Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats

eBook - November 2010 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A fascinating collection of more than 70 profiles of Australian scientists from 15 fields of science.

Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats is a fascinating collection of more than 70 profiles of Australian scientists from 15 fields of physical, biological and medical science. These scientists have been selected because their research is inspiring, intriguing or simply quirky, or because they have taken an unusual or interesting path to the work they do. + Full description

Scientists at all stages of their careers are included, from PhD students through to some who have long retired. Readers will meet scientists who have been honoured as the elite of their fields, as well as many who contribute in the shadows.

Profiles include: a forensic archaeologist whose work has taken her from Antarctica to Pompeii; palaeontologists who revolutionised understanding of Australia’s dinosaurs; the founder of an independent rainforest research centre with a speciality in flying foxes; a computer scientist teaching computers to understand jokes; and the engineer behind technologies that could bring clear sight to a billion people and clean energy to billions more.

For anyone considering a career in science, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats provides insight into the challenges and triumphs of being a scientist. For everyone else, it is a rare peek into the reality of how science is done.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.


"It is written in a highly engaging way which will enable readers to identify with the scientists and to feel motivated by their work. The book not only disseminates really useful information but it is a valuable recognition of the lives of Australian scientists and their contribution to science globally. This publication will be a worthy addition to any high school library and should be on the shelf of every careers counsellor! It will also make an ideal gift for any teenager showing scientific tendencies or as a school prize for academic achievement."
Diane Latham, LabTalk, Vol 55, No.3, 2011

"The book can be used as a teacher resource in many ways. lt highlights some of the career options that are open for science students. Individual stories could be described and discussed at the beginning or end of a lesson to provide real-world contexts for science classes. The book is also beneficial as it highlights how the skills that students learn in the classroom can be applied in real-life situations. lt is for this reason, that I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a valuable resource that has a place in teacher resource libraries."
John Patterson, Teaching Science, Vol 57, No 1, March 2011


ePDF | November 2010
ISBN: 9780643097469
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | November 2010
ISBN: 9780643102170
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • It represents a rare insight into the lives of everyday scientists, not just the rare famous figure
  • It reveals the processes of science, not just the outcomes
  • For anyone contemplating a career in science it offers insight into what they can expect and some clues about how to pursue their dreams
  • The profiles are diverse and offer something for almost anyone interested in science, from astronomy and zoology to neuroscience

The featured scientists include:

  • Dr Fiona Wood (former Australian of the Year) who is famous for her patented invention of spray on skin for burns victims
  • Professor David Solomon headed the team that produced the polymers used in Australia’s bank notes, including the clear window designed to prevent forgeries
  • Scott Hocknull is a palaeontologists involved in recently discovering three new species of dinosaurs


As staff writer for Australasian Science since 1998, Stephen Luntz has published over 2000 articles on all areas of Australian and New Zealand science. Since 2002 he has written the 'Cool Scientist' column, the basis for this book. He also runs a business administering elections for nongovernment organisations.