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Fri, 1 Dec 2017

Top literary award for JCU academic

James Cook University’s Dr Elizabeth Tynan has been named as a winner in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Dr Tynan, who teaches academic writing and critical thinking skills to post-graduate students, won the Australian History category for her book Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story, which deals with the British nuclear weapon tests conducted in Australia in the 1950s and 60s.

She said the award was a great honour.

“It was a real surprise and it means a lot, not just personally, but because the story of the tests is one that needs to be told.”

Dr Tynan is a former journalist who has co-written two textbooks, but this was her first foray into popular history.

“I worked at New Scientist and got to know journalist Ian Anderson, who had written a story about the Maralinga tests. It sparked an interest in me and I returned to university and did my PhD on aspects of the tests. I had access to Ian’s archives on Maralinga after he passed away, and I always had in mind that I’d write a book on it one day.”

The book was also winner of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Australia Book Prize in October this year.

Dr Tynan has worked at JCU’s Graduate Research School for the past eight years. She said she has another book underway on a similar theme.

Link to book website here.


Dr Elizabeth Tynan
E: elizabeth.tynan@jcu.edu.au