Dr Belinda Liddell, (UNSW) Scope Interview


Dr Belinda Liddell is a psychologist who’s working to understand why some refugees recover from trauma and displacement more quickly than others. She is also looking at how different cultures perceive and respond to emotions, and how this might affect the experience of trauma and stress. 


Why did you choose to study science?

I chose to study psychology because I was initially interested in becoming a neuropsychologist. As my degree unfolded, I realised how much I enjoyed research and I decided to do a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. That led me to a career in research, with a few twists and turns along the way.


Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

The best part for me has been that engaging purposefully in SciComm has given me the opportunity to talk with people outside of my direct area of research, who hold different perspectives, life experiences and opinions. I find these discussions inspiring and sometimes challenging. They often spark new ideas too!


Where has your career led you?

I’m currently a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney and the Deputy Director of the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program. I’m currently working on understanding how refugee experiences – including trauma and family separation – shape how the brain functions, including in terms of emotional experiences and social interactions.


What excites you most about your work?

I’m excited about trying to merge using a scientific lens to study important human rights and political issue – that is forcible displacement and refugee health.  I believe that science can play an important role in informing the debate on these critical issues and deliver the evidence base needed to make informed policy and practised decisions.


What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

For researchers who might like to develop their SciComm skills, I’d suggest taking any opportunity you can to practice communicating outside of your immediate academic field. Write for different forums, for your society newsletters, for a blog, do a radio interview, e.t.c. Consider more formal training – including the ABC Top 5 program – and most universities have media and communications training for scientists if they seek it.


What are some of the greatest challenges that you’ve overcome in your SciComm career?  

I’d say my greatest challenge is my nerves, and I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome them! I still get pretty nervous when communicating science, but I have learned to manage this much better through practice (and making lots of mistakes!).

Tara Roberson, Queensland ASC branch President Scope Interview

Why did you choose to study science communication?

When I was still in high school, I was pretty convinced I was going to become an archaeologist or veterinarian. But, during grade 12 – in that pivotal year of university degree selection – I happened to take a communications course at the University of Queensland (UQ). I was completed diverted from my intended field and ended up studying all things communication for the next four years.

After completing my undergraduate degree, I realised that I wanted to specialise in an area that I thought was pretty central to the way we live our lives. UQ offered a Masters in Science Communication and the rest is history.


Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

The best part of my career in science communication (so far) has been running communications for quantum physicists while completing my PhD at the Centre for Public Awareness of Science. It’s been an intense way to work virtually two jobs at once. It’s also helped me keep connected to the practitioner and researcher aspects of the field. Incidentally, that’s one of the best parts of science communication – the way we share information between research and practice!

Where has your career led you?

Working with the quantum physicists has been pretty interesting to say the least! One fascinating project was an international citizen science experiment called the Big Bell Test. We worked with research groups around the world to coordinate more than 100,000 citizen scientists in the world’s first global quantum physics experiment!

What excites you most about your work?

There’s an incredible amount of variety in my work, both in terms of the content you deliver and the people you work with. I enjoy working with scientists at all career stages on how they communicate their work. Working with the research centre has also been a great way to pursue something I’m passionate about which is improving diversity and inclusion in STEM (and STEM-related) fields.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

Familiarise yourself with the different career options available in science communication! You might be a TV presenter, a researcher, a communications manager… you might run a consultancy or work in a museum. There are a lot of options, so you need to tailor your education and growing portfolio to suit what you are interested in pursuing.

Also (as Rachel Vorwerk said in her January 2020 SCOPE interview), be open to opportunities! You never know where they might take you.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki ASC Scope Interview

Why did you choose to study science?

There was no real “choice”. It was all that was available at the Catholic High School I went. BUT, as it turned out, that turned out to be very fortunate. Physics and Maths gives most people an excellent “mental toolbox”, that prepares them for virtually any future career.

(Of course, in Science Communication, you need a wider Knowledge Base, but Physics and Maths are a great start. But don’t panic if you don’t have Physics and Maths. We all have different Areas of Ignorance.)


Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

The best thing has been that I can help make the world a better place (Big Scale) by talking about Vaccination and Climate Change, and that I can help liberate people from what’s holding them back from a better life (Small Scale).

