Science communication psychology
Rohan's Notable career moments
Was very eager about science and medicine
Teachers said I was too ADHD to become a doctor
Flunked maths; dropped all challenging subjects
Graduated high school with no ATAR
Learned of the climate emergency; decided I must act
Studied various sciences where I hoped I might be helpful
Graduated psychology degree; accepted into Honours research program
About Rohan Stoneman
In school, I would often question what my teachers had just taught me – and usually, I’d get scolded for ‘back-talking’! As if I’d insulted them! Honestly, I’d only wanted to understand the world, and to test my prior beliefs against their evidence. I’ll admit, though, I probably hadn’t communicated well. Luckily I had one science teacher who saw that I’d in fact been trying to think like a scientist. They encouraged and rewarded (rather than rejected) my energetic curiosity, and gave me the confidence I needed to keep questioning what we know.
Now that I’m a scientist myself, I get to ask big questions all day long. My most urgent question is: ‘how can we solve our climate crisis?!’. The answer is, simply put, we all must work together, immediately, to adapt our lifestyles and apply the best evidence-based solutions – all of which first requires that enough of us know and care about climate change enough to actually do something!
So, right now, I’m working to improve how we share climate science knowledge with people. I’m testing whether we can help people remember climate info more clearly, and take the emergency more seriously, by using a neat cognitive trick which seems to nudge readers to shift their attention away from unreliable information (and onto more valid info). I used to feel more anxious or fearful every time I learned something new about climate change and how it’ll likely impact our futures. But now that I’m working to promote climate action, I don’t feel afraid – I feel proud, helpful, thankful, and most importantly, hopeful!