Researcher biography

Dr Curtis is a recipient of the 2018 'ABC Top 5 Scientist Media Residency Award'.

Dr Curtis is interested in science and technology and their impacts on society, and she is particularly interested in privacy issues surrounding digital DNA data. More broadly, her work explores how we can responsibly deploy emerging biotechnology and AI-driven technologies. Her versatile science and science communication skills make Dr Curtis a valuable member of the Centre for Policy Futures' Science, Technology and Society research program. Dr Curtis is a cross-disciplinary researcher, with highly developed quantitative and qualitative skills. She is a trained population geneticist, with postdoctoral experience in population genetics and genomics, forensic genetics, ancient DNA, and bioinformatics.

Dr Curtis was honoured with a 2019 'Australian Institute of Science & Policy Tall Poppy Science Award', recognizing excellence in both research and science communication.


She is also a Queensland 2019 Flying Scientist, with the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist and Wonder of Science.

Caitlin's research spans both science and humanities to look at some of the emerging ethical, legal and social issues being created by the advances in genetic technology, in order to inform policy debate on these important issues. Dr Curtis has been with the UQ Centre for Policy Futures since 2018, and has a depth of experience in engaging with government and the public, and interpreting research into policy.

  • What are the new challenges being presented along with the advances in genomics technology?
  • How can genetic data be integrated to society in a way that benefits everyone equitably?

The social aspect of science

Dr Curtis has recently published a paper in PLOS Biology that explores the social aspect of science, and how dominant and charismatic personalities can have a disproportionate impact on the direction of science.

This work has generated a fair bit of discussion and was recently featured in Forbes - and you can find the link here: