Science  Write  Now

The Science Write Now (SWN) Podcast is a podcast for people who love science and the arts. If you’re interested in learning more about great books, plays, and films; writing, research or editing; the lives of scientists; and creative insights into contemporary science; then you’ve come to the right place!
The SWN Podcast is hosted by Amanda Niehaus and Jessica White and produced by Taylor Mitchell with funding from Creative Australia.

Listen on-the-go on Google, Apple and Spotify now!

Opening song: 'Balmain' by Pure Milk
Episode 1
Bright book with flower and bird in greens, yellows, pinks, blues - Ordinary Matter

Women in Science in Fiction with Laura Elvery

In this episode, Jess chats with Laura Elvery about her new collection of short stories, 'Ordinary Matter,' which is inspired by the twenty women who have won the Nobel Prize for science. You can purchase it here. Laura Elvery is one of Australia’s most… Read more
Episode 2
Book - Woman in robe holding baby - cover in pastel peaches and blues - Fauna

Writing De/Extinction with James Bradley, Donna Mazza & Chris Flynn

In this episode, Jessica White chats with James Bradley, Donna Mazza, and Chris Flynn about the inspiration for and writing of their recent novels Ghost Species, Fauna and Mammoth—all of which consider the implications of de/extinction and, in one case,… Read more
Episode 3

Science in Poetry with Tricia Dearborn and Benjamin Dodds

In this episode, Jessica White chats with Tricia Dearborn and Benjamin Dodd about the inspiration for and writing of their recent poetry collections Autobiochemistry and Airplane Baby Banana Blanket. Tricia Dearborn is a Sydney poet, writer and editor.… Read more
Episode 4

Writing Ecological Emergency with Rebecca Giggs

In this episode, Jessica White chats with Rebecca Giggs about her beautiful nonfiction book Fathoms: The World in the Whale and how she translates abstracted aspects of the ecological emergency—like its unfathomable scale—into a visceral narrative that is… Read more
Episode 5

The Future of Sex with Rob Brooks

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with University of New South Wales evolutionary biologist and author  Rob Brooks about the future of sex, his new book Artificial Intimacy, and the science and politics of human relationships. Rob Brooks is an… Read more
Episode 6
Image from children's book - bird in a tree and frog on the ground and climate disasters all around them

Eco-fiction for Every Reader with Andrea Baldwin

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with writer and psychologist Andrea Baldwin about writing eco-fiction and crafting stories about the environment for different audiences and age groups. Andrea Baldwin is a psychologist and author who works at the… Read more
Episode 7

Animal Characters and Authentic Environments with Renée Treml

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with Renée Treml about graphic novels and picture books, science for kids, designing museums (and specimens!) for books, and changing careers from science to art.  Renée Treml was inspired by Australia’s wildlife and… Read more
Episode 8
Book cover

Writing and Painting Nature with Inda Ahmad Zahri

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with Inda Ahmad Zahri about writing stories embedded in nature and creating across forms. Inda Ahmad Zahri believes in a world of wonder. She lives in Brisbane where she illustrates and writes for children and adults.… Read more
Episode 9
Book cover

Texture and Mood with Kathleen Jennings

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with award-winning writer and illustrator Kathleen Jennings about stitching together her observations into stories and worlds, writing with texture and creating narratives using mood. Kathleen Jennings is an… Read more
Episode 10
An image from the play in which a puppeteer controls blue butterflies around Charles Darwin

Re-imagining Charles Darwin for the Stage with David Morton

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with David Morton, Creative Director of Dead Puppet Society, about taking young Darwin from the page — and the Galapagos — to the stage, in The Wider Earth. David Morton is a writer, director and designer, and the… Read more
Episode 11
Yellow book with crumpled paper that says Refuse to be Done

Writing, Re-writing, and the Scales of change with Matt Bell

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with speculative fiction writer and Associate Professor of Fiction (Arizona State University) Matt Bell about his new craft book Refuse to be Done, the iterative craft of writing and rewriting, and conceptualising the… Read more
Episode 12
Green Book with red lines

Time, Memory and the Stories of our Lives with Sven Birkerts

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with writer & AGNI co-editor Sven Birkerts about time, memory, and the patterns that shape our writing. Sven Birkerts is the author of eleven books of essays and memoirs, most recently 'Speak, Memory', a personal… Read more
Episode 13
VR user inside a virtual cave blues and greens on screen

Science in Virtual Realities with Michael Angilletta

In this episode, Amanda Niehaus chats with biologist Michael Angilletta about his collaborative work building virtual reality science labs with Hollywood-born Dreamscape Immersive, student engagement through story, and the power of immersion— as well as… Read more
Episode 14
A green book with a woman holding a cup of tea - A Hundred Small Lessons

