Dr Grant Hill-Cawthorne is a medical microbiologist and lecturer in communicable disease epidemiology at the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity and School of Public Health, University of Sydney. After completing medicine and medical training and the University of Cambridge he went to Saudi Arabia where he set up a laboratory specialising in pathogen genomics. His PhD was in the use of genomics for public health microbiology and as part of this he led a large worldwide study on TB genomics as well as studies on total drug resistant TB in South Africa. His ongoing research is on the evolution of drug resistance and epidemiology of infectious diseases in Australia, South Africa, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea. Grant has spoken extensively in the media on the control of the current Ebola outbreak, based on his public health role in communicable disease control.
Robyn Williams is a science journalist and broadcaster. He presents ABC Radio National’s The Science Show and Ockham’s Razor. He has conducted countless interviews with scientists on ABC TV on programs such as Quantum and Catalyst, narrated the Nature of Australia series and appeared in World Safari with David Attenborough. Although he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in England, Robyn admits to spending as much time acting as studying. Early in his career he made guest appearances in The Goodies, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Doctor Who, and stood in for Tom Jones for four months in his TV series. Outside of the ABC, Robyn has served in various capacities, including president of the Australian Museum Trust, chairman of the Commission for the Future, and president of the Australian Science Communicators. In 1987, he was proclaimed a National Living Treasure.
Dr Rachael Dunlop is a campaigner for science-based medicine in Australia, with a special interest in the anti-vaccination movement. She works as a researcher with an interest in motor neurone disease and other ageing disorders. Rachael is a reporter for The Skeptic Zone podcast and blogs at the Skeptics Book of Pooh Pooh. She is also vice president of the Australian Skeptics, and a member of Mystery Investigators with Richard Saunders. As an ex-graphic designer, Rachael enjoys combining her love of science and art as a science communicator.
Alan Kirkland was appointed to the position of CEO of CHOICE in August 2012. He has held senior management roles with the Australian Law Reform Commission, Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Council of Social Service. He has worked closely with federal, state and territory governments, industry peak bodies as well as private and public stakeholder groups. His work has spanned policy development, change management and public engagement projects.
Delia Rickard was appointed to the position of Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in June 2012 for a period of five years. Immediately prior to her appointment to the ACCC, she was the Senior Executive Leader for Consumers, Advisers and Retail Investors at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. She was also ASIC’s ACT Regional Commissioner. Delia is a former head of the ACCC’s then Consumer Protection Branch and was a member of the Secretariat to the Wallis Inquiry into the regulation of Australia’s financial system. She was also a member of the Australian Payments System Board for a number of years and has been on the Steering Committee for all four ANZ National Financial Literacy Surveys.
George Hrab is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, skeptic, podcaster, producer, composer and heliocentrist. He has written and produced six independent CDs, published one book, performed for President Clinton, produced an award-winning podcast Geologic, and is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment.
Peter Hadfield trained and worked as a geologist before embarking on a career of travelling and writing. From South America he moved to Japan in 1986 and covered news from East Asia as a freelancer, working in print for the Sunday Times and US News and World report, radio for CBC in Canada, and television for CNN, CBC and ABC in the United States, among many others. He was New Scientist’s correspondent in Tokyo for 14 years and has covered science stories for the BBC’s Science in Action and ABC’s Science Show. He now focuses on feature stories in East Asia, and runs a YouTube site debunking junk science, with nearly 90,000 subscribers.
Kendrick Frazier is a science writer and longtime editor of the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He is also a former editor of Science News, author or editor of ten books, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a fellow and a member of the executive council of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). He has written extensively about a variety of science topics including astronomy, space exploration, the earth and planetary sciences, archaeology, technology, the history and philosophy of science, public issues of science, and the critical examination of pseudoscience and fringe-science. And, of course, the history and status of the skeptical approach.
Peta Ashworth has gained an international reputation as a leading researcher in understanding public perception to climate change and low emission technologies. Under her former leadership of the CSIRO’s Science into Society Group over the past six years, the Science into Society Group expanded to include 30 researchers building the group’s core capabilities to encompass: assessing the impacts of technology, establishing a social license to operate, understanding and modelling social systems, motivating positive behaviour change and exploring pathways to connect people and policy. Ms Ashworth is Vice President of the Council of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) and Chair of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Social Research Network, as well as a member and reviewer for the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control and a reviewer for the Journal of Energy Policy.
Dr Amanda Bauer has a PhD in Astrophysics, and she is currently Research Astronomer and Outreach Officer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney, where she researches galaxy formation. She likes camping, festivals and sleeping under the stars, no doubt so that she can watch the approaching destruction of the Milky Way as it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy. You can find her online as @astropixie.
Dr Bronwyn Hemsley is a certified practicing speech pathologist with 26 years’ experience in working with people with communication disabilities in research, teaching, and policy development. She is a senior lecturer in speech pathology at the University of Newcastle and Discovery Early Career researcher, holding two NHMRC research projects. As such, her work is funded by the NHMRC and ARC and the University of Newcastle. Bronwyn’s research team aims to improve communication access for all people who have difficulty communicating by speech, in a rights-based approach as supported by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability, and the World Health Organization. Bronwyn is an editor for the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group, and an associate editor for the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and on the editorial board for the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability.
Dr Alex Wodak is a physician and has been Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital since 1982. He is President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and was President of the International Harm Reduction Association. He helped establish the first needle syringe programme and the first medically supervised injecting centre in Australia when both were pre-legal. He also helped establish the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the NSW Users AIDS Association, the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine and the Australian needle syringe programme annual survey. Dr Wodak often works in developing countries on HIV control among injecting drug users. He has published over 200 scientific papers.
Adam vanLangenberg is a teacher at McKinnon Secondary College where he has been running a lunchtime skeptical society since 2011. Twenty to thirty students meet once a fortnight to discuss everything from astrology to zombies. The group received national attention after Adam was interviewed by The Age and on The Circle. Guests to his club have included Richard Saunders, James Randi and Ian the homeopath.
Adam is the winner of the Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason (the Fred) for 2012.
Nicholas J. Johnson, the “honest conman”, knows his scams.
After decades of rubbing shoulders with fraudsters and liars, the award-winning stand-up comedian and magician shows audiences how to become a human lie detector, why they shouldn’t trust him at the ATM and the best way to cheat the casino.
His recently published novel, Chasing the Ace, covers the misadventures of two conmen – master and apprentice – who come up against the wrong mark, and try to scam their way out of it.
His website is www.conman.com.au