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Using viruses to restore sight—CSL Florey Medal winner announced in Canberra tonight

Using viruses to restore sight by turning eye cells into biofactories

Perth researcher Elizabeth Rakoczy led the world’s first human gene therapy trial for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, which affects 112,000 Australians.

Elizabeth has developed a process to turn eye cells into bio-factories, making their own medication on the spot. This gene therapy uses a modified virus to carry a gene into cells in the eye, replacing the need for frequent, painful and costly eye injections (~$2,000 each; six to eight per year).

She will receive a $50K prize and the CSL Florey Medal for lifetime achievement at the annual medical research dinner at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.

Contact Tanya Ha to arrange interviews on 0404 083 863 or tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au

Media release below.

And we’ll have stories on our Fresh Scientists from SA, WA, NSW, and VIC in January/February.

Using viruses to restore sight:

Researcher restoring sight wins $50,000 CSL Florey Medal for lifetime achievement

Award presentation: 9 pm (Canberra time), 6 December in the Great Hall, Parliament House

Full profile, photos, and HD footage available at: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/floreymedal

Professor Elizabeth Rakoczy has developed a process to turn eye cells into bio-factories, making their own medication on the spot.

This gene therapy uses a modified virus to carry a gene into cells in the eye, replacing the need for frequent, painful and costly eye injections.·Elizabeth led the world’s first human gene therapy trial for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Past CSL Florey Medallists include Graeme Clarke, Ian Frazer, and Nobel Laureates Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.Elizabeth Rakoczy is modifying viruses to use their powers for good. She’s created a new gene therapy for wet AMD that is reversing vision loss in clinical trial patients. Her treatment means one injection instead of several per year.

Modified viruses are gene therapy’s delivery vehicles, taking genes directly into cells. Elizabeth first showed that they could carry a healthy replacement for a mutated gene that causes degeneration of the eye’s retina. She then showed they can deliver instructions for eye cells to produce their own treatment for wet AMD, a complex eye disease.

More than 112,000 Australians have wet AMD—the most devastating form of AMD—and up to 8,000 more commence treatment for it each year. Each injection of the current treatment costs about $2,000, and patients have six to eight per year. Costs will rise with Australia’s ageing population. Gene therapy offers an alternative.

Elizabeth hopes to adapt her bio-factory idea to other diseases to alleviate suffering.
The CSL Florey Medal has been presented every two years since 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS). The award recognises a lifetime of achievement in biomedical science and human health advancement. It carries a cash prize of $50,000 and has been supported by CSL since 2007.

“Professor Rakoczy is a quiet achiever, a world leader in gene therapy, and a key contributor to advancing international eye research,” says CSL’s Chief Scientist, Dr Andrew Cuthbertson.

“CSL is proud to support this award which recognises excellence in research as well as creating role models for the next generation of medical researchers. Gene and cell therapies hold the potential to significantly reduce vision loss over a patient’s lifetime which is why work in this field is so important.”

“In winning the CSL Florey Medal, Professor Rakoczy joins an elite group of Australian medical researchers who have followed in the footsteps of Howard Florey,” says AIPS director Camille Thomson.

“To quote Sir Robert Menzies, ‘In terms of world wellbeing, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia’.”

Professor Elizabeth Rakoczy is the founding Director of the Department of Molecular Ophthalmology at Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia.

Media contacts:

Pitching to Japanese, Chinese businesses and science TV; debunking pseudoscience; 1,000 scientists for World Record; Fresh Science in the Pub and more

Interested in profiling your science to those who make, buy, and produce science television? I’m heading to San Francisco next week for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Next year the conference is coming to Australia and they are keen to meet local researchers with good stories. Drop me a line.

Pitching your technology to Asian partners. Join me for a free session hosted by the City of Melbourne on 4 December. It’s a precursor to the City’s annual business mission to China and Japan in March next year. More below.

Tune up your critical thinking and pseudoscience radar at Skepticon this weekend in Sydney, and with Jason Silva in Melbourne tonight and Sydney on Sunday.

Break a World Record and the stereotype of what a scientist looks like by joining in UNSW’s record-breaking attempt at the largest gathering of people dressed as scientists at the end of November.

Or head to the pub in Melbourne (29 November) and Perth (6 December) for the latest science over a beer.

In this bulletin:

And finally, media & communication training for scientists.

If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course.

We’ve got courses coming up in:

  • Perth – 7 December
  • Melbourne – 12 December.

