Associate Professor Merryn McKinnon

B. Sc (Hons), Grad Dip Sci Comm, MJour, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Honours & Graduate Program Convenor
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Media Studies 200104
  • Communication Studies 200101
  • Sociology And Social Studies Of Science And Technology 160808
  • History And Philosophy Of Science (Incl. Non Historical Philosophy Of Science) 220206
  • Gender Specific Studies 169901

Research interests

  • The relationship between science, publics and the media;
  • Public engagement in science inlcuding influences on beliefs and perceptions of science;
  • Factors affecting interpretation and understanding of communication messages;
  • The impact of science communication training and activities with a particular focus on gender;
  • Diversity and inclusion in STEM disciplines


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, applying her innovative thinking and problem solving skills.

Merryn has worked and conducted qualitative and quantitative research nationally and internationally, in both non-academic and academic roles. She regularly contributes to ABC Radio on ABC Sydney's Nightlife and Radio National's Research Filter, talking about interesting science from around the world. Merryn designs and delivers science communication workshops, as well as workshops specifically for women in STEM.

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 and conservation science. She is actively building a research program exploring the influence of equity, inclusion and intersectionality in STEM, especially STEM communication.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  29 May 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers