Public Individual Page

Marina Joubert
- - Joined February 25, 2021
Main Expertise
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Other expertise
Education and Training
South Africa
Highest Educational Qualification
Doctorate or higher
Biographical Info
I am a researcher and lecturer at the SA Research Chair in Science Communication at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. My research interests are mainly about how scientists engage with society. I published this article about the country-specific factors that motivate or deter public engagement from my PhD research. One of my research interests is the history of science communication in South Africa. Find out more in this book chapter about how the development of science communication in South Africa is intertwined with the turbulent political past of this country. I also wrote about how the first human heart transplant in the world changed the relationship between medicine and the media. I became interested in scientists who become celebrities via the mass media. You can read more about my research on celebrity surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard in this article ‘South Africa’s fallible king of hearts’. More recently, I wrote about how Professor Salim Abdool Karim became a media star during the Covid-19 pandemic. In one of my current research projects, I collaborate with colleagues in South Africa, Australia and the UK to look at how the novel coronavirus and the Covid-19 pandemic are presented by newspaper cartoonists. So far, we have published an article on how the virus has been visualised, with the title: “Spikey blobs with evil grins: understanding portrayals of the coronavirus in South African newspaper cartoons in relation to the public communication of science”. I am increasingly interested in visual science communication, and art-science collaborations. I am therefore excited to be listed as an author on Lifeology, and to have my first ‘flashcard course’ on ‘the science of science communication’ published in 2021. I have written several articles for ‘The Conversation Africa’ on topics related to science communication, all listed here. You can follow me on Twitter @marinajoubert, or join a Facebook group dedicated to promoting science communication in Africa at