Professor Joan Leach (BA hons, BSc, MA, PhD) is Director of the National Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the Australia National University. Her research centers on public engagement with science, medicine and technology and she has been active in the Australian government's recent initiatives toward “Inspiring Australia.” She is a lifelong student of rhetorical history, theory, and power.

She is currently researching the role of popular science in the globalization of science since the 1960s, a project funded by the Australian Research Council.

She held academic posts at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and Imperial College London before moving to Brisbane in 2004 and to Canberra in 2016.

Joan has won numerous academic awards for her research and community engagement, including being a Science Journalism Laureate at Purdue University (USA).

While remaining transfixed by science, she advocates for better science communication which critically examines the social impacts of science, technology and biomedicine.


  • –present
    Associate Professor in Rhetoric and Science Communication, University of Queensland
  • 2002–2004
    Assistant Professor of Rhetoric of Science, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1995–2002
    Lecturer in Science Communication, Imperial College London


  • 1992 
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, BSc
  • 1992 
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, BA


Immediate Past President, Australian Science Communicators