I am an enthusiastic researcher with diverse interests. If you like my research record and would like to conduct research in the science communication disciplinary area under my supervision at PhD, Masters, Honours or undergraduate levels, please contact me to discuss the idea.

My research has been about: science communication, fiction, education, biology, health, the environment, race, gender, sexuality. Often my work and the work I have supervised has examined intersections of these as this diagram of my research themes and topics illustrates.

I have recently refined the focus of my solo research, devoting my energies to studying the relationship between the idea of science and the urge towards democracy in the modern West, as manifested in public discourse historically and today – see bottom of page for a sketch of this. In 2016 I commenced a MPhil program at the ANU School of History, looking at public science discourse in the early Sydney colony.

I have authored or co-authored grant applications about:

  • How ideologies of scientific enlightenment in public culture shape people’s conceptions of science’s place in global history and present society (Orthia 2013, ARC DP14).
  • Promoting student centred learning across first year science courses (Higgins et al. 2011, ANU Teaching Enhancement Grant).
  • Engaging science students by having them publish in new media (Rifkin et al. 2009, ALTC, $217,000 granted, see two Rifkin et al. publications).

I have published: many peer-reviewed publications (papers, chapters and an edited book), and numerous other academic and popular works – see list of publications. Some of my research outputs and publications have garnered media attention.

My current research focus: