Jasmine Fellows (tw: @jasfellows) has a passion for combining science and the arts, from hands-on experiments to hula hooping. She is the Editor of Double Helix, CSIRO’s magazine for young readers. She is also one of the Editors of the new book, More Hands-On Science.
She loves to study and accidentally ended up with a Bachelor of Arts as well as the intended Bachelor of Science. She couldn’t help but go on to postgraduate study in writing and marketing. This blend of different interests and skills have all been channelled into her work at CSIRO, in various roles, over the past 15 years.
Jasmine loves to sing and plays ukulele, cello and piano (and anything else she can get her hands on). She has recently begun performing her own original songs.
In our conversation, we talk about Double Helix, music, and CSIRO Publishing’s new book, More Hands-On Science.
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[01:01] Jasmine’s academic explorations
[01:22] The importance of a balance between science and the arts.
[02:03] Wanting to understand her relationship with the world around her.
[02:33] Adding the Arts to her coursework.
[03:23] Choosing to study the Philosophy of Science for her Honours.
[04:12] Where Jasmine envisaged her path would lie.
[07:12] How she found her way to becoming Editor of Double Helix.
[07:55] On presenting hands-on science shows in the Northern Territory.
[08:10] What editorial work at Double Helix involves.
[09:17] The focus group of children consulted for the magazine.
[09:37] The Double Helix Magazine.
[10:32] The production process for an issue.
[12:02] Communicating concepts for a wide age range.
[14:06] A typical day.
[16:02] Tying in the online content.
[17:59] Hooping for Helix.
[19:13] Early Helixes and how times have changed.
[22:12] How Jasmine’s role and the work her team does changed over the years.
[23:16] Starting to encourage critical thinking early through science-fiction.
[25:03] Creating a framework for children to ask more questions.
[26:49] Science communication at different levels.
[29:24] “More Hands-On Science”
[30:07] Developing the activities for the book.
[32:02] The target audience for the book.
[33:05] The safety and environmental considerations of the activities.
[34:43] Gauging content for inclusion and inclusiveness in the publication.
[36:09] Diversity in publications.
[37:55] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[38:01] Music for connection, community, and relaxation.
[43:39] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[44:34] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[46:22] Working on the roadshows.
[47:53] Reflections on her path.
[48:29] Reaching out to Jasmine.
Regarding diversity considerations for Double Helix, when Jasmine mentioned the piece on colour blindness:
I just realised I forgot to mention we looked for intersex data (but didn’t find any) when considering diversity on that colour blindness story. XX and XY are of course not the full story.
- Double Helix
- Philosophy of Science
- Hula Hooping
- More Hands-On Science (CSIRO Publishing) (BookDepository) (GoodReads)
- Jelly lens
- The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body (BookDepository) (GoodReads)
- Jasmine Hooping for Helix - Spinning, Rolling, and Hula Hooping
- A Droplet Approach to Lens Making, Lee, W & Kamal, T (2014). AOS News, 28(3), 30-31
- Miniature droplet lenses for mobile microscopy, Lee, W (2015). SPIE Newsroom, May 2015, 3pp
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