This is an initiative that Catriona Nguyen-Robertson an Imaging CoE PhD Candidate started while in quarantine. Scientific Earworms is a series of educational songs that explain scientific concepts. What if songs stuck in people’s heads were about science?!

Throughout 2020 Catriona released a series of science songs, sharing and explaining science to the general public, aligning with the Imaging CoE’s aim to engage the public with messages conveying the impact, importance and excitement of science.  With the Imaging CoE support, Catriona purchased equipment to create engaging videos already shared on YouTube and other social media platforms. Different scientific lessons are explained through song accompanied by graphic animations. Examples of songs include those explaining the epidemiology, virology, and immunology of COVID-19, which were recently published to great success. The overarching goal of this project is to share science in a fun and digestible way to a wide audience.

This series (“Variations on a Theme”) will celebrate the achievements of Imaging CoE. Songs composed by Catriona have graphic animations that describe the intricacies of the immune system, drawing on the Imaging CoE Research Themes and research outputs (e.g. scientific papers).

Catriona Nguyen-Robertson is a singing scientist: she sings in the laboratory and contemplates immunology in the shower. She is a PhD Candidate within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging at The University of Melbourne and an Associate Editor for the scientific journal, Immunology and Cell Biology.

Catriona is passionate about encouraging diversity and engaging people in STEM. She was Vice President of Women in Science and Engineering and is a Pride in Action Network staff representative at the University of Melbourne. She is a Lecturer in Science Communications at The University of Melbourne and Science Communications Officer for the Royal Society of Victoria and Convergence Science Network. She writes songs that explain immunology as Nyuroscientist on YouTube and regularly engages with mentoring and outreach programs, such as Skype a Scientist, Pint of Science, In2Science and BrainSTEM – sharing science online, in pubs, and in schools across the Asia-Pacific Region.

“I love both science and music, and so it’s a delight to combine the two to create something meaningful – something that is educational, engages people in science, and is fun!”