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.

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.

New journal paper co-authored with undergrad student

Today a journal paper I co-authored with former undergraduate student Naomi Shadbolt about a SCOM3003 Special Topics in Science Communication research project she conducted in 2011 was accepted for publication.

The paper will be published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia. It reports on a survey into the needs and preferences of young Australian women for communicating about endometriosis.

Naomi, who is currently enrolled in a Master of Science Communication degree at the ANU, is lead author of the paper, followed by her Canberra Endometriosis Centre supervisor Melissa Parker, with me bringing up the rear.

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

Congratulations to Naomi – I am very proud!

Won – Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Today I was told that I have won a 2013 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

I was nominated last year on the basis of my Colleges of Science Award for Teaching Excellence.

The prize is $5000 and a framed certificate, to be presented at the Conferring of Awards ceremony in July.

Philanthropic endowment launched

Today the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science Endowment went live through ANU Philanthropy.

I set up this endowment with $4000, the majority of my winnings for my 2012 Colleges of Science Award for Teaching Excellence.

Its purpose is to fund, in perpetuity, five prizes for undergraduate science communication students. The first winners will be awarded the prizes this year.

The Colleges of Science generously matched my $4000 contribution, bringing the starting capital to $8000. Further donations are welcome and are tax deductible.

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Career highlights

Some highlights of my academic career at the time of launching this site. See the pages on this site for details.

Won a top teaching award
ANU Colleges of Science Award for Teaching Excellence 2012

Edited a book
Doctor Who and Race, forthcoming from Intellect Books 2013

Invited to write an encyclopedia entry
‘Science fiction’ in Springer’s peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Science Education 2012

Published with second year students in a top journal
‘How do people think about the science they encounter in fiction? Undergraduates investigate responses to science in The Simpsons‘, published in the International Journal of Science Education Part B 2012

Wrote my own courses
SCOM2003, written 2009, first run 2010
and SCOM3003, written 2010, first run 2011

Completed my damn PhD
Enlightenment was the Choice: Doctor Who and the Democratisation of Science, awarded 2010
After 1 change of university, 2 changes of department, 3 office moves, 4 changes of topic, 5 years of study, 6 (million) swear words and 7 years of my life