story, science, technology and creativity

Why I ran away with the circus (and how you can too)

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Shell Questacon Science Circus 2001

Me on tour with the Shell Questacon Science Circus team.

I adore science and innovation: thanks to science, I have light bulbs, a fridge, and a sense that the world is a wondrous place and incredible things can happen.

Do you have a science degree, and an itch in your feet? Join the circus!

In 2001 I joined the Shell Questacon Science Circus, and I’ve never looked back.

Want to apply? All you need is a science undergraduate degree and a willingness to tour Australia with a bunch of other new performers. After an incredible, stretching, social and educational experience, you’ll come away with a Masters degree from the Australian National University, and a wild bunch of memories.

Oh, and did I mention the scholarship?

Shell Questacon Science Circus 2014Merryn McKinnon joined the circus with me in 2001. She’s now Dr Merryn McKinnon, and a lecturer at the Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University, and she’s helping to recruit a new troupe of performers.

“The Science Circus is an amazing opportunity,” says Merryn, “and one I have never regretted. It opened my eyes to possibilities I never even considered. The skills and experiences I had in the Science Circus have allowed me to try lots of different jobs, all around the world.”


My experience mirrors Merryn’s, and that of dozens of other science circus alumni. Since graduating, I’ve worked as an editor, journalist, teacher, presenter and science writer, in countries all over the world.

I joined the circus for the excitement and the challenge, and I came away with so much more.

So, if you’re a science undergraduate, and you care about spreading the word of science, and you want to have the experience of a lifetime, apply for a Masters in Science Communication Outreach, and join the Shell Questacon Science Circus.

It’s important work, and seriously good fun.

Shell Questacon Science Circus alumni 2001

Spot me far right with the yellow funnel, and Merryn in the centre with a Dalmatian growing out of her elbow.

Author: cristyburne


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