Dr Elizabeth Finkel AM

Elizabeth Finkel AM is a former biochemist who switched from research to telling the stories of other scientists.

She completed a PhD in biochemistry at Melbourne University in 1982, followed by postdoctoral experience at the University of California in San Francisco, studying a gene that inscribes a pattern onto the blank canvas of the fruit fly egg. Her work was published in Nature magazine.

Returning to Melbourne in 1988, she left research for journalism, making regular contributions to American magazine Science and The Age, and authored two books, one of which, Stem Cells: Controversy at the Frontiers of Science, won the Queensland premier’s literary award in 2005. From 2013-2018, she was editor-in-chief of Cosmos Magazine, a science publication she co-founded in 2005.

She’s won numerous awards for journalism, including the 2015 Eureka Award for Science Journalism from the Department of Industry and Science, and this year was awarded a medal for communicating science by the Australian Society for Medical Research.

She’s now returned to focus on writing, as well as serving on advisory boards of centres of excellence in Australian archaeology (CABAH) and gravitational wave research (OzGrav), as well as Melbourne Zoo and Latrobe University Press. She’s also a vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University.

In 2016, she was recognised with an Order of Australia.