Distinguished Professor Susan Scott is Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics at the Australian National University. Her research expertise is in gravitational physics, general relativity theory, cosmology and gravitational waves. She is a member of the international team which announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves on Earth in 2015. Her research has been recognised by her receipt of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and the international Dirac Medal for Theoretical Physics in 2020.
Susan is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the European Academy of Sciences, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Institute of Physics journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. She is a Chief Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). Susan is passionate about science and science education, and as a woman and the proud mum of two daughters, cares deeply about the participation of women in science and policy making which will determine the future health of our planet.
Her Twitter handle is @ozgravityguru
Matt Dodds is an Amateur Astronomer and the Education Officer for the Sydney University node of ASTRO 3D. He has a keen passion for Astronomy and Science Education and connecting people with the night sky. Having spent the better part of the last decade as a High School Science Teacher, Matt excels at inspiring students to follow their passions, ask questions and pursue their goals in Science related fields. Matt can often be found travelling around the country, sharing the eyepiece of his telescopes with school groups or the general public. He also presents various workshops to teacher and student groups such as the basics of spectroscopy, the scale of the solar system and how to build a telescope. One his long drives around Australia he loves listening to Astronomy podcasts such as "Space Nuts", "Cosmic Vertigo" and the "Exocast". He on both Instagram and Twitter @ScienceWithMat.
Fred Watson has been Astronomer-in-Charge of the Australian Astronomical Observatory since 1995, but is best known for his radio and TV broadcasts, books, and other outreach programmes - including science tourism. Fred is a musician, too, with both a science-themed CD and an award-winning symphony libretto to his name. Fred was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault.
Jackie Bondell is Education and Outreach Coordinator for both the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) and for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and is based in Melbourne, Australia. She develops educational content for public outreach events and curriculum for school programs, focusing on incorporating innovative technology and science content into in-depth and curriculum-aligned education opportunities for students and teachers. Prior to 2018, Jackie spent 15 years as a Physics instructor in the US. She holds a Masters Degree in Astrophysics and is a National Board Certified Teacher of Secondary Physical Science. During her teaching career, she was the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the National Science Teachers Association Technology Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Science Teaching. She has led multiple workshops related to incorporating visualisation technology and current Physics research into the science classroom and has recently authored a chapter in a textbook on teaching contemporary Physics to secondary students. Jackie is the Chair of the Education and Outreach Chapter Steering Committee for the Astronomical Society of Australia and a National Astronomy Education Coordinator representing Australia to the Office of Astronomy for Education with the International Astronomy Union.
Professor Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist at the University of Southern Queensland. He first became interested in astronomy at the age of five, and has been hooked ever since. After spending his youth observing the night sky, and going to lectures at his local astronomical society, Jonti went to the University of Durham, where he spent four years studying towards a Masters’ degree in Physics and Astronomy. He then moved to the University of Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate for a thesis entitled ‘The Behaviour of Small Bodies in the Outer Solar System.’. Once his studies were complete, he moved to the University of Bern, in Switzerland, where he spent three years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Spells at the UK’s Open University and the University of Durham followed, before he moved to Australia in 2010, to take up a position at the University of New South Wales. In 2014, Jonti accepted a position at the University of Southern Queensland, where he became the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow.
Jonti is a passionate and enthusiastic science communicator. He gives regular talks to a wide variety of community groups, schools, and astronomical societies, and makes weekly appearances on ABC Queensland’s Evenings program, with Kelly Higgins-Devine. His research covers topics ranging from the formation and evolution of our Solar system to the search for planets around other stars. He is particularly interested in understanding the different factors that could make some of those planets more (or less) suitable for the development of life, and is looking forward to seeing the next generation of astronomical telescopes make a serious effort at answering the question “Are We Alone?”.
Jonti writes regular articles for the Australian research news website The Conversation, which can be found at:https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonti-horner-3355/articles
His Twitter handle is @JontiHorner, and his personal webpage is located at http://jontihorner.com
Krystal De Napoli