Futurism and debunking pseudoscience this weekend MLB and SYD

Futurism, technology, creativity, the science of awe, disruptive innovation, relationships and mental health.

Bringing it all together is Jason Silva: storyteller, futurist and host of National Geographic’s Brain Games, who is speaking in Melbourne tonight and Sydney this weekend.

Jason is speaking as part of Skepticon 2017, the Australian Skeptics national convention.

The Skeptics encourage critical thinking presented with pseudoscience, paranormal ideas and questionable claims.

Book yourself to get Awestruck.

  • Melbourne – The Athenaeum Theatre, tonight, Friday 17 November; and
  • Sydney – The City Recital Hall, Sunday 19 November.


Book yourself in for a weekend of debunking at Skepticon or individual sessions on topics such as the vaccination campaign and cult survivors.

Speakers include Alan Duffy, Dr Karl, Lawrence Leung, Sonya Pemberton, Adam Spencer, the War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel, the Checkout presenter Kate Browne and former SMH science editor Marcus Strom.

Awestruck and Skepticon are both presented by Think Inc., an Australian-based initiative dedicated to igniting intellectual discussion and encouraging critical thinking by hosting events with the world’s leading intellectuals.

Help break a World Record (and stereotype) by being a scientist

If you’re a scientist and want to show the world what a scientist looks like, join UNSW in setting a Guinness World Record of the largest gathering of people dressed as scientists.

Bring: lab coat, lab glasses and a piece of lab equipment (they will also supply).

  • Globe Lawn, UNSW 3pm Monday 27 November

Some scientists wear wetsuits, some wear field gear, and others wear just plain clothes. The reality is most scientists don’t wear lab coats and lab glasses, and scientists are much more diverse.

So why don’t you help break a Guinness World Record and debunk the stereotype of what scientists look like.

Share/Like/Watch the video call-out

Fresh Science in the pub in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth

Hear the latest science with a beer in your hand.

Ten up-and-coming scientists will describe their scientific discoveries in the time it takes a sparkler to burn out.

Recently we’ve heard about: making better batteries from thin air, the love lives of sea snakes and finding out what triggers volcanic eruptions, at pubs in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Sydney.
So, what #FreshSci will we hear in Melbourne and Perth?

Tickets are free, but bookings essential.

  • The Belgian Beer Café, Southbank in Melbourne on Wednesday, 29 November. Book now.
  • The Brisbane Hotel, in Perth on Wednesday, 6 December. Book now.

Are you a Melbourne business interested in expanding to Asia?

If you work in health and life sciences or sustainable urban design and are interested in pursuing business opportunities in China and Japan, you may be interested in joining a City of Melbourne business mission to China and Japan.

Led by Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, AC, you will have the opportunity to meet with businesses in Osaka, Japan and Tianjin, Beijing, Wuxi and Suzhou, China. The next business mission is 21-30 March 2018.

They are now seeking expressions of interest from local business representatives and entrepreneurs from the following fields:

  • health and life sciences industries
  • sustainable urban design
  • general aviation
  • innovation and startups
  • game development.

Expressions of interest close 30 November.

More information: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/melbmission

Pitching your technology to business

What are the crucial elements that make a good business pitch or presentation? How can you improve your communication skills to stand out from the crowd?

Join Niall Byrne, Creative Director from Melbourne PR firm Science in Public, as he guides you into the world of results-based professional speaking, with particular emphasis on why presentations need to be tailor-made to suit an Asian audience.

This forum will also introduce the City’s Mission to Japan and China.

Date: Monday 4 December 2017
Time: 5.30 – 7.30pm
Where: Supper Room – Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne

For more information, and RSVP 03 9658 9366 or globaldesign@melbourne.vic.gov.au

Science and Factual TV: global meeting for those who make, buy, and broadcast science and factual television

Next week I will be in San Francisco attending the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

It’s a chance to hear and see what’s happening in science television with speakers revealing emerging content trends and highlighting industry issues.

In 2018 we have the chance to promote Australian science to a global audience when the conference comes here.

So I’ll be at the conference spruiking Australian science and connecting them back to Australia. If you’re interested in being involved in the conference next year, please drop me a line.

And mark the date in your diaries—last week of November 2018.

Broadcasters and producers that usually attend include: ABC TV, ARTE, BBC, CBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery Channel US, Discovery Channel Canada, Discovery Science, France 5, National Geographic Int., NDR, NHK, Rai, Thirteen/WNET and WGBH.

