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.
Last year Ginger Gorman of local Canberra ABC radio 666 interviewed me about science in Doctor Who and my Doctor Who research on her program ‘Emporium’.
An edited version of that interview was today rebroadcast on Radio National on The Science Show, and can be heard at the program’s website.
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!
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.
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.
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