And another

And my second post for The Conversation concerns similarities between this year’s federal election issues and the concerns of Sydney citizens writing into the Sydney Gazette in 1803 and 1804.

https://theconversation.com/the-science-issues-this-election-are-as-old-as-the-australian-media-59676

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First article for The Conversation: Doctor Who’s female scientists through time

Today marks a significant event in any academic’s life – my first article for The Conversation.

Even more significant for a science communication academic who wants to practice what she preaches.

Rachel Morgain and I published a piece based on our Doctor Who, gender and science research paper which is already gaining traction in the number of reads.

Very exciting!

What’s wrong with talking about the Scientific Revolution? Let me tell you…

Today I published in Minerva a review paper examining the reception of a classic 1993 history of science paper by Andrew Cunningham and Perry Williams that proposed a new big picture of the history of science to replace the prevailing ‘Scientific Revolution’-based big picture.

Cunningham and Williams proposed instead that ‘science’ (read modern, western science) was invented in the late 18th/early 19th century in an institutional and ideological sense. And therefore science is only modern and western, and needs to be de-centred within our big picture conceptions of the history of human knowledge-making, and seen more on a par with every other knowledge-making system across the world and through time.

I have been enamoured of their paper since I read it, and wanted to find out if other scholars have accepted, rejected or ignored it in the 20 years since they published it. In other words, should I take it seriously?

Hence my review paper, published here.

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Research t-shirts

I’ve started an addictive new hobby – making designs for t-shirts (or coffee mugs, notebooks, throw cushions, and more) to celebrate my academic publications.

The fantastic platform Redbubble allows anyone to upload designs for free and then shows what they would look like on a t-shirt, coffee mug etc. Members of the public can then buy a t-shirt or coffee mug with your design on it, and you have the option to make some money out of it, but adding a percentage onto the sale price (you determine the percentage).

I have a 0% markup on all my items as I’m not interested in money. But I’ve become completely addicted to making and buying my own designs.

I’ve made one design to celebrate a forthcoming paper in Historical Records of Australian Science about science communication in colonial Sydney, here in coffee mug form:

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Viewers learn about the Nature of Science from The Big Bang Theory

In a new paper I co-authored with my PhD student Rashel Li, we show that viewers of The Big Bang Theory learn about aspects of the nature of science from the sitcom. The paper was published in the International Journal of Science Education Part B, and was based on data from Rashel’s PhD research. Continue reading

Honours student’s study on science theatre now published

In 2011 I co-supervised Martina Donkers in an innovative honours project in which she put on a production of the play A Number by renowned English playwright Caryl Churchill, then undertook survey and focus group-based research to find out whether and how audience members engaged with the play’s theme human cloning.

We have now published that research in the International Journal of Science Education, Part B available here.

If you can’t get past the journal paywall, you can try here instead.

Congratulations Marti!

I have a post-nominal…

As of today I am recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.

This allows me to add the post-nominal SFHEA to my name.

The recognition comes for my teaching work, including curriculum development, research supervision and program management.

I am very proud to have achieved this level of recognition for the teaching work I am so passionate about and that I believe is so important.

I thank Dr Beth Beckmann and Prof Michael Martin, Co-Chairs, ANU Educational Fellowship Committee, for their encouragement and support.

Another undergraduate-driven study accepted for journal publication

In 2012 I co-supervised then-undergradute student Amy Dobos in a research project examining the effectiveness of digitally-produced pictures for communicating about Alzheimer’s disease research (see here and here). Amy created the pictures using her skills as a photographer and science communicator, and then surveyed people interested in Alzheimer’s disease about their interpretations of them.

A paper writing up that research has now been accepted for publication in one of the best science communication journals, Public Understanding of Science.

Amy is the lead author of the paper, followed by me and project advisor, Rod Lamberts.

This is the third student-authored journal paper to have emerged from a student-run research project conducted through one of my undergraduate courses.

My heartfelt congratulations to Amy.

Update May 27 – now prepublished online here.

Queer scientists in television science fiction

Republished blog post, first posted at Diffusion in January 2010.
Edited only to update some key dates and references, so the content reflects the time.
Posted for archival purposes.

The UK’s public broadcaster the BBC has this month [January 2010, the original date I posted this essay] commissioned a study into representations of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in its fiction and non-fiction programs (BBC News, 2010).

Of particular interest to science communicators is representations of scientists in fiction, and this study seems a timely prompt to ask: are there any queer scientist characters on telly?

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Doctor Who and Race now published

My first edited book, Doctor Who and Race, was published last week by Intellect books.

The book includes 22 essays by 23 contributors including myself. There are two kinds of essays – short ones in the style of a blog post or short observation, and long ones written in an academic style.

The essays address numerous aspects of race including the diversity and representation of Doctor Who characters, representations of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, nationalism and xenophobia, and intersections between race and science including eugenics and scientific race concepts.

The book is accompanied by a blog at doctorwhoandrace.com.