Dr Merryn McKinnon
Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU

Event #1: Introduction to “Science for Public Good”

Dr Merryn McKinnon’s original degree was in marine science where, after the novelty of moving intertidal snails with a paint scraper wore off, she discovered that talking about her research to other people brought her far closer to her conservation goals than her actual project ever could.

This led her to the field of science communication where she has stayed ever since, working in a range of roles and countries. Merryn enjoys the diverse issues science communication allows her to explore, both in practice and in research. She conducts research which explores why publics react and respond to scientific issues the way they do and explores the influence of equity, inclusion and intersectionality in STEM, especially STEM communication.


Dr Sujatha Raman
Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU

Event #1: Introduction to “Science for Public Good”

Raman is Associate Professor and Director of Research at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS). She is currently UNESCO Chair-holder in Science Communication for the Public Good. The Chair aims to enhance the contribution of science communication research to the task of exploring and imagining the knowledge-systems needed for the United Nations 2030 Agenda and beyond. The work of the Chair is informed by the insight that environmental sustainability, social equity and economic prosperity are inextricably linked. This in turn means that the transformative change envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals calls for new ways of creating, communicating and being informed by expert knowledge. The Chair responds to this challenge through collaborative research, knowledge exchange, support for early-career scholars and wider communication.


Dr Victoria Metcalf
Curiosity Communications Ltd

Event #2: Themed Gathering: “Citizen science”

I am a scientist, science communicator and relationship and engagement specialist committed to making a difference. I’ve made many trips to the Antarctic, researching environmental change impacts on Antarctic fish and shellfish, along with research on New Zealand species since 1998. My previous role was in the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor as National Coordinator of the Participatory Science Platform, a flagship initiative engaging communities, educators and scientists to work together on locally meaningful projects. I found it highly inspiring to be involved in these community science projects and to see what a difference they are making for those involved. I am currently working as the Kaimanaaki Matua Tūhono Hapori Whānui External Engagement Advisor for the Royal Society Te Apārangi. I am a mum to a twelve-year-old daughter and we love exploring the world around us, particularly the coast and sea.


Dr Tahlia Perry
Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity & Heritage, The University of Adelaide

Event #2: Themed Gathering: “Citizen science”

Dr Tahlia Perry is a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Adelaide, she is passionate about using unique combinations of both science and outreach for species conservation. During her PhD, Tahlia created the national citizen science project EchidnaCSI, where thousands of Australians have participated in capturing photos of echidnas in the wild and collecting echidna poo for Tahlia to perform genetic studies on. This project received national and international recognition with prestigious awards such as the Eureka award for Innovation in Citizen Science and publication in the international journal PNAS. Currently, Tahlia is part of the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity & Heritage (CABAH), where she is helping other research groups to integrate citizen science into their projects using best-practice approaches, whilst continuing to expand EchidnaCSI into new areas of research and engagement.


Dr O. Ivy Wong
CSIRO

Event #2: Themed Gathering: “Citizen science”

Dr Ivy Wong is an Australian research radio astronomer working in Perth at CSIRO Space & Astronomy. Ivy is specialises in large all-sky surveys of atomic Hydrogen and radio continuum, and is also an expert in observations using space-based telescopes in the ultraviolet and infrared, as well as ground-based optical imaging and spectroscopy. The open science questions that she currently studies are: how galaxies get gas to form stars, grow central supermassive black holes and subsequently evolve?. In preparation for the very large datasets from the upcoming start of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder surveys such as WALLABY and EMU, Ivy’s research interests include leading projects in citizen science and developing machine learning based tools. Citizen science allows Ivy to combine her personal interests in community outreach (to normalise science) and the technical aspects of data collation and classification.


Thilina Heenatigala
Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Event #3: Panel: “Improving inclusion and S4PG in academia”

Thilina Heenatigala (he/him) is the Director of Communications and science communication lecturer at Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo. He leads the outreach team, science communication projects, and teaches the science communication graduate course at ELSI. His current research interests are public engagement evaluation, science & society strategies at research institutions, and decolonising science in academia and outreach. Thilina also conducts astrometry and spectroscopy research in double stars and exoplanets, specifically with students from developing countries. He’s a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by supporting Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) and Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) to focus on astronomy outreach and education in developing countries. He also supports IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) as a reviewer for annual projects on astronomy for development.


Dr Emily Henderson
Department of Education Studies, University of Warwick

Event #3: Panel: “Improving inclusion and S4PG in academia”

Dr Emily F. Henderson (@EmilyFrascatore) is a Reader in Gender and International Higher Education in the Department of Education Studies, University of Warwick. She is author of Gender Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning and Tracing Gender in Higher Education (Palgrave, 2015) and Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production: Contesting Concepts at Conferences (Routledge, 2020), and co-editor of Starting with Gender in International Higher Education Research (Routledge, 2019) and Exploring Diary Methods in Higher Education Research (Routledge, 2021). She is co-editor of the academic blog Conference Inference: Blogging the World of Conferences and has co-edited a special issue of the journal Gender and Education on gender and conferences, ‘Thoughtful Gatherings’ (2020). Emily’s current research projects include a 4-year project on institutional approaches to widening participation in India, and a project on academic gatekeeping in doctoral admissions.


Dr Mohammad Taha
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Melbourne

Event #3: Panel: “Improving inclusion and S4PG in academia”

Dr Taha is a non-binary trans queer person of colour, advocate, scientist, engineer, reader, writer, and aspiring filmmaker. They are research fellow at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne. Mohammad is fascinated by the building blocks of the universe (or potentially the multiverse) and how we can use them to construct our collective future. From climate change and the future of electronics to fighting bigotry and injustice Mohammad is sure we can face it all. Dr Taha believes that diversity must be intersectional and sophisticated to truly capture and enhance the experiences of people who belong to multiple minority groups. To Dr Taha gender, sexuality, STEMM, and creativity are intertwined and they use all of them to do science and compose words to invoke thought and self-exploration.