This diagram maps the topic areas and themes of my academic-oriented publications, my grant applications and student research projects I have supervised. For a glimpse of my current research focus area, see this drawing instead.

Match the numbers on the diagram to the lists of publications and projects below to get a chronological perspective on my intellectual development from activist and biologist to interdisciplinary science communication researcher. The items are numbered chronologically, with the lowest number corresponding to the earliest item and the highest number to the most recent item, though all of the grant applications and student research projects are from 2009 or later.

Orthia research themes at Sept 2016Click for larger image

Peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, books and chapters.

A30. Orthia L.A. (2016) Democratizing science in the eighteenth century: Resonances between Condorcet’s Sketch (1795) and twenty-first century science communication. Journal of Science Communication 15(04): A04.

A29. Orthia L.A. (2016) What’s wrong with talking about the Scientific Revolution? Lessons from history of science for applied fields of science studies. Minerva, 54(3): 353-373. doi: 10.1007/s11024-016-9299-4.

A28. Orthia L.A. & Morgain R. (2016) The gendered culture of scientific competence: A study of scientist characters in Doctor Who 1963-2013. Sex Roles, 75(3): 79-94. doi: 10.1007/s11199-016-0597-y.

A27. Orthia L.A. (2016) “Laudably communicating to the world”: Science in Sydney’s Public Culture, 1788–1821. Historical Records of Australian Science 27: 1-12. doi: 10.1071/HR15018.

A26. Li R. & Orthia L.A. (2016) Communicating the nature of science through The Big Bang Theory: Evidence from a focus group study. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 6: 115-136. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2015.1020906.

A25. McKinnon M., Orthia L.A., Grant W.J. & Lamberts R. (2014) Real-world assessment as an integral component of an undergraduate science communication program. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22: 1-13.

A24. Donkers M. & Orthia L.A. (2016) Popular theatre for science engagement: Audience engagement with human cloning following a production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement 6(1): 23-45. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2014.947349.

A23. Dobos A.R., Orthia L.A. & Lamberts R. (2014) Does a picture tell a thousand words? The uses of digitally produced, multimodal pictures for communicating information about Alzheimer’s disease. Public Understanding of Science 24(6): 712-730. doi: 10.1177/0963662514533623.

A22. Li R. & Orthia L.A. (2013)  Are people inspired by The Big Bang Theory to find out more about science? Results from focus group-based audience research. Proceedings of 4th Annual PopCAANZ Conference, Brisbane, 24-26 June 2013, pp. 248-257.

A21. Shadbolt N., Parker M.A. & Orthia L.A. (2013) Communicating endometriosis with young women to decrease diagnosis time. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 24: 151-154.

A20. Orthia L. (2013) Conclusion. In L. Orthia (ed.) Doctor Who and Race. Bristol: Intellect Books, 289-296.

A19. Orthia L. (2013) Introduction. In L. Orthia (ed.) Doctor Who and Race. Bristol: Intellect Books, 1-11.

A18. Orthia L. (ed.) (2013) Doctor Who and Race. Bristol: Intellect Books.

A17. Orthia L.A. (2013) Savages, science, stagism and the naturalized ascendancy of the Not-We in Doctor Who. In L. Orthia (ed.) Doctor Who and Race. Bristol: Intellect Books, 269-287.

A16. Orthia L.A. (2013) Negotiating public resistance to engagement in science and technology. In J.K. Gilbert & S.M. Stocklmayer (eds.) Communication and Engagement with Science and Technology: Issues and Dilemmas. Oxon: Routledge, 74-90.

A15. Orthia L.A. (2012) Science fiction. In R. Gunstone (ed.) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer. eReference version: Print version: forthcoming 2014.

A14. Orthia L.A., Dobos A.R., Guy T., Kan S.Z., Keys S.E., Nekvapil S. & Ngu D.H.Y. (2012) How do people think about the science they encounter in fiction? Science students investigate using The Simpsons. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement 2: 149-174.

A13. Orthia L.A. (2011) “Paradise is a little too green for me”: Discourses of environmental disaster in Doctor Who 1963-2010. Colloquy (special edition) 21: online.

A12. Orthia L.A. (2011) Antirationalist critique or fifth column of scientism? Challenges from Doctor Who to the mad scientist trope. Public Understanding of Science 20: 525-542.

A11. Orthia L.A. (2010) “Sociopathetic abscess” or “yawning chasm”? The absent postcolonial transition in Doctor Who. Journal of Commonwealth Literature 45: 207-225.

A10. Rifkin W., Longnecker N., Leach J., Davis L. & Orthia L. (2010) Students publishing in new media: eight hypotheses – a house of cards? International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education 18: 43-54.

