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, applying her innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.
Merryn’s research contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between science, media and publics. She conducts research which explores why publics react and respond to scientific issues the way they do in a variety of different disciplines including public health, climate and conservation science.
She is actively developing a research program exploring the influence of gender in STEM, especially STEM communication, which is a largely undeveloped area of research in Australia and internationally.
She was the lead researcher for the Decadal Plan for Women in STEM, published by the Academy of Science and the Academy of Technology and Engineering (Applied) and is actively involved in developing and researching effective mechanisms to enhance and support equity and diversity in STEM.
Merryn has conducted qualitative and quantitative research nationally and internationally, developing her experience through both non-academic and academic roles, including as a private consultant, conducting evaluations of programs, events and courses with varied audiences.