Dr Merryn McKinnon

Honours Convener
Physics Link Building 38a, Science Road
 +61 2 6125 4951


Career awards

  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Public Policy and Outreach, 2015


BSc Hons (Marine Science), Grad Dip (Sci Comm), Masters Journalism, PhD (Sci Comm)


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 she preferred talking about her research much more than doing it.

This led her to the field of science communication in 2001 where she has stayed ever since, working largely with Questacon in Canberra, Australia, and also private and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and overseas. She has explored the field of science communication quite broadly, working as a presenter, evaluator, event manager, marketing consultant and media trainer. 



Research interests

The relationship between science, the public and the media; influences on beliefs; perceptions of science; factors affecting interpretation and understanding of communication messages; informal education.


Supervisory Chair

Principal investigator




Merryn is the lecturer for SCOM3002/6016 Science in the Media and MEDI8115 Fundamentals of Health Protection and Health Promotion.



Peer-reviewed journal papers

Peer-reviewed encyclopaedia entries/book reviews

  • McKinnon, M. (2014) Layperson's guide to pandemics, Review of Pandemics, by Prof Peter Doherty, Medical Journal of Australia, 200:5, 297. DOI: 10.5694/mja13.00232
  • McKinnon, M. (2010) David Attenborough. In Susanna Hornig Priest (Ed), Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication, (pp 71 - 72). California: Sage Publications. 
  • McKinnon, M. (2010) Thomas Kuhn. In Susanna Hornig Priest (Ed), Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication, (pp 435 - 437). California: Sage Publications. 
  • McKinnon, M. (2010) Edward Teller. In Susanna Hornig Priest (Ed), Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication, (pp 884 - 885). California: Sage Publications. 

Peer-reviewed conference proceedings

  • Moussa-Inaty, J., Barza, L. & McKinnon, M. (2014, April). A Closer Look at Science Education in Abu Dhabi Primary Schools Through Teacher Self-Efficacy. Paper 184, Conference Proceedings, presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2014 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, United States of America, 3 – 7 April 2014.
  • McKinnon, M. (2010, December). Motivator, Supporter, Trainer: Science Centres and their Role with Primary School Teachers. Conference Proceedings, Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), 11th Annual Conference, New Delhi, India.

Popular writing/opinion pieces

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