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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 the award-winning author of two novels, A Curious Intimacy and Entitlement, and a hybrid memoir about deafness, Hearing Maud. Her short stories and essays have appeared widely in Australian and international literary journals and have been shortlisted and longlisted for major prizes. Jessica is the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts and has undertaken residencies in Hobart, Rome and Munich. She is currently writing an ecobiography of Western Australia’s first non-Indigenous female scientist, 19th century botanist Georgiana Molloy. Jessica can be found at or on socials at @ladyredjess.

 Melissa Ashley’s historical fiction novels, 'The Bee and the Orange Tree' and 'The Birdman's Wife', have won major awards, including the Queensland Literary Awards Fiction Prize, and the ABA booksellers Choice Award. Melissa is passionate about historical women’s forgotten lives, particularly in science, and her forthcoming novel, 'The Paper Museum', and the novel she's researching for after that, both shed light on women scientists.

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

The Science Write Now (SWN) Podcast is a monthly 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 the Australia Council for the Arts.

You can also find and follow us online - on Twitter - on Instagram - and on Facebook

Our opening song is 'Balmain' by Pure Milk: