Erin Maessen

Many of the problems that we face relate not only to science but also the way we live our lives. This link is what drew Erin to a Master of Science in Society.

Erin stands in front of the tuatara enclosure. She carries a red shoulder bag and there are green ferns and other plants shown behind her.

“Solving many of the issues that are facing us today will involve understanding the messy interaction of multiple disciplines and ideas. I‘m interested in how to communicate difficult or controversial topics and the way in which people’s attitudes and values influence their behaviour around scientific issues.

"Once I graduate, I'd like to do something related to science communication and science writing, but I have come across so many interesting possibilities in the programme that I could well change that. I do know that I want to work in an area where there is an interaction between science and people's lives."

Climate change communication

For the research component of the programme, Erin is looking at how climate change is represented in fiction. “When it comes to describing climate change, there is often a narrative of doom and disaster. I’m curious as to whether being exposed to so many negative visions of the future can affect our ability for action.”

Supportive, enthusiastic people

“The great thing about the Master's is that it’s run by supportive, enthusiastic people. It feels like they are really invested in the programme—and in each of us individually—and they have diverse and fascinating experiences to share with us.”