. They've designed a 12-month program, that starts with educating ambassadors on light pollution, astronomy, ecology and science communication (education valued at $1,200). Ambassadors …October 9, 2020
Hail the humble seaweed
By Julia Mahoney, class of 2020 Image created by author It’s slimy, smelly, slippery and disconcerting when it brushes against your leg while you’re swimming in the ocean. But there’s a lot more to the humble seaweed (aka marine macroalgae) than meets the eye. From food to fertiliser, cosmetics to climate change – seaweed is all around us and it has the potential …October 7, 2020
Feature Friday: Black In Science Communication Week
Featured image from @BlackInSciComm's Twitter page Next week, from the 4th to the 10th of October is a very exciting week: it's Black In Science Communication Week! It all started with Raven Baxter, a molecular biologist and amazing science communicator, finishing her PhD in science education. She's an active tweeter at @Ravenscimaven, and founded Black In Sci Comm (BISC) to amplify Black …October 2, 2020
Fire and Bikes – How a volcano sparked the invention of the bicycle
By Kate Bongiovanni, class of 2020. Image created by author using images by PavelBokr, Gordon Johnson and nandinduarte via Pixabay. Did you know volcanic eruptions have inspired great works of art such as “The Scream” by Edvard Munch and Mary Shelley’s tale of Dr Frankenstein’s monster? Have you heard how volcanoes led to scientific discoveries like the atmospheric jet streams that help aeroplanes fly faster? This is the story of …September 30, 2020
Feature Friday: Einstein a Go-Go
Every year, graduate students from our Science Communication subject choose a SciComm project to work on in small groups. Students work with amazing companies from Zoos Victoria to the Dark Sky Alliance, and everything in between! One team gets to go on the radio, with the legendary Shane Huntington on 3RRR FM's Einstein a Go-Go, a show dedicated to science news …September 25, 2020
Magpie Swooping- an Australian Phenomenon
By Benjamin Saw, 2020 Alumni. An Australian phenomenon, magpie swooping is a yearly occurrence, and it is back! Magpies predominantly target cyclists, but will also attack pedestrians, especially in suburban areas. From around August to November, the number of magpies swooping start to skyrocket, with most attacks happening during the month of September. In 2018, Queensland racked up the highest number of attacks at …September 23, 2020
Feature Friday: Amy LeBlanc and BioVox
This Feature Friday, I want you to meet Amy LeBlanc, former student, science communicator and Chief Editor of the international news platform BioVox. "I completed a Master of Science in Zoology at the University of Melbourne, with a research project focused on female birdsong. I was studying a small charismatic species called a superb fairywren and my research involved a lot …September 18, 2020
COVID-19 and Self-Compassion – Tackling feelings of worry and doubt in uncertain times
By Isabella Sherburn, class of 2020 It’s stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, Victoria… You’re up to your third coffee for the day. You haven’t left your desk in five hours – not even to go to the bathroom. You can’t remember the last time you ate a vegetable that wasn’t a potato. The more you reread your essay the more it doesn’t …September 16, 2020
Feature Friday: Bees at Home
This Feature Friday, I'm thrilled to introduce you to another of our awesome former students, Scarlett Howard, and her SciComm project, Bees at Home. Scarlett is currently an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on effect of urbanisation on native and introduced bee species in Australia. Her research explores conceptual learning, neurobiology, and visual perception in honeybees as well as insect …September 11, 2020
How do taste buds change?
By Rosie Arnold, Class of 2017 (Cat food image credit Roger H. Goun via Flickr) When I was a kid I accidentally ate cat food. Not the little crunchy kibbles, which, admittedly, sometimes smell kind of tasty. I’m talking about the cold, slimy, wet gruel, that’s so sludgy you need a spoon to extract it from the can. I say it was an accident, …September 9, 2020
Could ‘love potions’ be real?
By Josh Munro, Class of 2016 (Image by Brianna Fairhurst via Unsplash) If you’re a sucker for love, then you’re not alone! Have you been struggling for ages looking for some tender love and care, or have you felt your relationship with your ‘loved one’ slowly dwindling? Well if you’ve tried everything to no avail, then scientists have already got your back …September 2, 2020
Feature Friday: Wear it Purple
As you may or may not be aware, today is the 28th of August, otherwise known as Wear it Purple Day for LGBTIQA+ awareness! Wear it Purple is an organisation that strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. They began in 2010 in response to several young people taking their own lives due to bullying …August 28, 2020
By Kelsey Smith, Class of 2016 I am a loud and proud, self-professed lazy person. I am. I like long days on the couch, reading or TV bingeing (thank you, Netflix). I am an elite level procrastinator, and I am incredibly creative at coming up with excuses for things I don’t want to do, like going to the gym after a …August 26, 2020
Feature Friday: Deborah Ashtree
I hope you're all enjoying the last few days of National Science Week! I've seen some awesome talks and sessions, an am just constantly amazed by the quality of science communication out there! For this week's Feature Friday, I thought I'd share the journey of yet another of our former students, Deborah Ashtree. I remember studying Communication for Research Scientists with …August 21, 2020
Decoding the personality of your canine companion
By Jamie Ellis, 2019 Alumni Have you ever felt your soulmate exists in the form of a dog? If 30,000 years of history has taught us anything, it is that we humans cannot live without man’s best friend. From the day you bring your puppy home, your life is changed; the impact these animals can have in our lives is undeniable. …August 19, 2020
Feature Friday: National Science Week
It's my favourite time of the year! The air is crisp, brains are a-buzzing, and you can practically smell it in the air that next week is National Science Week! This is basically Christmas for STEM nerds like me. National Science Weeks runs from 15-23 August, usually with events celebrating all things science all across Australia. This year, there has been …August 14, 2020
How your mindset is dictating your success
Discover the two ways of thinking that are either helping or hindering you on your path to achievement in life. by Emma Fazzino, 2017 Alumni “I’m really not a maths person”, Emma thought to herself, as she received yet another disappointing test score. “I’m obviously not smart – my results say so. What’s the point of even trying anymore when I know …August 12, 2020
Feature Friday: 3MT Competition Finalists
A lifetime of study, an infinite pool of knowledge, a very detailed research question, and only three minutes to explain it in. That's what participants in a 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) find themselves doing. The 3MT competition is a battle of brevity, that challenges researchers to explain their research whilst toeing the line of giving accurate and concise detail without overloading the …August 7, 2020
By Eilish Roberts, 2019 Alumni As someone who cares deeply for the environment, I’ve found great solace in the recent surge of biodegradable items available to me. I eat takeaway food with cutlery made from biodegradable plastic, pick up after my dog using biodegradable bags, and I go weak at the knees for some biodegradable glitter (two of my favourite things …August 5, 2020
Feature Friday: Dr Jen Martin
This morning I opened my inbox to see an email from the Provost of UniMelb announcing the recipients of the 2020 Melbourne Excellence Awards. I was so excited to see that none other than our very own Dr Jen Martin was the recipient of David White Award for Teaching Excellence! Seeing as it's also exactly 10 years to the week since …July 31, 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!
Storytelling in science
Books on writing
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
General science writing advice
Writing a journal article
Writing a lay summary
Writing a conference abstract
Writing a literature review
Writing a project proposal
General public speaking advice
The elevator pitch
Using PowerPoint effectively
Working with your research supervisor
Applying for grants
Social media for scientists
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
Communicating about climate change
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.
Science has been my passion ever since I could remember. As a child you would find me turning over rocks in the backyard in search of creepy crawlies to spending endless hours scouring rock pools for any signs of marine life. Since then though, my passion for science and the environment has only grown. My professional career as a scientist has …August 24, 2020
Caleb McElrea has had a fascination with the natural world ever since Cadbury Yowies chemically associated it with chocolate-triggered endorphins (we suspect). Studying a Bachelor of Wildlife Science at the University of Queensland and Honours in Zoology at the University of Melbourne, his passions lie in the area of wildlife filmmaking and science communication. He's passionate about that bit in …July 31, 2020
Hi! I’m Charles Tan and I work for the Victorian Government as a policy officer on circular economy, waste and recycling matters. I took Science Communication over three years ago and I apply learnings from the subject across all facets of my life. Jenny taught me how to communicate with a purpose, and to communicate so I’m being heard. This …July 20, 2020
Hi! I’m Emma and I currently work as a Mathematics teacher in WA. I teach predominately Years 7-10 and am passionate about encouraging students to see the value in maths. I bring a lot of educational research into my classroom on a daily basis. For example, I promote Growth Mindset through discussing effort and failure with students, and I employ strategies …July 9, 2020
We have all had a “death by power point” experience and have probably spent hours of our education trying to decipher a poorly written paper. Everything we do as scientists depends on our ability to communicate it, and yet we never receive the opportunity to develop our communication skills. Until now! I was relieved to see that my MSc (Bioinformatics) required …July 8, 2020
It’s been ten years since I completed science communication with Jenny during my Master of Science degree, and I have such fond memories of how practical and fun the course was, and still use the skills and knowledge I learned today. Those skills gave me the confidence that helped me get my first job out of university as a graduate at …July 8, 2020
Hello! I'm Kelsey, a zoologist by trade but really just a science nerd at heart. I graduated UniMelb with my Master of Enviro in 2017 and since then I’ve been working for CERES Environment Park as an Outreach Educator for the ResourceSmart Schools program. My job consists of two main things - client relationships and effective communication. In a nutshell, …July 8, 2020
I’m a multi-disciplinary scientist, specialising in artificial intelligence, mathematics and statistics, and bioinformatics. I am completing my PhD at the Centre for Eye Research Australia and employed as a Research Fellow at Western Health. I am also the Chair of the Young Statisticians Network at the Statistical Society of Australia. Communication for Research Scientists was one of my favourite subjects from …July 5, 2020
Who am I? I am a friend, an ally, and a father of many plants and fish. But one of the coolest things that I am is a Biomedical Scientist! “Does this mean you make Frankenstein’s monster in the lab?” No, not exactly… Since starting my career in biomedical research, it has become clear to me how many people often view scientists. We may be portrayed …June 24, 2020
My name is Mark Dorman, I finished the Science Communication course in 2016 and I’m currently a Statistical Analyst in Education and Training Statistics for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). I’m also a board member of the Commission for the Human Future, and I have hosted two podcasts: Survival Matters, which is on Spotify and Making Waves, which is …June 23, 2020
“So what do you do exactly? Can you prescribe me painkillers? Are you Walter White in Breaking Bad?!” When I began my Masters research in organic chemistry, it became immediately apparent to me how little the people in my life knew about my field. This is a very universal experience for research scientists, and I initially saw this as an indictment …June 22, 2020
I completed the “Communication for Research Scientists” subject in 2015 as part of my Master of Science (Bioinformatics) degree. I have since done a PhD and am currently employed as a postdoc in Munich, Germany developing computational methods for analysing single-cell RNA-sequencing data. After spending almost 10 years at the University of Melbourne completing Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees I …June 19, 2020
At the beginning of my PhD, I wasn't sure where to start, so I decided to do (yet another) systematic review. My main aim was to identify what was already known about the developmental origins of cardiometabolic health in twins. Basically, I wanted to know whether events occurring between conception and age two led to risk factors for cardiovascular disease …June 17, 2020
I'm Erin and I'm currently a PhD student in the School of Physics. I took Communication for Research Scientists during my Masters degree and it was extremely helpful for both my academic writing and more personal projects - such as a blog I recently started! My research is highly interdisciplinary, so good communication is essential. Being able to target your …June 17, 2020
I'm Kieran. I'm a Master of Urban Horticulture student from the University of Melbourne Burnley campus. I work as a Kitchen Gardener for a restaurant in Trentham, Victoria called Du Fermier. Since joining the team on the farm almost a year ago, I've used my knowledge of horticultural science to champion more regenerative agricultural practices in our food growing approach. I …June 17, 2020
Science Communication has been invaluable to me, first in my academic study and now in my professional career. The study of communication is important no matter your chosen path. In academia, science communication meant my presentations were always well received, understood, and engaging, my writing was cohesive and structured. This even saw me heading to America to present at a …June 16, 2020
When I first met Jenny, it was my most difficult time because I was having communication problems with my supervisors --- for English is my second language. It was actually compulsory for me to choose the subject of Science Communication during my study of Master of Biomedical Science, however, it turned out to be the most helpful subject I have …October 25, 2018
During my Master of Biomedical Science degree, one particular subject stood out for me as a budding researcher- ‘Communication for Research Scientists’ taught by Dr. Jenny Martin. I never considered myself to be a confident public speaker, but Jenny’s enthusiasm and ability to create a comfortable environment with her students, encouraged me to share my passion with the class. The …September 11, 2018
I first met Jenny Martin when I took her science communication course in the final year of my Bachelor of Science. Although it would be a few years until we met again, her teaching had a profound impact upon me. I have always had a love for both science and the arts, and a particular passion for writing. Throughout my …February 28, 2018
Eun Sub Hong
I was fortunate enough to undertake the science communication subject taught by Dr. Jenny Martin during my Master of Biomedical Science degree. The interactive subject helped me so much with my course that I was awarded the best research project as well as receiving the highest score during my final oral presentation in front of many students, supervisors and doctors. I …February 28, 2018
Communication is highly important in helping people understand each other and the world around us. It’s through communicating what we discover that others can learn about it and even explore those discoveries further. Therefore, in a field of discoveries, it’s vital that scientists learn to communicate science well. I was excited to begin my Master of Science (BioSciences) at The University …February 26, 2018
We always want people to understand us. Nonetheless, effective and efficient communication is not always easy, because it involves bidirectional/multidirectional understanding among people you do not know, and who do not know you. Science is difficult; even a well-trained scientist can hardly understand other fields of sciences if too many complicated concepts are involved. As a result, “Science Communication” has put …February 19, 2018
Khine Soe Lin
Many people said I am lucky to win PhD scholarship at Sydney University. Yes, I am. There were big supporters behind this achievement. One of them is Jenny. When I studied at Melbourne University in 2015-2016, I attended two of Jenny's subjects: 1) Communication for Research Scientists and 2) Science Communication. Among uncountable things I learnt from these courses, the most significant …February 5, 2018
I’m currently working as a Fisheries Technician on the Feather River in northern California, helping to monitor and protect Chinook salmon. Communication has been essential in the chaotic trajectory that is my career. I guess it’s true what they say: there are no straight lines in nature! I studied Communication for Research Scientists during my Master’s degree, and after graduation I …December 8, 2017