How long have you worked at UOW?
More than 25 years.
What’s your/your team’s role at the University?
I do a mixture of teaching, research and admin. Whilst I’m based in the Humanities, my academic field of STS is interdisciplinary which means I also teach undergraduate students from STEM and the Social Sciences.
My research looks at the social aspects of science and technology and I’ve published on a wide number of topics ranging from the history of the telephone, to the relationship between science and law, and the public understanding of science. My primary administrative task is being Chair of the University of Wollongong Thesis Examination Committee.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
When I’m teaching and see students enthusiastically engage with new ideas. Also when my research is occasionally cited and hopefully has some influence or impact.
What’s the most challenging?
My area of research is extremely broad with lots of fascinating fast moving topics. Keeping up is rewarding but very demanding.
Proudest work achievement at UOW?
- Seeing a number of my STS students go on to become eminent international scholars.
- Being invited to give presentation on my work at some of the world’s leading universities, such as Cornell in the United States and the London School of Economics.
- Having publications cited in the High Court of Australia and the Australian Federal Court.
What goals are you/your team working towards in 2019?
I am currently working on a book exploring the ways images of scientific method are used in political ways in areas where scientists, policy makers and the public, are brought together. It explores topics such as Climate Change, Fringe Science, The EMF debate, and Toxic Torts.
What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?
Hitting a cover-drive for four runs in the (inaugural and final) Arts vs Science cricket game many years ago. This was after being at the receiving end of some (good spirited) sledging and short pitched deliveries. Also, the occasional visits of Brush Turkey’s to the gardens around building 19.
Random fact about you or hidden talent?
I won the Art prize in High School in my HSC year and was runner up in the under 14 age division (Sydney) Eastern Suburbs Schoolboy Golf Championship. Haven’t done much of either since….
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
The Illawarra is hard to beat for natural beauty and any nice place I can share with my family and friends.
Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?
Aging gracefully with wisdom is probably a better aspiration than planning any ‘big ticket’ items.