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.
The relationship between science, the public and the media; science teaching self-efficacy; teacher professional development; influences on beliefs; perceptions of science; evaluation of education and awareness programs; assessment of student learning; critical thinking; scientific literacy.
Peer-reviewed journal papers
- McKinnon, M. & Perera, S. (2015) The Big Picture: Pre-service teachers' perceptions of 'expert' science teachers, Teaching Science, 61:4. pp 32 - 45.
- McKinnon, M. & Vos, J. (2015) Engagement as a threshold concept for science education and science communication, International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 5:4. pp 297 - 318. DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2014.986770
- McKinnon, M., Orthia, L.A., Grant, W.J., Lamberts, R. (2014) From generic skills to real world assessment: Building an undergraduate science communication program, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22:5, pp 1 - 13.
- McGillion, C., & McKinnon, M. (2014) Participatory theatre as a science communication tool in Timor Leste. Science Communication, 36:4. pp 502 - 510. DOI: 10.1177/1075547014533663
- McKinnon, M., Moussa-Inaty, J., & Barza, L. (2014) Science teaching self-efficacy of culturally foreign teachers: A baseline study in Abu Dhabi. International Journal of Educational Research, vol 66. pp 78 - 89. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijer.2014.03.001
- McKinnon, M. & Lamberts R. (2014) Influencing science teaching self-efficacy beliefs of primary school teachers: a longitudinal case study. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 4:2, 172 - 194. DOI:10.1080/21548455.2013.793432
- McKinnon, M., Barza, L. & Moussa-Inaty, J. (2013) Public versus private education in primary science: The case of Abu Dhabi schools. International Journal of Educational Research, vol 62. pp 51 - 61. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijer.2013.13.06.07
- Thomas, J., Raynor, M. & McKinnon M. (2013) Academic integrity and oral examination: an Arabian Gulf perspective. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51:5, pp 533 - 543. DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2013.796724
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
- McKinnon, M. & Walker, L. Teachers are leaving the profession - here's how to make them stay. The Conversation, 11 January 2016.
- McKinnon, M. (2014, 10 May) Shells in a nutshell, Ask Fuzzy, Canberra Times.
- Barnard, K. & McKinnon, M. (2013, July-August) Partnering to build capacity in Indonesian science centers, Dimensions, vol 15 (4), pp 42 – 47. Washington: Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).
- Grant, W.J. & McKinnon, M. Australians seem to be getting dumber - but does it matter? The Conversation, 17 July 2013.