Dr Liz Tynan

BA (Professional Writing), PhD (Science Communication)
PhD Graduate

Liz is an academic with a background in both print and electronic media, and a long-standing specialty in science journalism and editing. She has worked for the ABC as a reporter and sub-editor, and was later Sydney correspondent for New Scientist. She first joined academia in 1997 when she began work in the Journalism program at JCU. She also worked for five years at the University of Tasmania where she helped set up a community radio station (Edge Radio), and taught a wide range of subjects including Writing About Science, Radio Journalism and Environmental Journalism, before returning for another stint in the JCU journalism program. After teaching journalism and public relations for more than 10 years at UTas and JCU, she joined the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) as senior writer for two years. In 2010 she was appointed to an academic position with the JCU Graduate Research School, teaching writing and critical thinking skills to research students. She has worked in science journalism and communication roles with CSIRO and ANU, and has carried out extensive freelance and consultative work in science writing, editing and publications.

She is co-author of a textbook with Oxford University Press, released in November 2008, titled Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice. The second edition of this textbook is in production and will be released at the end of 2011. In June 2008 she was made an Honorary Member of the Golden Key society and gave a keynote speech on the importance of science journalism in a democracy.

Research interests

Maralinga: testing times for Australian media By taking as a case study the media coverage of the British nuclear tests at Maralinga, both during and long after they took place, this research hopes to elucidate how the rise of science journalism in this country has made possible a stronger fourth estate role for Australian media.


Selected conference papers

  • “Writing About Science: An experiment in interdisciplinarity”, Hobart November 2003
  • “Taking to the air: project based learning in the broadcast media”, Gold Coast November 2003
  • “Keeping it real: the challenge of teaching theory, ethics and practice in public relations”, Hobart November 2004
  • “Appetite for Wonder: science journalism and the imaging of nature”, Cradle Mountain June 2004
  • “Dirty Deeds: Uncovering Maralinga”, Suva December 2004