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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The forthcoming book I have edited, Doctor Who and Race, which will be published in July, has received a lot of attention in the media and on blogs this week.
Almost all that attention can be sourced back to one newspaper article about the book.
Since the book has not been published yet, almost no one has actually read it. This has meant that almost everything written about it has been a distorted, false view, based on third- or fourth- hand information.
I don’t particularly want to talk about the book in depth until it is published. I prefer discussion and debate to be based on facts not hearsay, so I would like to talk about it once people have had a chance to read it.
But I do want to clear up some misconceptions about it now.