Dr Tom Aechtner

Associate Professor

School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 52823


Research Interests

Dr Aechtner's research analyses science scepticism and science-religion discourse, with a focus on vaccine hesitancy, antievolutionism, scientism, mass persuasion, and public perceptions of science. He also has secondary research interests associated with religion in the African diaspora, Pentecostalism, and Global Christianity.

Current Research Project

Tom has been a Westpac Research Fellow and a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award recipient on the project “Improving Vaccination Rates in Australia: Analysing Media, Religion and Policy.” This has involved researching Australian-specific sources of vaccine hesitancy, including media persuasion and religious concerns, while considering how to positively deliver vaccination information.

Research Impacts

Tom developed AVAXX101, the world’s first massive open online course dedicated to responding to antivaccination claims and vaccine hesitancy. He also developed the UQVaccinationChoice website.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford
  • Masters (Research), University of Calgary
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Science (Advanced), University of Alberta


View all Publications


View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Better advocacy. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 164-189) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-6

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Questioning safety. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 96-129) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-4

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Starting strong. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 130-163) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-5

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Suspicious hesitancy. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 66-95) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-3

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Understanding vaccination and antivaccination. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 1-27) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-1

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2023). Why do people have vaccine hesitancy?. Antivaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy. (pp. 28-65) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003312550-2

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2021). Science. Brill's Encyclopedia of Global Pentecostalism. (pp. 568-571) edited by Michael Wilkinson, Conny Au, Jörg Haustein and Todd M. Johnson . Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.

  • Aechtner, Thomas H. (2019). Teaching warfare: Conflict and complexity in contemporary university textbooks. Rethinking History, Science, and Religion: An Exploration of Conflict and the Complexity Principle. (pp. 160-180) edited by Bernard Lightman. Pittsburgh, United States: University of Pittsburgh Press.

  • Aechtner, Thomas (2018). Social scientists. The Warfare between Science and Religion: The Idea That Wouldn’t Die. (pp. 302-323) edited by Jeff Hardin, Ronald L. Numbers and Ronald A. Binzley. Baltimore MD, United States: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Aechtner, Tom (2014). Christianity and Science: A Messy Relationship Worth Studying. Christianity for the Curious: Why Study Christianity?. (pp. xx-xx) edited by Vaidya, Kishor. online: Curious Academic Publishing.

  • Aechtner, Thomas H. (2012). Standing at the crux: pentecostalism and identity formation in an African diaspora Christian community. Global Pentecostal movements: migration, mission, and public religion. (pp. 171-194) edited by Michael Wilkinson. Boston, United States: Brill.

Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision