[ASC-media] ACT talk by Liz Tynan, journalist

Sharyn Errington sharyn.errington at anu.edu.au
Tue Jan 20 12:14:20 EST 2004

Liz Tynan will be presenting a seminar on a new interdisciplinary 
course in journalism she has been involved in at the University of 
Tasmania. All ASC members (and others) are welcome to attend. Details 
about Liz's background and a synopsis of her presentation follow.

When:	Thursday 29 January
Time:	5:30 pm
Venue:	ANU
	Physics Link Building (38A)
	Room G 2 (Social Psychology Lab)

Ms Liz Tynan
Lecturer in Journalism, University of Tasmania

Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing, Canberra College of 
Advanced Education (now University of Canberra), completed in 1980. 
Currently enrolled as candidate for MPhil at the Centre for Public 
Awareness of Science, ANU.

I began my career in 1981 in Sydney, and worked for over three years 
as a journalist on the industry newspaper, Travelweek.  In 1984 I 
transferred to Daily Commercial News as Parliament House 
correspondent in Canberra.  After a short time, I moved to ABC Radio 
and Television where I was trained as an electronic media reporter 
and sub-editor.  At the ABC I developed an interest in reporting on 
science and technology and when a position came up to edit a CSIRO 
publication I took it.  This job, as editor of the CSIRO newspaper 
CoResearch, changed the course of my career and launched me into 
science journalism.  I stayed with CoResearch for nearly five years 
and became heavily involved not only in science communication but 
also lobbying. I went on to join the Australian National University 
in Canberra as, first, science and technology correspondent and later 
editor of the ANU Reporter as well as editor of the physics 
publication Advance.  In 1997 I became a lecturer in journalism at 
James Cook University in Townsville.  After two years there, I took 
up an appointment as Sydney correspondent for New Scientist magazine, 
to report science news for the London-based publication.  During this 
time I also wrote extensively for The Veterinarian, before returning 
to Townsville as science communication manager for the Australian 
Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).  I joined UTas in February 2001. 
Among my new tasks has been overseeing the establishment of a radio 
station, Edge Radio 99.3FM.  Our station was named 2003 Radio Station 
of the Year by the Community Broadcasters Association of Australia.

Teaching and research interests
I have taught a wide range of journalism subjects, as well as English 
grammar and expression and aspects of literature.  At UTas, I teach: 
online journalism; environmental journalism; public relations; 
ethics; science journalism; radio journalism; and basic news skills. 
My research interests lie in the development of science journalism in 
Australia, the relationship of science to the media, as well as the 
role of science as a cultural activity and how science communication 
can best be taught.


A new interdisciplinary unit, Writing About Science, was run for the 
first time last year at the University of Tasmania.  It was co-taught 
by lecturer in journalism Liz Tynan and English literature academic 
Elle Leane. The unit was an experiment in marrying three different 
disciplinary areas: English literature, journalism and science. 
Combining these usually distinct fields of academic endeavour 
presented a variety of challenges, from pedagogical issues such as 
finding an assessment formula appropriate to the interdisciplinary 
student body, through technical issues with a WebCT Scientific 
Literacy survey used to gauge students' level of knowledge, to more 
practical issues such as finding a timetable that suited both arts 
and science students. This paper will outline the nature of this 
unique unit, as well as its successes, lessons learned and plans for 
future development. It will include discussion of the student intake; 
the scientific literacy of the students as measured by the WebCT 
survey; the use of guest lecturers from the science and science 
journalism communities; assessment issues; and students' responses to 
the unit.
Dr Sharyn Errington
Graduate Studies Convenor
Science Communication
Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (Building 42)
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200


Tel:	+61 2 6125 5562
Fax:	+61 2 6125 8991

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