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 developing a research program exploring the influence of gender in STEM, especially STEM communication, and collating evidence of how effective initiatives to support gender equity actually are - 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.