Dr Caitlin Curtis

Research Fellow

Centre for Policy Futures
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
+61 7 334 68083


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. She comes from a robust science foundation in genomics with subsequent training and experience in policy and communication. More recently, her work has expanded to be more interdisciplinary, investigating the impact of science and emerging technology on society - with a particular focus on trust in artificial intelligence and emerging genomics technologies She has a deliberate focus on public and stakeholder engagement to foster the important debates required for the responsible introduction of technology.

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 was also a Queensland 2019 Flying Scientist, with the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist.


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 and artificial intelligence systems, in order to inform policy debate on these important issues. Dr Curtis is a member of the UQ Centre for Policy Futures and the Trust, Ethics, and Governance Alliance Research Hub (TEGA) - which brings together experts from the Business School and the TC Beirne School of Law. She has a depth of experience in engaging with government and the public, and interpreting research into policy.


She also coordinates and moderates the UQ AI Collaboratory's 'Ask Me Anything about AI' series, which is a unique forum that brings together panellists with technical expertise in artificial intelligence, along with experts from across social science, communication, policy, or law to answer audience questions and spark multidisciplinary discussion around important topics relating to AI systems, including: AI social media predictions, facial recognition systems, misinformation and AI, and deep learning.

Research Interests

  • Applied ethics: Responsible deployment of emerging technologies
  • Digital Governance: public trust and ethical deployment of AI in society
  • Governance and predictive applications of digital genomic data
  • Equitable access to and policy to support emerging biotechnology & AI in health
  • Effective communication of science and emerging technology

Research Impacts

Dr Curtis's has presented her work on ‘Protecting trust in medical genetics in the new era of genomics’ (Curtis et al, 2018), in a Queensland Parliamentary briefing, and she has engaged in invited discussions about the work with MPs, Queensland Police, the media, and other key stakeholders around the work. She has also been involved in creation of a secure, privacy-preserving genomics data-sharing, storage, and analysis technology platform (under provisional patent). Dr Curtis also has experience in lecturing, mentoring, PhD supervision, and developing ECR workshops.

Dr Curtis is regularly invited to discuss her work in the media. She has recently discussed her work with ABC 7.30 Report (June 15, 2020). The link to the 7.30 report is availalbe here (approx. 7 minutes).

She has created content for The Health Report with Norman Swan and ABC Radio National's Ockham's Razor, as well as speaking with TripleJ Hack, Radio New Zealand, Life Matters (ABC Radio National), and BBC World Business Report.

Dr Curtis was a leading Research Fellow in the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of genomics working group within Queensland Genomics.

Caitlin recently gave a media comment to Nature News about changes to the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) regulations on genome editing technology exempting CRISPR from GMO regulation, provided no new genetic material is added. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01282-8

She has recently worked in collaborations with KPMG on a nationwide survey on Trust in AI (Australian Insights 2020), and Acheiving Trustworthy AI - a Model for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, and she has presented in the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA)'s 'Public Interest Technology' forum in November 2020.

More information about Caitlin's research engagement and impact can be found on her website.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of South Florida


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Curtis, Caitlin, Gillespie, Nicole and Okimoto, Tyler (2023). Establishing trust in science communication. Teaching science students to communicate: a practical guide. (pp. 39-47) edited by Susan Rowland and Louise Kuchel. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-91628-2_5

  • Creamer, Sandra, Toombs, Maree, Tarrago, Avelina, Williams, Renee, Fraser, Jed, Curtis, Caitlin and Brolan, Claire E. (2023). More than black printed words on white paper: intergenerational health justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australian public health law: contemporary issues and challenges. (pp. 153-178) edited by Belinda Bennett and Ian Freckelton. Alexandria, NSW Australia: The Federation Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Pool, Javad, Smith, Natalie, Dodds, Hunter, Lockey, Steven, Curtis, Caitlin, Rinta-Kahila, Tapani and Gillespie, Nicole (2023). An AI-enabled community safety service: stakeholder benefits and vulnerabilities. Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS), Wellington, New Zealand, 5 - 8 December 2023. Atlanta, GA, United States: Association for Information Systems.

  • Mayer, Roger C., Jang, Dongil, Shah, Pri Pradhan, Jones, Stephen L., Siderits, Ian, Flynn, Patrick, Mulvey, Paul W, Lockey, Steve, Gillespie, Nicole, Pool, Javad, Curtis, Caitlin, Edwards, Martin, Belkin, Liuba, Tuskey, Sarah, Becker, William J., Korsgaard, M. Audrey, Strizver, Sam, Ployhart, Robert E and Williams, Michele (2023). From the complex present to the risk-laden future of trust: over the mountain and into the frying pan. 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Boston, MA United States, 4-8 August 2023. Briarcliff Manor, NY United States: Academy of Management. doi: 10.5465/amproc.2023.18559symposium

  • Lockey, Steve, Gillespie, Nicole, Curtis, Caitlin, Bingley, William, Worthy, Peter, Haslam, Alexander, Steffens, Niklas, Bialkowski, Alina, Ko, Ryan and Wiles, Janet (2022). Necessary but not sufficient: assurance mechanisms for enhancing trust in AI-enabled job screening. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Seattle, WA United States, 5-9 August 2022. Briarcliff Manor, NY United States: Academy of Management. doi: 10.5465/ambpp.2022.10638abstract

  • Zhang, Yanjun, Bai, Guangdong, Li, Xue, Curtis, Caitlin, Chen, Chen and Ko, Ryan K. L. (2021). Privacy-preserving gradient descent for distributed genome-wide analysis. ESORICS 2021 - 26th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Darmstadt, Germany, 4–8 October, 2021. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-88428-4_20

  • Zhang, Yanjun, Bai, Guangdong, Li, Xue, Curtis, Caitlin, Chen, Chen and Ko, Ryan K. L. (2020). PrivColl: practical privacy-preserving collaborative machine learning. European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Guildford, United Kingdom, 14-18 September 2020. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-58951-6_20

  • Zhang, Yanjun, Zhao, Xin, Li, Xue, Zhong, Mingyang, Curtis, Caitlin and Chen, Chen (2019). Enabling privacy-preserving sharing of genomic data for GWASs in decentralized networks. Twelfth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 11-15 February 2019. New York, NY, United States: Association for Computing Machinery. doi: 10.1145/3289600.3290983

  • Chapman, Demian D., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., Wiley, Tonya R., Poulakis, Gregg R., Curtis, Caitlin, Tringali, Michael, Carlson, John K. and Feldheim, Kevin A. (2011). Genetic diversity despite population collapse in a critically endangered Marine fish: The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esr098

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision