Rebecca Priestley

Senior Lecturer-Science in Context, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

My main field of research is New Zealand’s science history and I’ve published books, curated exhibitions and written many articles, academic and popular, on this topic. I am currently completing an anthology of Antarctic science and exploring new projects in twentieth century science. My specific research interests include:

- Nuclear and radiation histories
- Ernest Marsden and his contributions to 20th century science
- Antarctic science history
- The contribution of science to New Zealand’s wider history
- Science communication practice and theory

I communicate the results of my research to a wide audience through journal articles, books and popular media. I also write a weekly column about science for the New Zealand Listener and have communicated a range of other science stories through print, blogs and radio broadcasts. I have a strong interest in the links between the arts and sciences and I am an affliate of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. I am part of the Science in Context Research Group, based in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer-Science in Context, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 2010 
    University of Canterbury, PhD


Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize 2009