Meet the Speakers
is an Australian Novelist and critic. His books have won or been shortlisted for a number of major Australian and international literary awards and have been widely translated. In 2012 he won the Pascall Prize for Criticism and was named Australian Critic of the Year. His work touches on natural and physical sciences, and his latest novel, Clade
, uses the story of three generations of a family to explore the possible effects of climate change over the 21st century.
As a critic and reviewer, James has a keen interest in science fiction and literary works that incorporate science through technology, environment and process. His award-winning writing uses scientific elements to support plot and communicates current scientific debate through narrative and fiction.
is a writer and editor whose fiction and non-fiction have been published in Australia and the United States. With a background in health sciences and assistive technology, Simon has, since 2010, led if:book Australia, a project of Queensland Writers Centre that experiments with and explores the technologies of writing and reading.
if:book Australia has emerged as the leading developer of experimental publishing and exploration. Simon’s work and reporting on how readers engage with digital publishing has seen him travel the globe to discuss and explore the challenges and opportunities for writers in a digital space.
’s writing has appeared in anthologies including Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Short Stories and Best Australian Science Writing. Her most recent novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and received both the Colin Roderick Award from the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and the People’s Choice Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Her earlier non-fiction books include Herbarium (with visual artist Robyn Stacey), and Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions, and her stories about science have appeared in publications including Creative Nonfiction, Griffith Review, The Monthly and Australian Geographic. In 2014 she edited that year’s Best Australian Science Writing collection. In 2015, she was awarded the Australian Book Review/Dahl Trust Fellowship to write the lead essay — on eucalypts — for ABR’s annual environment edition.
is a three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent. Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades, and is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI.
He has reported from all over the world, in virtually every medium, having anchored programs for network, cable, and radio. Hockenberry is a noted presenter and moderator at conferences such as TED, Aspen Ideas, and the World Science Festival.
is a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine, a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT for 2014–2015, and the author of Spooky Action at a Distance (2015) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory (2008). He has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2011 Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics and 2010 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the American Astronomical Society.
Dr Niamh Shaw
is a former a full-time academic and published author in peer-reviewed journals, and has embarked on a career that merges science, art, and technology. Niamh recently was the Artist in Residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork.
Shaw regularly contributes popular science/tech related topics on national TV and radio, including TV3's Late Lunch Live
for Science Foundation Ireland, as well as speaking publicly at events including TEDxUCD, Trailblazery, Space Expo and the Festival of Curiosity. She is a member of Engineers Ireland and the Institute of Physics.
As a cross-platform performer and an academic, Niamh provides a varied and dynamic approach to science and communication.