When I’m in the local supermarket, typically a random person will come up to me and say, “I’ve been listening to you on Triple J for n years, and as a result, I’ve now changed my career to become a sparkie/nurse/computer scientist/finish my education etc”. This is incredibly satisfying – but it leaves me with a mystery. What is it, about listening to somebody answering random science questions on radio, that sets somebody off on a change to a more satisfying career? I have no idea, but I’m thrilled that they have benefitted.

I’ve also (accidentally) saved a few people’s vision, and at least one person’s life, when I described (again on Science Talk Back Radio) the medical pathway of a few conditions, and what to do. One was the description of what it means when you (perhaps after a blow to the head) see a “curtain” fall across part of your vision on one eye (retinal detachment, you have 6 hours to get the retina stitched back on). The other was the “lucid interval” after a blow to the head when you go unconscious, wake up apparently fine, but after a little while of an hour or so, being to feel sleepy (rupture of the middle meningeal artery, you need to have the temple bone drilled out, and the ruptured ends of the middle meningeal artery tied up, or else you die). This was the case with a 13-year-old female, who had heard me talk about it, recognised that this had happened to her at a weekend Sports Day, forced her parents to take her to Emergency, and collapsed in the doorway on the way in. She had told her parents to say “Middle meningeal artery rupture” to the Emergency staff. She had emergency surgery, and lived, with no bad outcomes.

And of course, I have no idea of how many lives I’ve saved by saying repeatedly on air, “Get vaccinated, get vaccinated, get vaccinated.”


Where has your career led you?

Science Communication has led me into being a TV Weatherman, a test driver of 4WDs through the Australian Outback, travel to Mongolia and Antarctica, and more.

Science Writing can also (I accidentally discovered) give you a career with longevity.

Consider a music band that writes and performs their own work. Mostly they fail (which is a terrible shame, as there is a lot of luck involved in getting the Big Break), but occasionally they succeed. But in the vast majority of cases, they are at their peak for only a decade – maybe two. Then “something” fades away, and they don’t do any new work. (But blues performers seem to go on for decades, always doing new stuff.)

But Science Writers have access to the work of the research Scientists who are always providing a vast and exciting smorgasbord of brand new discoveries, that were not known last week! As long as there are Scientists, Science Writers will never run out of material to write about.


What excites you most about your work?

Being continually astonished by all the exciting new stuff that scientists are discovering.


What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

First, read widely. I look for two main topics – “quirky/weird stuff” that people like, and “fundamental knowledge stuff” for my own further education. When I find something that could one day grow/evolve into a story, I set up a file and save my “something”. I currently have over 5,500 files (about 18GB) that have NOT yet grown into stories. For example, the story on Other Solar Systems took from 1980 to 1995 before the scientists discovered other solar systems. But I have some files, (such as Memory, and Laughter) that have not yet matured. And sometimes, the story is ready as soon as I found it. (like the story where the Daily Mail claimed that “cockroach milk” – yes, it does exist! – would be the new superfood.)

Start writing 4 stories every week. And then try to sell them. And keep writing 4 new stories every week. Repeat. (Each weekly 5-minute Great Moments in Science story I do for the ABC takes an average of 5 hours to write.)

Try ALL media – print, radio, web, etc. In my case, it took only a few decades of hard work to become an overnight success. Do a 3-day Comedy Workshop (it cost me about $500 – a bargain) and start doing stage performances. (In general, once I have written a story, it takes me about one hour to write one minute of stage performance.)

It also helps to have a broad education – hard sciences, life sciences, psychology, etc, etc. But don’t worry – you can pick up stuff on the way.

Story writing (for me) has 3 parts.

The first part is that I was lucky enough to get my education when the Australian Government saw education as a worthwhile investment in the future – so I got all my 16 years of University education essentially for free. A broad education is important, but don’t worry if you don’t have this. See part 2.

The second part is that I continually educate myself further by reading about $10,000 of journals each year – including Nature, Science, Australian Potato, Circuit (the journal of the sparkies), New Scientist, Cosmos, etc etc. For example, the first time I read the New Scientist, I couldn’t understand a fair amount of the science behind the stories. But after a few months, my knowledge base had improved, and the stories became much more understandable.

The advantage of self-education, is that when you learn something, in general, you really know it well.

The disadvantage of self-education is that you don’t know of the gaps in your knowledge (of a particular field). That’s where teachers come in very handy – they know that specific field.

The third part is to actually sit down (or stand at the standing desk) and spend 5 hours writing a story, checking all the references and original sources, as I can conveniently do. If you just let all the stuff that you have read and marvelled at just float inside your brain, soon they get confused and jumbled. But the hard work of actually writing a story, reading it back and realising that there are gaps, and then re-writing it, has two results. It makes the final story better AND it locks the story into your brain and memory better. Mind you, I have to refresh/read the story/talk about the story at least once per year to stop it falling out of my memory banks. In general, for book-writing, the time taken to write a story increases as the square of the number of words. And try to get an expert in the field to look at your story. (I’m not an expert in any single field.)

I’m most happy to give any Sci Comm folk a guided tour through my Radio Science Talk-Back, and my weekly Science Q&A Sessions with two schools every week, in Sydney (or other cities, if I happen to be on the road). Ring +61 2 9351 2963 to organise.


What are some of the greatest challenges that you’ve overcome in your SciComm career?  

My many and deep areas of ignorance – geology, metallurgy, histology, etc.

President’s Update, February

Our February edition comes to you a little later than usual thanks to the whirlwind of activity in staging our Eleventh National ASC Conference this last week in Monash, Melbourne.  For those who couldn’t join us, I thought I’d share some of my address to the conference below.

When we set the themes of the conference as Priorities, Policies and Publics for Human Survival, we didn’t know the Summer we would face.  Over the last few months the country has been through a Bushfire crisis, that has devastated homes, lives, wildlife, habitat and air quality of several major cities for months on end.
It’s clearly had a huge impact on many Australians, not just those directly affected.

This image is from the current exhibition we’re hosting at MOD, where I work as the Senior Exhibition Manager.  The exhibition is SEVEN SIBLINGS FROM THE FUTURE, and it’s set in a fictional future Australian town in the year 2050.  There’s a whole exhibit about a character building a bushfire refuge.  You can see here a panel of visitor responses to reflections on what we need to do now for a better future.
There was a distinct theme emerging.
It meant that we had to take our obligation of care to our audience seriously – people have been very effected by what’s happened, and so we consulted with mental health researchers with specialties in trauma about how we could provide context and support for visitors who might be affected by what they were seeing in our gallery.

It’s also a time where science communicators can feel stuck – wondering where do we fit in this crisis?  How can we lead change?

I recently read Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta who writes about Aboriginal knowledge systems and he has a wonderful way of describing how we can embrace principles of connection, diversity, interaction and adaptation to become agents of sustainability change.  (really, read that book!)

At the recent conference we brought together around 200 people from all sorts of institutions who interface between science, educators, communities, industry, policy, healthcare systems, environmental groups, new technologies and more.

So while the title might have seemed quite dire – Science Communication for human survival –  I think there is an enormous opportunity that we now have in this moment of crisis.

It’s an important time for us to take care of each other as well, as I’ve learned from our exhibition.

Science Communication continues to face many challenges like

  • Building trust
  • Being able to engage with the people who don’t think like us
  • Translating engagement into behaviour change

And these are some of the themes we explored through the conference.
What’s next?
At the conference we held a Special General Meeting focussed on providing additional support for state based activity.  There is a post-conference grant of up to $300 available to each state and territory to organise a follow up ASC event or activity for their local members.  To apply for this, please email exec@asc.asn.au with the following information:

  • A title and short description of your planned event/activity
  • Names of all ASC members involved in the application
  • Date and location (if funds requested for an event)
  • Requested amount
  • Budget outlining where funds will be spent
  • How you intend to let members in your state know (we can also assist with this through inclusion in SCOPE for example)

Rachael Vorwerk ASC Science Communicator Scope Interview

Why did you choose to study science?

Growing up in sunny Mildura played in a big part in my love of nature and the outdoors. We’d kayak, bike ride and swim in the summer and we’d go away every year to the Great Ocean Road. My Mum was a primary school teacher and she would often practice her experiments on my siblings and I first, before she’d take it into the classroom the next day. Pairing all that together, along with a very dedicated and supportive Year 12 biology teacher, I was off to study ecology and zoology at University.


Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

I’ve got a couple of highlights. After Christmas one year, I worked with a polymer scientist and we took over CSIRO’s Instagram account to follow the story of a Christmas bon bon toy called Polly Myrrh, who was having an identity crisis and wanted to find out where she’d come from. So we did various experiments to test what kind of plastic she was, and finally reunited her with her family (in the correct recycling bin). On a more personal level, a highlight was presenting my Masters research at the Waste Education Conference last year. I researched how the first season of the War on Waste had so much impact, and along the way found out that ‘edutainment’ is a new passion of mine. I’ll be sharing the results at the ASC Conference in February.


Where has your career led you?

I’ve worked on a campaign to combat child labour in Fiji at Save the Children, published a story about how CSIRO scientists made the strongest material on earth (graphene) with soybeans, handled social media for scientists around Australia, written for the Australian Institute of Physics newsletter and helped increase the sightings of sawfish saws to help scientists identify past and future numbers of the species. Today I’ve moved into broader social change communication. I’m currently working as a Research Assistant on a project called 64 Ways of Being – which is like Pokémon Go, but for languages (stay tuned for the augmented reality app released in October 2020!). Alongside that, I am currently working as a communications consultant.


What excites you most about your work?

I love the potential that communication has to change the world for the better. My favourite process in any project is thinking about ‘okay, so if we could change people’s behaviour, what would that change in behaviour look like, and how can we use communication to make that happen?’. At the moment I’m interested in virtual reality, augmented reality and interactive games. These emerging technologies have so much potential to engage the public, to change their behaviour for the good.


What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

Take any opportunities you can. For me I offered to write an article with two PhD ecologists at my university about socially acceptable conservation planning. It was later published in the environmental magazine Decision Point with my name on it. That was my first ever published article, and went straight into my portfolio (and yes, you should buy a portfolio, I use this.)

I also worked in internal communication at CSIRO (which at the time wasn’t in the ‘direction’ I wanted to head in because it wasn’t science), but this experience really helped me realise that I loved designing campaigns that changed people’s behaviour, regardless of whether it was science-related or not. Always take opportunities to broaden your skillset, because the worst that can happen is you don’t like it, then you can tick that off the list and refine what you do want to do in the future.


What are some of the greatest challenges that you’ve overcome in your SciComm career?  

I used to say to myself that I could make any science story go viral if I tried hard enough. I still believe this today to some degree, but I’ve had to reign in my expectations a little. Sometimes this just isn’t realistic, but also, sometimes getting a story to go viral may not even be the objective. I’ve learnt this through working with scientists who want to get the attention of a particular industry, appeal to fellow researchers in their field, or get their fellow employees to better understand their work. I’ve come to learn that science communication isn’t always about the communication between the scientist and the public, it can be for many other audiences too.

The other challenge is to be realistic and take the time to acknowledge that you may have only been working in a job for three months, and maybe that’s why you don’t know everything yet. It’s not because you’re stupid, but it’s because you’re still learning, and that’s okay. And the most important thing to remember is to be nice to yourself!


President’s Update, January

Frequently ASC-ed questions

Most ASC activities happen at the state level through our branches.  So as we start 2020 and planning ahead, based on feedback from state branch organisers we’ve put together a handy short guide with answers to some basic questions that help make branches run, like:

  • How do we get funding?
  • How do you run an AGM?
  • Do we have public liability insurance?
  • What kind of communications channels are open to ASCers?

I’ve put together a first draft of a guide to help answer these questions, with links to lots of templates (e.g. treasurer’s report) and how to guides (how do you run an AGM?)
I hope you find it useful, and if you think of something missing, drop me a line to let me know president@asc.asn.au
Download the guide here

Also a reminder to:


President’s Update, December

As science communicators there are not many chances for our community to recognise and acknowledge the great contributors to Scicomm in Australia.  There are very few awards especially for science communication, with categories like the Eureka Prize for Promoting Science Understading going to researchers who actively engage in communication.  This is wonderful, as the work of STEM researchers who do this should be recognised and rewarded, but there’s not a lot of opportunity for recognition of science engagement practitioners per se.

The big exception to this is to congratulate Dr Karl on his outstanding achievement this year of being awarded the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularisation of Science – the first Australian ever to receive the award.

But there’s so many people that work above and beyond at what they do, making huge impacts in the communities they work in.  These are the people that the ASC Unsung Hero of Science Communication award wants to celebrate.  So if you know of someone who maybe hasn’t got the recognition they deserve, nominate them now for our 2019 award, which will be announced at the ASC2020 Conference in February.

Details on nominations, including forms, can be found on the ASC website here. Nominations close 31 January 2020.


Written by Lisa Bailey

Vanessa Fuchs ASC Science Communicator Scope Interview

Why did you choose to study science?

I am completing a Master of Environmental Science at the University of Sydney and I only have one subject to finish in semester 1, 2020. The countdown is on! It’s been over four years of juggling part-time studies with full-time work but it has complimented not only my professional career, but also fulfilled my curiosity for learning on a personal level. I should clarify that I didn’t start my academic studies with science. I completed a dual Bachelor of Journalism and Business degree with a major in Advertising at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane in 2010. I chose these areas of study because I’ve always loved storytelling and influencing people to change the way they think. I grew up in an area which Google Maps calls a ‘rural village’ on the east coast of North Queensland called Alligator Creek. Needless to say, apart from the bush and the beach, there wasn’t a whole lot to do there. So my passion for nature and science began very early on as I loved to use my parent’s home video camera to create my own nature documentaries. Unfortunately, these embarrassing videos have resurfaced at my 18th and 21st birthday parties. Cringe! I always knew very early on that I only wanted to use my storytelling skills to create positive change – particularly in the environment space. That’s why I decided to compliment my communication studies and skill set with a Master of Environmental Science later on. I wanted to improve my scientific literacy and critical thinking and delve deeper into some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time on a technical level.


Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

The best part of my career in SciComm has been launching, producing and presenting the science podcast at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney called Branch Out, which encourages people to discover the surprising world of plants. I started at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney as a Science Communicator in March 2018 and two months later I launched episode 1 ‘No Plants No Medicine’ which landed at #5 in the Apple Podcast Top Charts in the Science & Medicine category. I received amazing hands-on training with one of Australia’s best podcast producers, Miles Martignoni, for the first five episodes and now over 1.5 years later, I’ve made 25 episodes with over 68,000 downloads (and counting). Being presented with the opportunity to create this podcast has allowed me to interview all sorts of fascinating people both inside and outside of the organisation, including a NASA astronaut. I have been able to learn an entirely new skill set in podcast producing, interviewing and audio editing. Being able to get out of the office and immerse myself in all sorts of fascinating topics that I am interested in on both a professional and personal level is so rewarding.

Where has your career led you?

As I explained above, I knew very early on in my undergraduate studies that I only wanted to use my storytelling skills to change people’s attitudes, perceptions and behaviours to create positive change. I have predominantly worked for not for profit and government organisations that align with my own values throughout my career. I have only recently officially started my career in a Science Communication role but every career step I took throughout my professional journey brought me closer and closer to it. In 2016 and 2017 I was working at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in a Public Affairs Officer role and I worked closely with the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Science Division to create stories to highlight their projects. It wasn’t until I met a Science Communicator in the organisation that it clicked that this is the role I wanted and was always working towards. So, I became a member of the Australian Science Communicators, set up SciComm job alerts, kept working on my science stories and enrolled in the Master of Environmental Science at the University of Sydney. In March 2018, I landed the Science Communicator role at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney!

What excites you most about your work?

I have a particularly unique SciComm role at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, which allows me to present and produce podcasts, host Facebook live shows and set up amazing stories with media that receive national and international coverage. I really enjoy the challenge of bringing plant science to life as plants are often the runner up when it comes to stories about animals. So finding the story or the angle in new research that is going to captivate people is really fun. One of the most exciting stories I recently did was about a plant known commonly as ‘dog’s balls’ because it produces two red berries covered in soft hairs that hang from a short stalk – you get the picture! It was finally given a correct scientific name after almost 250 years but I used the hook of the cheeky name to capture people’s attention. Ladbible, Pedestrian and Brown Cardigan featured the story as well as a variety of other mainstream media across Australia. I really struggle with repetitive tasks so being able to have so much variety in not only the type of work I do but the content I get to unpack is so exciting.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

I think it’s important to remember that while having a degree in communications and science is extremely helpful, I don’t think it is completely necessary to have both. For example, I work with so many scientists that are naturally amazing communicators and they just need to refine or learn a few new comms skills. Secondly, even though science communication is a niche field, it can still seem quite broad when you’re first starting out. There are so many different fields of communication you can specialise in and there are so many different areas of science to focus on too. For example, at the moment my main focus is plant science and using the podcast to tell those stories. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re not sure what direction to go in, think about what you are good at and what you enjoy on both the communication and science side to help narrow your direction down.

What are some of the greatest challenges that you’ve overcome in your SciComm career?  

As a media and communications professional, stepping into the science world can often be a little bit challenging when it comes to developing the trust and respect from scientists. This is where having the Master of Environmental Science has really helped. It has given me a little bit of what I always describe as ‘street cred’. Some scientists can be particularly challenging to work with because they either don’t see the value of media and communications or they are scared of it. I organised professional media training for science staff which helped to alleviate some of these issues. It also demonstrated to them the power of great communication to create awareness of their research. It’s also important to build up the scientists media skills for interviews slowly. For example, starting with written questions they can answer in their own time and building up to radio and television interviews. Being able to break down complex concepts without watering them down too much is another challenge but the Branch Out podcast engages everyone from the 7 year old to the scientist. I have overcome this by keeping a fun and curious approach to the sort of questions I ask and I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from the podcast RadioLab.

ASC President’s update November 2019

President’s Update

25 years old!

The quarter-century milestone has prompted a time not just for reflection on the past, but consideration to the future challenges science communication faces in Australia.  I’ve had many interesting discussions in the last couple of months about the impacts of media fragmentation, how to engage audiences around new and emerging technologies, or what even the role of science communication is when it comes to averting environmental catastrophe.  Over 25 years there have been many ASC presidents, and I’ve reached out to collect some of the thoughts, hopes and fears of our illustrious alumni in response to the question

What are the biggest science communication challenges Australia faces right now and over the next decade?

Over the next couple of months, these will be published as a series on the ASC website, you can read the first in the series from our most recent past president, Craig Cormick, by pressing here.


Astha Singh ASC NSW President Scope Interview


Astha Singh – ASC October SCOPE interview


  • Why did you choose to study science?

The decision to study an undergraduate degree in science for me was led by interest and curiosity. I have been genuinely curious about scientific concepts, new technology, discovery and innovation. One of the most important factors for us to choose in our field of study is the impact of family, friends and peers. This was the case with me too, my family influenced this decision to pursue studying science and navigating careers in this industry. 


  • Looking back now, what has been the best part of your career in SciComm?

Generally speaking, I really enjoy meeting and speaking to talented and bright minds in STEMM. The experience of learning about their work is rewarding and inspiring. The finest experience in my Scicomm, science outreach and marketing journey so far has been the FameLab program by British Council, Australia. It was fascinating to work with the top scientists from all over Australia, learn about their research and be part of their coaching and mentoring through the program.  

The other aspect of my career that I enjoy the most is bringing people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds together. I believe that reassuring Diversity and providing opportunities to people from all communities, colours, languages and backgrounds is the key to tapping into the bright minds and talents that exist amongst us. 


  • Where has your career led you?

My career path has had a navigated journey so far. I manoeuvred my profession from academic science and research into the communications, marketing and media space of the STEMM industry. Currently, I work in the startup Centre of the University of Wollongong’s Innovation and Commercial Research called ‘iAccelerate’. At iAccelerate, I work with CEO’s and teams in over 60 diverse startups that have spun out from research initiatives, startup ideas and business plans that the local, regional and internationally based founders have come up with in recent times. I enjoy assisting people with technical and business acumen that have huge potentials to make impact, in turn generate opportunities for themselves, for the region and create employment. 

I also work towards multicultural initiatives and Diversity in STEMM advocacy as I’m passionate about this space. 


  • What excites you most about your work?

Promoting the wealth of talent that Australia holds in the STEMM industry and being part of the greater impact is what excites me the most. I love creating marketing campaigns, external media opportunities, public relations avenues for technology, ideas and people that are committed to creating impact. 


  • What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in SciComm?

Do not be afraid of failure: it is but a stepping stone to success. Wear it like a badge of honour. Things didn’t always go my way during those PhD years, but I am not the first research scholar to say that! And even after, as I decided to manoeuvre my career into something different, all I got initially was a series of knockbacks. Those moments though, became a foundation for resilience and endurance, and motivated me to soldier on with the career pathway of my choice.

Never stop learning. I have taken this desire to learn, and the courage to ask questions, beyond the walls of university, constantly challenging myself with new opportunities and ideas. I don’t need to tell you that it is the simple desire to discover, that fuels science. For myself, I hope to maintain a childlike curiosity even as I grow into my sunset years!

There is no bias in this world. We make our own prejudices. As an international student, I came to realise early on that it is our attitude and response to circumstances that ensure how connected we become in a new place with new people. I strongly believe that diversity and inclusion open doors to empowerment and future leadership, for everyone. You will all have different circumstances but no matter what they are, Australia has and will continue to provide equal opportunities and a great start-line for a promising future – so give it all you’ve got!

Twitter- @asthasingh —— LinkedIn- www.linkedin.com/in/singhastha/