Vanessa Fuchs Science Communicator, Host and Producer, Branch Out Podcast, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Vanessa Fuchs has established herself as one of Australia’s up and coming content makers and science communicators by revolutionising the profile of Australia’s oldest scientific institution, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Plant stories are traditionally less interesting than animal stories, but Vanessa’s proven there’s an appetite for plant science and conservation through the new Branch Out podcast she hosts and produces for the Garden.
From creating hours of nature documentaries as a child growing up in Alligator Creek, Queensland to launching a successful podcast – Vanessa has always loved storytelling and the environment. Branch Out is the first podcast Vanessa has ever made and she drives the entire project to engage an international audience with entertaining content about the surprising world of plants. When Branch Out launched in May 2018 with episode 1 ‘No Plants No Medicine’ it reached number five in the Apple Podcasts Science and Medicine category and appeared in the lucrative featured section. Vanessa has produced fifteen episodes (and counting), Virgin Australia selected Branch Out to appear in their in-flight entertainment in November, 2018 and past episodes have organically generated stories in the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio Sydney and Australian Geographic.
With fewer and fewer science journalists working for traditional media outlets, Vanessa’s contribution to science communication in Australia is extremely important. Her impact and achievements in the podcast space also got her shortlisted in the 2018 Mumbrella Next Awards in the Content Maker category. Between interviewing scientists and other experts for Branch Out episodes, Vanessa is also chipping away at a Master of Environmental Science at the University of Sydney to compliment her Bachelor of Journalism and Business (Advertising).