The Nature of Trees and Rivers with Ashley Hay and Simon Cleary

In this episode, Jessica White speaks Ashley Hay and Simon Cleary about thinking—and writing—through rivers and trees, and how they connect people, places, histories, ecologies, landscapes and myths. Ashley Hay is the author of three novels and four books… Read more
Episode 15
Pale blue book with a lyrebird on the cover - The Birdman's Wife

Lost Lives Found in Fiction and Ecobiography with Melissa Ashley and Jessica White

In this episode, Amanda talks with novelist Melissa Ashley and our own Jessica White about writing the lives of 19th-century female natural historians in fiction and ecobiography—and the importance of bringing untold stories to the light. Jessica White is… Read more
Episode 16
Bright book with a mammoth in greens and blues - Mammoth

Writing Beyond the Human with Chris Flynn

In this episode, Amanda speaks with Chris Flynn about writing beyond the human, stories led by imagination, and thinking through place beyond setting.  Chris Flynn is the author of Mammoth, The Glass Kingdom and A Tiger in Eden. He is Editor-in-Residence… Read more
Episode 17
Muted pastel cover of an ocean with a small boat - The Woman Who Sailed the World

Keeping Secrets and Finding Science with Danielle Clode

In this episode, Jess talks to Danielle Clode about how, from the 18th to the 20th centuries, women have employed great ingenuity to discover new knowledge. Danielle Clode is an award-winning author of Australian non-fiction books. Her writing includes… Read more
Episode 18
Book with various botanical art on it - The Age of Seeds

The Stories of Seeds with Fiona McMillan-Webster

Why do some seeds live for thousands of years, while others only a few? What made Nikolai Vavilov the Indiana Jones of the ‘seed world’? And how do you write a book about something in which you’re not already an expert?  In this episode, Amanda talks to… Read more
Episode 19
Woman holding a piece of meat on her fork while a pheasant watches on - The Turquoise Elepahnt

The Absurdist Truths of Climate Change

In this episode, Amanda speaks with Australian playwrights Oliver Gough and Stephen Carleton about performing climate change on the stage—and the role of absurdity in communicating dire issues. Oliver Gough is an emerging playwright and MPhil Candidate in… Read more
Episode 20

All Things Comedy with Anne Libera (The Second City)

In this episode, Amanda chats with Professor Anne Libera—Director of Comedy Studies at the prestigious comedy club The Second City in Chicago—about how comedy works and why we need it. Anne Libera is an Associate Professor and Director of Comedy Studies… Read more
Episode 21
image of fireworks

Bursting with Science and Story

In this episode, Jess talks to Claire Bowen and Kevin Vinsen about Storyburst, a writing project that they established in 2020. They invited Australian writers of all ages to collaborate with researchers to write science-inspired monologues. The… Read more
Episode 22

Cells, Ears, Impairments and Memoir, with Amanda Tink, Lauren Poole and Heather Taylor Johnson

In this episode, Jessica White chats with Amanda Tink, Lauren Poole and Heather-Taylor Johnson about the ways that impairments, and historical responses to impairments, shape our bodies and writing. About Amanda Tink: Amanda Tink is a blind and… Read more
Episode 23

Curiosity, Kindness and Storytelling with Jodi Rodgers

In this episode, Krystle speaks with Jodi Rodgers about her new book Unique: What autism can teach us about difference, connection and belonging – which Jodi describes as ‘a love letter to autism’. In her book, Jodi reflects on her experiences with… Read more
Episode 24

Comfort in the Cosmic with Alicia Sometimes

In this episode, Krystle speaks with Alicia Sometimes about her new poetry book  Stellar Atmospheres, a collection that interweaves the scientific, the literary, and the personal. Sometimes’s lyrical yet accessible poems give musicality to cosmic ideas… Read more
Episode 25

Exploring Big Questions and Big Feelings through Speculative Fiction with Grace Chan

In this episode, Krystle chats with Grace Chan about her novel Every Version of You, the story of which Grace tongue-in-cheekly describes as being about ‘staying in love after mind-uploading into virtual reality’. Spoiler: it’s loaded with meaning and big… Read more
Episode 26

Spinal Tap... but make it Joycean with G. S. Dickson

In this episode, Krystle chats with G. S. Dickson about his debut novel A Minor Fifth, a satire about the death of fictional Australian rock icon, Billy Ordain, recounted, albeit unreliably, by five people who knew him. Krystle and Gareth wax lyrical (and… Read more