Editorial and Advisory Board

Editorial Team

The team behind COSMOS, Australia’s #1 science magazine in print, iPad and online and the winner of 47 awards, including the Magazine of the Year trophy in both 2009 and 2006, for best digital engagement strategy. COSMOS has also won the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, the Reuters/IUCN Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism, the City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Sustainability Award and an Earth Journalism Award.


Elizabeth Finkel is a one-time biochemist who took up science journalism. One of the founders of COSMOS, her work has appeared in publications including the US journal Science and The Age and on ABC radio’s The Science Show.  She is the author of Stem Cells: Controversy on the Frontiers of Science, which won a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award in 2005, and The Genome Generation published in 2012. Her work for COSMOS has won four Publishers Australia Excellence Awards. In 2011 she was named the National Press Club’s Higher Education Journalist of the Year. In 2013, her COSMOS story “Fields of Plenty” won the Crawford Prize for agricultural journalism. In the year 2015, Elizabeth won the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism for her article "A Statin a day" – the first print article to win the award in 11 years, a triumph for long-form journalism. 

Deputy Editor

James Mitchell Crow is a research chemist by training. He began his science journalism career at Chemistry World magazine, where he was shortlisted for several awards, including Features Writer of the Year at the UK Magazine Design and Journalism Awards. In 2009 he joined New Scientist in London as a features editor. In 2010 he moved to Australia and began working freelance, writing for publications including New Scientist and Nature. In May 2013, James joined COSMOS as deputy editor, where he still manages to slip in the occasional chemistry story.

Deputy Editor

Belinda Smith has worked in science and environment reporting since she decided a life studying memory-impaired mice, part of an honours project, just wasn't for her. She joined Cosmos as deputy editor in January 2015 after two years on The Conversation's science and technology desk. Prior to that, she edited Wild magazine and wrote for The Australian​. 

Writer and Production Editor for the Cosmos Newsblog

Bill Condie has been a journalist for more than 30 years, working as a writer and editor in Europe, Asia and Australia for newspapers including The Guardian, The Observer and The Times.

Production Editor for Cosmos Magazine 

Katherine Kizilos is the production editor for Cosmos Magazine.

Art Director

Robyn Adderly has more than 11 years experience in publishing, working on an extensive portfolio of magazine titles from finance to art and everything in between. Before joining COSMOS Robyn  worked on custom publishing titles at Nuance Multimedia and business and investment titles at Fairfax Media. Robyn has a keen interest in science, technology and engineering and likes to know how things work. She enjoys watching the program’s of professor Brian cox (who she calls the pin-up boy of physics).

Fiction Editor

Cat Sparks is an Australian science fiction writer and editor. She is the winner of five Aurealis and nine Ditmar awards – the two highest honours in Australian science fiction – as well as an international Writers of the Future trophy. A co-founder of Agog! Press, publisher of 10 anthologies of award-winning fiction, she is also a graphic designer and a photographer. She has served as the official photographer for two Premiers of New South Wales and travelled to Jordan on three occasions to chronicle archaeological expeditions.

Staff writer 

Viviane Richter is a staff writer at Cosmos Magazine. She has a background in structural biology, with a PhD from La Trobe University.​

Editorial Advisory Board

An Editorial Advisory Board, made up of leading figures in the sciences and the arts, help ensure COSMOS stays abreast of the latest ideas and thinking. Current members are:

Alan Finkel

Alan Finkel is a neuroscientist and philanthropist, and one of the founders of COSMOS. The Chancellor of Monash University in Melbourne, he is the winner of the 2005 Clunies Ross Medal and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 – in both cases for his contribution to science and education. With a PhD in electrical engineering from Monash, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he invented a voltage clamp that made it possible to measure the electrical activity of previously inaccessible, individual neurons in mammals. He went on to establish Axon Instruments Inc, a scientific equipment manufacturer with a global reputation, and lead it for 22 years until its acquisition in 2004.

Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin is the Apollo 11 astronaut who, with Neil Armstrong, became the first men to walk on the Moon in 1969. A winner of the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, he is a former commander of the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California and a former astronaut and US Air Force pilot. Since retiring, he has founded a rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters Inc, and established the ShareSpace Foundation, a non-profit organisation devoted to opening the doors to space for all people.

Bryan Gaensler

Bryan Gaensler is a Federation Fellow and Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney. He was the 1999 Young Australian of the Year, a 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and is the 2006 winner of the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize awarded by the American Astronomical Society for outstanding achievement in observational astronomy. A former Hubble Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Clay Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, he has taught astronomy at Harvard University and authored or co-authored over 120 scientific papers on neutron stars, black holes, supernova explosions or cosmic magnetic fields. He is currently the International Project Scientist for the Square Kilometre Array, a planned next-generation radio telescope which will answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the universe.

Paul Davies

Paul Davies, an internationally acclaimed physicist and writer, is the Director of Beyond: the Centre for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University in Tempe. He has held previous academic appointments at the universities of Cambridge, London, Adelaide and Macquarie University, and is chair of the SETI post-detection taskgroup of the International Academy of Astronautics, the team that will decide what to do if an extraterrestrial signal is detected. The author of over 20 books, including bestsellers The Goldilocks Enigma and The Mind of God, he is the winner 2001 Kelvin Medal by Britain’s Institute of Physics, and the 2002 Faraday Prize by the Royal Society. His research interests are in the fields of cosmology, quantum field theory, and astrobiology.

Robyn Williams

Robyn Williams is an Australian science journalist and broadcaster who has hosted The Science Show on ABC Radio National since its inception in 1975. The author of more than 10 books, he is a former Reuters Fellow at Oxford University, served as president of the Australian Museum Trust and deputy chairman of the Commission for the Future, and is a former president of the ANZAAS Congress. In 1993 he became the first journalist elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He graduated in science from the University of London, and has honorary science doctorates from Deakin, Sydney and Macquarie universities, and an honorary doctorate of law from the Australian National University.

Mike Archer

Mike Archer is Professor, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales. He's a biologist, geologist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and mammalogist who was hooked on science from age 11. He has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications including a wide range of books and many popular science articles. 

Louise Leakey

Louise Leakey is Director of Public Education and Outreach in the Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya. She is also research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Stony Brook in New York, USA. She first became actively involved in fossil discoveries in 1977, at the age of six, when she became the youngest documented person to find a hominoid fossil. 

Joanne Manaster

Joanne Manaster, a faculty lecturer in biology at the University of Illinois’s School of Integrative Biology, stands out as an example of an individual who has leveraged new media alone to enthusiastically share science in the online environment and garner one of the largest followings on social media without the benefit of already having a traditional media or publishing background audience to join her online. She experiments with multiple new media formats to help further her platform, which is to share science stories to pique the interest the general public without sensationalism, to encourage the reading of great popular science books and to support and encourage youth, particularly girls, to consider STEM careers. In all of these endeavors, Joanne displays a sincere and overt support for those who are on the front lines of increasing scientific knowledge and thinking: the science teachers in America’s schools.