Communication and engagement training—final dates for 2017

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Our final media and communication training courses for scientists for 2017 will be in:

  • Perth – 7 December
  • Melbourne – 12 December.

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

In these courses, we’ll help you shape the story of your research into a form that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders. The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practise being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

Want to build your own training?

We also offer a flexible range of training programs to help your researchers understand their audiences, the essence of their story, and how to build their profile with the audiences and stakeholders that matter for their projects and for their long-term career development.

Our offerings include:

  • Meet your audience: from government, business, and/or the media
  • Make your pitch: what’s the essence of your story
  • Build your profile: websites, media, social media
  • Make your story work for mainstream media
  • Presentation training: make your story come to life
  • Photography and videography for scientists.

“The biggest prize I received as a Fresh Science finalist was intensive media training by Science in Public,” says astrophysicist Alan Duffy.

“I gained experience in different media formats such as radio and TV with practise interviewing, and invaluable coaching in how to tailor my message that I use to this day.”

For more information on a bespoke course, visit www.scienceinpublic.com.au/training or call us on 03 9398 1416.

Sex, dragons, toothpaste, lasers and genetics—meet this year’s PM’s Prizes for Science winners

Last night the Prime Minister presented the 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science to six outstanding scientists and science teachers.

  • What kangaroos, platypus and dragons can tell us about sex and humanity: Professor Jenny Graves AO, La Trobe University, Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Saving the world’s teeth with Australian dairy milk: Professor Eric Reynolds AO, The University of Melbourne/Oral Health CRC, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
  • Unravelling the genetic complexity of height, intelligence, obesity and schizophrenia: Professor Jian Yang, The University of Queensland, Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • Creating new ways to visualise the processes of life: Professor Dayong Jin, University of Technology Sydney, Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Using the “outdoor classroom” to make science fun and relevant to the whole curriculum: Neil Bramsen, Mount Ousley Public School, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Inspiring his students to love science and to use it in their daily lives: Brett McKay, Kirrawee High School, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

Read more about them below.

Eric Reynolds, Brett McKay, Dayong Jin, Minister Michaelia Cash, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Jenny Graves, Neil Bramsen, Jian Yang. Credit Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

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Fresh Science in the pub; half a million in Science Week grants; and more training dates

Fresh Science turns 20 this year.

We’re giving 50 up-and-coming researchers from 25 organisations the chance to hone their communication skills, and practise presenting their science to journalists, schoolkids, science leaders, and down at their local pub.

We received close to 150 nominations for Fresh Science this year. It was tough to judge!

Hear the latest science and meet this year’s Fresh Scientists at pub events in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – details below.

Thank you to the 17 universities, three museums, and other groups that have partnered with us to deliver Fresh Science this year.

Also this month:

And finally, media & communication training for scientists:

If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media, join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course.

We’ve got courses coming up in:

  • Sydney – 11 October
  • Melbourne – early December (TBC)
  • Perth – 7 December

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Mystery of leaf size solved – paper in Science today; caring for Country in Arnhem Land; and reinventing the laser

Friday 1 September

The mystery of leaf size solved

Rainforest leaves, Panama. Credit: Ian Wright

We’ve got scientists available for interview, plus full release, background information and high res images.

And a feature story by lead author Ian Wright for The Conversation here.

For the first day of Spring, we’ve got a global team of researchers who have cracked the mystery of leaf size. Their research was published today as a cover story in Science.

Associate Professor Ian Wright from Macquarie University, with 16 colleagues from Australia, the UK, Canada, Argentina, the USA, Estonia, Spain, and China analysed leaves from over 7,600 species.

They teamed that data with a new theory that in much of the world the key limiting factor for leaf size is night temperature and the risk of frost damage to leaves. Until now, the textbooks said it’s a balance between water availability and overheating.

More below.
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Get your Fresh Science in; Japan stories; Science Week report back; and training all over the country

Help us find the next generation of Fresh Scientists

Nominations for Fresh Science 2017 close next Thursday 31 August. So encourage all the great early-career researchers you know to apply and become our next generation of spokespeople for science.

Thank you Curtin, UWA, Murdoch, Edith Cowan, Notre Dame, Adelaide, UniSA, Flinders, Monash, Melbourne, LaTrobe, Deakin, Swinburne, RMIT, UNSW, UQ, QUT, Griffith, and CSIRO for your support.
More below.

Next year the Australian Government’s Australia Now program will focus on Japan. Look out for opportunities to be involved.

See some examples of Australia Japan partnerships in innovation.

They include giant robot trucks, repairing teeth together, new malaria drugs, and solar furnaces.

Watch and download the videos here.

There is also a new batch of Stories of Australian Science, including making motorcycle clothing safer, robotic arms for stroke rehab, finding gold with volcanoes and much more.

You can read and share the stories via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
More below.

Just about every science organisation in Australia got behind National Science Week this year, with a record breaking 2,100+ events around the country.

But there’s no time to rest. 2018 Science Week grants open soon and next year’s dates are 11 – 19 August. More below.

We’re holding communication courses around the country over the next month.
If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media, join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course—our entry level session takes just 90 minutes.

We’ll be in Sydney on 31 August, Melbourne on 12 September, Canberra on 5 September, Adelaide on 19 September and Perth on 21 September. More below.

Finally, it’s the Eureka Prizes next week.

We’re not driving the media this year, so I’m looking forward to sitting back and enjoying a good night with friends and colleagues, and celebrating some of our best Australian science. You can read more about the finalists here: https://australianmuseum.net.au/2017-eureka-prizes-finalists

Also in this bulletin:

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Keeping the lights on; Mayan astronomy; Whisky Academy; bull science; and more

Friday 18 August

Highlights from day seven of National Science Week:

446 events and exhibitions, 23 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.




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The botany of booze; drones on the farm; wildlife forensics; plastic oceans; and more

Thursday 17 August 2017

Highlights from day six of National Science Week

448 events and exhibitions, 22 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.


Charters Towers (near Townsville)


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The ‘Madhouse Effect’; evil weevils; the funniest physicist; the language of plants; dingo puppies; and more

Wednesday 16 August

Highlights from day five of National Science Week:

476 events and exhibitions, 22 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

Plenty of photo opportunities.

Canberra (10am, Parliament House)



Western Australia and South Australia




Read on for more on these, including event contact details.
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Wine science; pulse checks for politicians; microplastics; a kids coding hackathon; and more

Highlights from day four of National Science Week:

454 events and exhibitions, 21 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

National and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country. Plenty of photo opportunities.



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Making a black hole; Fred Astaire; quantum physics explained by electric guitar; biomedical and renewable energy summits; and more

It’s day three of National Science Week:

  • More than 360 events, exhibitions and online activities are on offer around the country today.
  • It’s the first school day of Science Week 2017, with many classes learning about ‘Future Earth’—the science of sustainability.
  • Plenty of photo ops, and scientists and interesting people to interview.

Here’s our pick of the highlights.

Canberra (Parliament House): Innovating Energy Summit: how will we power our future?

Canberra: Ask the Interstellar visual effects wiz how to make a black hole on the big screen believable.
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There will be ‘Blood’; the GMO debate; and more – the first of 1,800+ events for National Science Week

National Science Week officially kicks off 12 August—but there are a few cheeky events sneaking in early (this week).

Below are some highlights we’ve picked out of the 1,800+ events—you can see all our picks here.

From tonight in Melbourne

There will be ‘Blood’

‘BLOOD: Attract & Repel’—the inaugural exhibition of Science Gallery Melbourne—opens today, exploring the significance and fascination of blood in science, medicine, art, and religion.

Science Gallery Melbourne director Rose Hiscock and ‘BLOOD’ creative director Ryan Jeffries are available for interviews.

Media enquiries via Katrina Hall kathall@ozemail.com.

Tomorrow in Melbourne

Is GMO the solution to feeding a growing global population? What does the science say?

A new movie ‘Food Evolution’, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, explores the facts, fictions and feelings swirling around genetically modified crops and the role of biotechnology in food.

One of the experts featured in the doco Dr Alison Van Eenennaam (University of California, Davis) is in Melbourne for a screening and is available for interviews.

Contact her directly via alvaneenennaam@ucdavis.edu, or via Belinda Griffiths on 0400 042 297.

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Fresh Science is open; National Science Week; prize reminders; events; and more

Fresh Science 2017 is seeking early-career researchers with a story to tell.

This national competition will offer 10 up-and-coming scientists in each state a day of media training, and the skills they need to present their work to the media, the public, schoolkids and at the pub.

If you know a colleague who you think could benefit from Fresh Science, encourage them to nominate.

Then join us later in the year to hear their stories and celebrate 20 years of Fresh Science.

More below.

National Science Week is almost upon us

1,800 events and activities are now registered for National Science Week, coming up from 12 to 20 August. That means that there’s plenty to choose from, but it’s also a great opportunity to promote your science.

Make sure you register your event, and let us help you shout about it. More below.

Also in this bulletin

And our upcoming media and engagement training dates

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Join us for our scheduled one-day courses around the country or talk to us about a customised course.

  • Sydney – 31 August
  • Canberra – 5 September
  • Melbourne – 12 September
  • Adelaide – 19 September
  • Perth – 21 September

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What are your gut bugs telling you to do? And gender in the lab


What fly guts could reveal about our health: microbes in the gut can influence diet and reproduction, and the changes could be passed on to the next generation.

Discoveries from Macquarie University and Sydney University illustrate how microbes in the gut can influence host animals. The work could be important for understanding the effects of the gut microbiota on physiology and cognitive function in humans in the future. More below.

And the final day at the Chemistry Congress in Melbourne:

Gender in the lab: is science inclusive and how do we stop women leaving academia?

Half of Australia’s university science students are women, and yet only 21 per cent of the professors teaching them are too. What can we learn from a British bloke to change this?

“It is not my job to correct the inequitable distribution of domestic labour in heterosexual couples. It is my job to make the Imperial College London Department of Chemistry the most successful it can be,” says Professor Tom Welton.

And he’s getting the results to back that up. More below.


  • Using renewable energy to make more sustainable fertilisers: Professor Doug MacFarlane from Monash University is looking at direct reduction of nitrogen to ammonia.
  • Testing for disease and clean water with your phone: La Trobe researchers want to smash the cost of testing.
  • The Nobel Laureate who transformed how our fuels, plastic and drugs are made: now he’s tackling acid rain by getting the sulphur out of diesel.
  • UK to ban petrol cars, we need better batteries: ANSTO/Wollongong researchers tracking ions.

If you’d like to arrange an interview, contact Suzannah Lyons on suzannah@scienceinpublic.com.au

We’ll be tweeting news and interesting content from the Congress from @RACI_HQ and using #RACI100.

For more stories visit www.scienceinpublic.com.au

For information about the Congress itself, visit the website: www.racicongress.com.

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Chemical-free is a myth says Chief Scientist; Dow CEO says business can save the world

Today at the Centenary Chemistry Congress

Chemical-free is a myth, says Chief Scientist

It’s a sad era for chemistry when you can buy chemical-free water, in a chemical-free plastic bottle, to wash down your chemical-free pills, from your chemical-free pharmacist,” says Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.

More below.


  • Eliminating chemical weapons, His Excellency Mr Ahmet ÜzümcüDirector-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2013 Nobel Peace Prize winner)
  • Using carbs to fight superbugs—Wisconsin chemist Laura Kiessling on how we can use the carbohydrates that coat every living cell in the fight against antibiotic resistant superbugs
  • Sir Martyn Poliakoff (University of Nottingham) is in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s smallest periodic table (carved into a hair from his head). He’s a star of the YouTube series The Periodic Table of Videos. And in his day job he’s working to use CO2, water and other supercritical fluids to replace toxic solvents in applications such as dry cleaning.

And from last night

Business can solve today’s intractable challenges says Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, but Australia is falling behind..

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The ignorant versus the arrogant; growing bones; frog venom to TV screens; wood waste to solvents

Monday, 24 July at Melbourne Convention Centre
RACI Centennial Chemistry Congress: 3,500 chemists, three Nobel Prize winners, Trump and Obama insiders

The ignorant versus the arrogant – inside US politics

That’s how Obama insider and chemist Paul Anastas describes the US election result. He was appointed to the EPA by President Obama and now sees decades of environmental protection being rolled back. He’s angry. At the Congress, he’s talking about solving global challenges without creating new ones. For example, we need non-toxic solar cells, and biofuels that don’t compete with food production. He’s a pioneer of green chemistry, designing chemicals that are sustainable, non-hazardous and environmentally benign.

How seaweed and frog venom led to today’s OLED phone and TV screens

Andrew Holmes is President of the Australian Academy of Science and a chemistry pioneer whose discoveries led to plastic screens. Now he and his colleagues are working on plastic solar cells. He’ll discuss the impact of chemistry on Australia, and what’s next for plastic electronics.

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Stopping superbugs with ‘tyre tracks’; from chemical weapons to saving the planet; media award

Today: fighting superbugs with ‘tyre tracks’

Cynthia Whitchurch discovered that dangerous bacteria follow each other like ants, or 4WD drivers following tracks in the sand. She plans to stop them in their tracks and new catheters are being developed using her ideas. She’s won the David Syme Prize and is at UTS in Sydney.

More details below, and call Cynthia on 0408 408 443 or Marea Martlew, Media & PR Advisor (Science) on 0424735255

Starting 23 July: Chemistry: from chemical weapons to saving the planet

Trump’s ‘Aussie mate’, three Nobel Prize winners, and 2,500+ chemists converge in Melbourne.

Topics and speakers include:

  • CEO Dow Chemical Company and ‘Trump’s Aussie mate’ Andrew Liveris
  • Caltech scientist Frances Arnold, pioneer of ‘directed evolution’
  • Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • 100 years of Australian chemistry: what have we achieved and what’s next?

More below.

And coming up in August…

International geeks and gurus

  • Interstellar visual effects wizard Oliver James
  • Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and The Glass Universe
  • Physicist, astrobiologist, author and broadcaster Paul Davies
  • Canadian astronaut and ‘Space Oddity’ Chris Hadfield

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Grants, prizes and funding worth $3 million+; where is chemistry going?; and what are your Science Week highlights?

More than $3 million worth of science prizes, fellowships, grants and awards are open for nominations over the next couple of months, from $5K for young engineers to two CSL Centenary Fellowships worth $1.25million each.

This week, the Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research open—two $50,000 prizes for outstanding mid-career researchers working with stem cells in medicine, agriculture or any other field.

Read on for more.

We can help you make the most of Science Week

Last year, 1.3 million Australians got involved in 1,800 registered National Science Week events around the country. We’re the national publicists for Science Week, providing communication support for event organisers and briefing media outlets with tasty story leads.

If you have an event or topic you think has strong media potential, let us know and we’ll consider including it in our media releases and briefings. Email us at scienceweek@scienceinpublic.com.au.

And it’s not too late to create an event, or to register an existing event via www.scienceweek.net.au/event-holder-registration.

More below.

New media and engagement training dates

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Join us for our scheduled one day courses around the country or talk to us about a customised course. More below.

  • Sydney – 31 August
  • Melbourne – 1 August, 12 September
  • Canberra – 5 September
  • Adelaide – 19 September
  • Perth – 21 September

Also in this bulletin:

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What are you doing with China? Explore big data and open source publishing at Nature Springer events; a taste of Science Week; and more

Are you working with industry or university collaborators in China?

We’re creating a list of China-Australia research collaborations. We’re interested in everything from pure research collaborations to industry collaborations. We’ll share the results with the Australian Embassy in Beijing. More below.

Big data: big deal?

Big data, open data and open access publishing are hot topics. Beyond the buzzwords, what is the value for serious research? Springer Nature are holding a series of free symposia and networking events next week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Hear from their Chief Publishing Officer Steven Inchcoombe, who believes science should be social and research should be read. Read on for details.

Get a piece of the Science Week action in August

Last year, 1.3 million Australians got involved in 1,800 registered National Science Week events around the country. It’s the prime time for open days, events and broad science engagement.

This year marks Science Week’s 20th birthday. International visitors include theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, astronaut and ‘space oddity’ Chris Hadfield, and Simone Giertz, YouTube’s queen of ‘crappy’ robots.

Plus, IMPACT7 will see innovators compete to present the brightest ideas. There’s still time to nominate. And ‘Blood’ will be the inaugural exhibition at Melbourne’s new Science Gallery.

More below.

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Keeping the lights on in Ecocities, and a global voice for Indigenous public health equity

This evening: Ecocity World Summit launch in Melbourne 

Population growth, transport and congestion, keeping cities healthy, increasing density without the loss of green space, and energy security (aka ‘keeping the lights on’)—a reminder that the program of July’s Ecocity World Summit will be launched at 5.30pm tonight at The University of Melbourne.

It will provide an overview of the speakers and topics we can put you in touch with for stories in the lead up to and during the Summit.

More details on the event below. For more information about the Summit, contact Tanya Ha on 0404 083 863 or tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au.

A global voice for Indigenous public health equity

An new Indigenous Working Group will be established within the World Federation of Public Health Associations, aiming to create a platform for change to address the health inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Media release below.

Kind regards,

Niall  [click to continue…]