In a world where everyone fancies themselves an expert – thanks to the rise of the internet, social media and the endless news stream – how do we know if the science we’re spouting is fact or fiction? Enter the science communicators, who for years have been wrestling fake news and misinformation to ensure the public has an accurate understanding of scientific concepts. The ABC’s Olivia Willis hosts a discussion between three science media professionals – much-loved author and expert Karl Kruszelnicki AM; Head of Biosecurity at the Kirby Institute, Professor Raina MacIntyre; and Associate Professor and chemist Alice Motion – on why conversations on climate, health and science are more personal and political than ever.
Raina MacIntyre (Australian)
Professor Raina MacIntyre is Head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW. She leads a research program in control and prevention of infectious diseases, spanning vaccinology, pandemics and emerging infections, and personal protective equipment. She has over 400 peer reviewed publications. She has received many awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US, the Public Health Association of Australia’s National Immunisation Award, and the Frank Fenner Award for Research in Infectious Diseases.
Alice Motion (Australian)
Alice Motion is an Associate Professor, Chemist and Science Communicator based at the University of Sydney. Her research explores open source drug discovery and ways to connect people with science and make research more accessible. Alice is the founder of the Breaking Good citizen science project, the host of a weekly science slot on FBi Radio's breakfast show since June 2015 and the 2020 Eureka Prize Winner for Promoting Public Understanding of Science.
Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki (Australian)
Karl Kruszelnicki AM – more or less universally referred to as “Dr Karl” – is an Australian science communicator and populariser, who is known as an author and as a frequent science commentator on Australian radio and television. He is also the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow in the Science Foundation for Physics at the School of Physics, University of Sydney. He is the author of dozens of books, most recently Dr Karl’s Little Book of Climate Change Science and Dr Karl’s Surfing Safari Through Science.
Olivia Willis (Australian)
Olivia Willis is a health reporter for the ABC and host of ABC Radio National’s Patient Zero podcast. She covers health and medicine for ABC Science and has spent much of the last 12 months reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Olivia has worked as a journalist for Radio National since 2014, and is a founding producer of the award-winning women’s health podcast Ladies, We Need to Talk.