A9. Rifkin W., Longnecker N., Leach J., Davis L. & Orthia L. (2009) Motivate students by having them publish in new media: an invitation to science lecturers to share and test. Paper presented at the 2009 UniServe Science Conference: ‘Motivating science undergraduates: Ideas and Interventions’, Sydney, October 1-2, 2009.

A8. Wilkins C.F., Orthia L.A. & Crisp M.D. (2009) A new species of Pultenaea from Kundip, Western Australia (Mirbelieae: Fabaceae). Nuytsia 19: 191-196.

A7. Orthia L.A., de Kok R.P.J. & Crisp M.D. (2005) A revision of Pultenaea (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae): 4. Species occurring in Western Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 18: 149-206.

A6. Orthia L.A., Crisp M.D., Cook L.G. & de Kok R.P.J. (2005) Bush peas: a rapid radiation with no support for monophyly of Pultenaea (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae). Australian Systematic Botany 18: 133-147.

A5. Orthia L.A., Cook L.G. & Crisp M.D. (2005) Generic delimitation and phylogenetic uncertainty: an example from a group that has undergone an explosive radiation. Australian Systematic Botany 18: 41-47.

A4. Bickford S.A., Laffan S.W., de Kok R.P.J. & Orthia L.A. (2004) Spatial analysis of taxonomic and genetic patterns and their potential for understanding evolutionary histories. Journal of Biogeography 31: 1715-1733.

A3. Orthia L.A., Garrick R.C. & James E.A. (2003) Genetic comparison between Victorian and Tasmanian populations of Prasophyllum correctum D.L. Jones (Orchidaceae) suggests separate species. Muelleria 18: 79-87.

A2. Garrick R.C., Orthia L.A. & James E.A. (2003) Genetic comparison of populations of the endangered Gorae Leek Orchid, Prasophyllum diversiflorum Nicholls (Orchidaceae). Muelleria 18: 89-97.

A1. Orthia, L. & Brown, H. (1998) Women’s autonomous organising and the law: exemptions from the Equal Opportunity Act. Australian Feminist Law Journal 10: 137-146.

Not peer-reviewed conference papers and presentations, reports, magazine articles, blog posts.

B38. Ingles C. & Orthia L.A. (2016) A New Synthesis on the Geology of Middle-earth: Genesis, Orogeny and Tectonics. Canberra: Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, The Australian National University.

B37. Orthia L. (2016, June 2) ‘Public wikis for student assessment and networking’, ANU Science Teaching & Learning Colloquium.

B36. Orthia L. (2016, May 23) The science issues this election are as old as the Australian media. The Conversation.

B35. Morgain R. & Orthia L. (2016, May 19) Ahead of its time: Doctor Who’s 56 inspiring female scientists. The Conversation.

B34. Orthia L. (2015) ‘Science Communication and Popular Fiction.’ Invited presentation to ANU College students, 4 June 2015.

B33. Orthia L. (2015) ‘Do people learn health information from fiction?’ Invited presentation at ‘Behind the Screen’, Medical Health and Wellbeing Learning Community event on health in media, ANU, 22 April 2015.

B32. Shadbolt N.A., Parker M.A. & Orthia L.A. (2014) Communicating endometriosis with young women to decrease diagnosis time. Paper and poster presented at 12th World Congress on Endometriosis, São Paulo, Brazil, 30 April-3 May 2014.

B31. Orthia L. (2013) The Doctors, the Daleks and the Dangerous to Know: Doctor Who‘s Mad Scientists. Invited presentation to Questacon Science Fiction SciNight, 1 November 2013.

B30. Orthia L. (2013) Academic address at official welcome session for new ANU students, July 16 2013.

B29. Coonan E., Orthia L.A., Bloomfield F., Horst J., Pascoe A., Schiffl K. & Axelsen A. (2013) Regular viewing of a television drama series affects responses to science ideologies in it: a focus group-based study of ‘Bones’. Canberra, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science.

B28. Orthia L. (2013) A very good googly – race in Four to DoomsdayDoctor Who and Race. URL:

B27. Orthia L. (2013) Presentation on my career choices to the ANU Early Career Academics Program, May 17 2013.

B26. Orthia L. (2013) Doctor Who – science win or science fail? Presentation to the Canberra Skeptics, CSIRO Discovery, May 4 2013.

B25. Orthia L.A. (2012) Presentation on my research to NTEU Bluestocking Week breakfast, August 16 2012.

B24. Orthia L. (2012, 20 June) ‘Bad movie science’ a snooty pleasure. Science By Fiction: Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Science in Film. URL:

B23. Orthia L. (2012) Why did I publish a paper with undergraduate students about science in The Simpsons? Yliopistolainen, the Helsinki University’s staff magazine, section Top 100, May, 8.

B22. Orthia L. (2012) Doctor Who’s mad scientists. People and Science, March, 23.

B21. Orthia L.A. (2012) Ghost Light: Only the mad see clearly. In R. Smith? (ed.) Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Classic DoctorWho Stories by 160 Writers. Baltimore: ATB Publishing.

B20. Orthia L.A. (2011) Presentation to the ANU Graduate Lounge, ‘Is Academia for Me?’, November 11 2011.

B19. Lott, B. (facilitator) (2011) Do these genes make my butt look fat?: Science in Popular Culture. Round table discussion at PopCAANZ 2nd Annual International Conference, Auckland, June 29-July 1 2011.

B18. Orthia L.A. (2011) Cross-dressing blokes can’t reason; man-hating chicks can’t weld: The gender politics of incompetent scientist characters in Doctor Who. PopCAANZ 2nd Annual International Conference, Auckland, June 29-July 1 2011.

B17. Orthia L.A. (2011) Presentation to the ANU Graduate Lounge, ‘Tips and Advice from Early Career PhD Graduates’, April 6 2011.

B16. Orthia L.A. (2010) Presentation to the ANU Resilience of Women Research Students (RoWRS) program, October 26 2010.

B15. Orthia L.A. (2010) The ginger temp’s deficient brain: Doctor Who and public engagement with science. Presented at Aussiecon4: 68th World Science Fiction Convention, Melbourne, September 2-6 2010.

B14. Orthia L.A. (2010) “Paradise is a little too green for me”: Discourses of environmental disaster in Doctor Who, 1963-present. Presented at ‘Changing the Climate: Utopia, Dystopia and Catastrophe’, Monash University, Melbourne, August 30-September 1 2010.

B13. Ortha L.A. (2010) ‘Gender, Science and Doctor Who.’ Guest lecture for First Year Gender Studies course at ANU, GEND1001 Sex Gender and Identity, March 17 2010.

B12. Orthia L. (2010, 27 January) Queer scientists in television science fiction. Diffusion: Science Communication Theory and Practice. URL:

B11. Orthia L.A. (2006) Boundedness, relationality and evolution in biological systems. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Society for Literature, Science and Art: ‘Evolution: Biological, Cultural, and Cosmic’, New York, November 9-12, 2006.

B10. Orthia L.A. (2009) ‘Inspiring teaching – inspiring teachers to teach.’ Presentation to the ANU Festival of Teaching, June 11 2009.

B9. Caulfield L., Coffey B., La Nauze J., Narayan I., Orthia L. & Whitehead A. (2006) Submission to the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council River Red Gum Investigation Draft Proposals Paper. Melbourne, Friends of the Earth Barmah-Millewa Collective.

B8. Orthia L.A. (2004) ‘Systematics of Pultenaea.’ Presentation to the Australian Systematic Botany Society, ACT Branch, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, My 2004.

B7. Orthia L.A., Crisp M.D. & Cook L.G. (2003) Mangled little boxes: squeezing the Mirbelia group (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae) into a stable genus level classification. Paper presented at the 150 Years Conference: Celebrating 150 years of plant research in Australia, Melbourne, September 29-October 3 2003.

B6. Orthia L., LoCascio A., Neville A. & Neville H. (2003) Grazing and Fire Hazard: A submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Bushfire Disaster. Melbourne, Friends of the Earth Barmah-Millewa Collective.

B5. James E.A., Orthia L. & Garrick R. (2002) Comparing Victorian and Tasmanian Prasophyllum correctum. Are they the same species? Paper presented at the Mutual Gains Symposium, Melbourne, October 16-18 2002.

B4. Orthia L.A. (2002) Evidence from the scientific literature supporting the environmental component of the Yorta Yorta Management Plan for the Barmah-Millewa forest ecosystem. Melbourne, Friends of the Earth Barmah-Millewa Collective.

B3. Narayan I., Orthia L. & Barker P. (2002) Barmah-Millewa National Park: Proposal and Briefing Document. Melbourne, Friends of the Earth Barmah-Millewa Collective.

B2. de Kok R.P.J., Orthia L.A. & West J.G. (2001) An investigation into the phylogeny of the Australian endemic genus Pultenaea Sm. (Fabaceae). Paper presented at Legumes Down Under: the Fourth International Legume Conference, Canberra, July 2-6 2001.

B1. Orthia L. (1998) The Stop Violence Handbook. Melbourne, La Trobe University Students’ Representative Council.

Grant applications.

C4. Orthia L.A. (2015) Building a bibliographic database into a student-authored public wiki to support student research, real world assessment and professional skill development. ANU Teaching Enhancement Grant proposal (successful; $1823).

C3. Orthia L.A. (2013) How do ideologies of scientific enlightenment in public culture shape people’s conceptions of science’s place in global history and present society? ARC Discovery Project DP14 project proposal.

C2. Higgins D. et al. (2011) Promoting student centred learning across first year science courses. ANU Teaching Enhancement Grant proposal.

C1. Rifkin W. et al. (2009) New media to develop graduate attributes of science students. ALTC Grant proposal (successful; $217,000 2009-11). (I was a co-author but not co-applicant.)

Student research projects I have supervised.

D36. Sunxuezi (Tara) Cheng (2016- ) Does science communication produce science crackpots?

D35. Skye Zhu (2016- ) The functions of scientific jargon in fiction film and television

D34. Kate Reid (2016- ) The influence of fiction on scientists’ career choices

D33. Zoë Tulip (2016, SCOM3003) Messages about fear and the environment in music videos

D32. Michaela Ripper (2015-16, SCOM3003) What kinds of facts do people remember from reading fiction?

D31. Peter Russ (2015- , PhD) Mapping and tracking engagement in controversial scientific discourses

D30. Genevieve Crutchley (2015, SCOM3003) Nuclear power: what does the world think?

D29. Carmel Foley (2015, SCOM3003) Uses of Jurassic Park in popular books about dinosaurs

D28. Kate Reid (2015, SCOM3003) Discourses of evolution, race and anti-racism in the X-men films

D27. Hillary McArthur (2014, 3rd year PhB) Rhetorical strategies used by Natural News to communicate about cancer

D26. Chris Ingles (2014, SCOM3003) The geology of Middle-earth in Lord of the Rings

D25. Lauren Cochrane, Georgie Barker, Laura Blunt, Merryn Fraser and Stephanie Pearce (2014, SCOM2003 publish option) The potential of World War Z for communicating about immunisation

D24. Guy Leech (2014, 3rd year PhB) Portrayals of science and the environment in the computer game ‘Civilization 5’

D23. Jean Braquehais, Louise Caldwell, Genevieve Crutchley, Nicholas den Houting, Caroline Faulder, Yvette Long, Caitlin Miller, Kira Scaife (2013, SCOM2003 publish option) Gender and scientist role-modelling in NCIS

D22. Aneeta Nathan (2013, SCOM3003) HIV/AIDS in South Africa and models of expertise

D21. Denis Warne (2013-, MSciCom) Communication in natural resource management knowledge exchange

D20. Jarrod Green (2013-, PhD) Audience perspectives on realism in fiction

D19. Rudi Spennemann (2013, Honours) Public expectations of technology prototyped through fiction

D18. James Ansell, Sam Cheah, Adam Huttner-Koros, Candice Kaur, Harry-Dean Kenchington-Goldsmith, Lilian Pham, Hugh Ross, Kira Simmons, Rudi Spennemann, Melanie Tacey (2012, SCOM2003 publish option) Using House to identify public preferences about medical practitioners

D17. Alana Pascoe (2012, SCOM3003) Students’ decisions to study physics: the role of gender, fiction and other influences

D16. Olivia Swift (2012, SCOM3003) Impact of the musical Rent on HIV/AIDS activism and awareness

D15. Amy Dobos (2012, SCOM3003) Public interpretations of photographs representing Alzheimer’s disease

D14. Mugdha Bokil (2012-13, MBBS) Influence of Scrubs on medical students’ clinical practice

D13. Don Gomez (2012-15, MSciCom) Public responses to science in Breaking Bad

D12. Stefan Nekvapil (2012, SCOM3003) Expectations of aged care facilities by residents, staff and family/friends

D11. Sam Axelsen, Felix Bloomfield, Elizabeth Coonan, Joseph Horst, Alana Pascoe, Katherine Schiffl (2011, SCOM2003 publish option) Viewing habit effects on responses to science in Bones

D10. Minky Faber (2011-12, SCOM3003) Women’s attitudes to menstruation and menstrual technologies

D9. Naomi Shadbolt (2011, SCOM3003) Communicating endometriosis with teenage girls

D8. Rashel Li (2011-16, PhD) Audience views of science in The Big Bang Theory

D7. Chris McKay (2011, MSciCom) Environmental scientists’ and ecologists’ uses of Indigenous knowledge

D6. Martina Donkers (2011, Honours) Evaluating theatre as  a science engagement tool using the play A Number

D5. Amy Dobos, Tristan Guy, Shanan Kan, Siân Keys, Stefan Nekvapil, Dalton Ngu (2010, SCOM2003 publish option) Public responses to science in The Simpsons

D4. Tegan Donald (2010-16, PhD) Defining ‘a scientifically engaged Australia’

D3. Martina Donkers (2009-10, 3rd year summer scholar) Representations of science in theatre

D2. Courtney Landers (2009, 1st year PhB) Nanosunscreens experts’ views of the public

D1. Xuerong (Shirley) Qin (2009, 2nd year research intern) Nanosunscreen experts’ views of the media