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Sex in the sea, planting butterflies, and will we have enough prawns for Christmas? Highlights from day one of National Science Week

Fighting superbugs, life in space, microfactories, and what do Australians really think of science? National Science Week runs from 13 to 21 August. Hundreds of stories around the country. Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview.

Visit the National Science Week media centre. See our pick of 2022 highlights state-by-state: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Australia’s Favourite Tree poll: which trees survived the first cut? – The search is on to find Australia’s favourite tree. The poll opened on Monday 1 August. The list was cut from 33 to the top 20 on Friday 12 August. Which tree will gain enough votes to be crowned the winner?

How do collisions of rocks with planets help the planets evolve? Planetary scientist Katarina Miljkovic is available to discuss the nature of planets in Hobart this week.

Source of ancient Martian rocks found using Perth supercomputer
Now we can sample other planets without leaving home
Published in Nature Communications

Five to ten million years ago an asteroid smashed into Mars. It created a massive crater and propelled a chunk of ancient Martian crust into space as a new meteorite, which eventually crashed into Africa.

We now know where on Mars that meteorite came from, thanks to a supercomputer-powered technology that allows us to explore the geology of planets without leaving home.

First James Webb pictures:

74 per cent of Norway’s new cars are electric. Australia? Just 0.7 percent. Tax tweaks needed to fast-charge EV take up. Buying and running electric vehicles for business fleets is too costly under Aussie tax rules, say researchers from Griffith University and Monash University.

Clinical trial to test potential new combination therapy for aggressive breast cancer – Researchers are recruiting volunteers for a clinical trial they hope will improve survival rates for an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects about 1,500 women each year in New South Wales.

Bats and bitterns, reinventing rubbish, and will Raiders’ fans register on the Richter scale?

National Science Week

Sunday 14 August 2022

Highlights from day two of National Science Week

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

ACT: Footy Quake: can a rugby crowd register on the Richter scale?
NSW: Fighting superbugs, big bad tech, caring for sky country, and microfactories making new materials from old – Sydney Science Festival is back
NSW: What and where the wild things are in Western Sydney
TAS: How an astronomer is helping an ecologist eavesdrop on bats and bitterns – Swansea
ACT: A band of physicists go on a roadtrip to explain quantum and dark matter – Tharwa
VIC: Step inside the International Space Station and take a selfie
ACT: Science while you shop – multiple locations in Canberra
NT: Students survey the Territory’s soil, from Darwin’s dirt to sands in Central Australia

Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

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Sex in the sea, planting butterflies, and will we have enough prawns for Christmas?

National Science Week

Saturday 13 August

Highlights from day one of National Science Week

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.  

ACT: Reaching organism: an adults-only marine science show
NSW: Orchids, traditional knowledge, and the plant doctors: the secret science inside the Royal Botanic Garden
NSW: Saving the planet by gardening underwater – Lake Macquarie
NT: Will we have enough prawns for Christmas?
QLD: Cultural connection and Indigenous astronomy with Uncle Wayne Fossey – Logan
VIC: Starlings flock, humans crowd, drones… zizz?  Explore the swarm in this exhibition-cum-experiment
QLD: Feeding caterpillars to get butterflies – Kuranda
WA: Hack a webcam; see inside your cells

Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

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Gum trees standing tall in poll to identify Australia’s favourite tree

ABC projects, National Science Week

Did your local favourites survive the first cut?

Vote now to save your favourite from the next round of pruning

13 trees have been pruned from the list in the nationwide search to crown Australia’s favourite tree.

20 trees from all over Australia are still in the running to be crowned top tree.

Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)

Media contacts: Laura Boland, laura@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 166 426; or Jane Watkins, jane@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0425 803 204.

Did your top tree make the first cut? Over 100,000 voters have pledged their love for their favourite native Australian tree. According to the votes, the top 20 include species such as:

  • Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) with its vivid display of colour
  • ghost gum (Corymbia aparrerinja), standing solitary in central Australia
  • Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis), the critically endangered ‘living fossil’.

“People love their gum trees! The top 20 includes snow gum, mountain ash and many other iconic eucalypts from around Australia,” says ABC’s Dr Ann Jones.

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Caring for Sky Country, the pipi shuffle, 65,000 years managing water and more

National Science Week

Explore Indigenous Knowledge this National Science Week, 13 to 21 August

Available for interview:

  • Kamilaroi water scientist Bradley Moggridge
  • Ngarrindjeri sustainable fisher Derek Walker on harvesting pipi in Goolwa
  • Caring for Sky Country with Gamilaraay astronomer Karlie Noon in Sydney
  • Gomeroi astrophysicist Krystal de Napoli, talking science through stories in NSW & Tas
  • The Indigenous Science Experience at Redfern
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Selfies in ‘space’; sex in the sea; rugby on the Richter scale; and what do scientists think of sci-fi?

National Science Week

ENTERTAINMENT highlights from across Australia this National Science Week

More on these highlights below.

ScScientists, performers and event organisers are available for interview leading up to and throughout National Science Week: 13 to 21 August.

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The arresting drama of dementia; Antarctic prophesies; humanity as swarm, and more

National Science Week

Great National Science Week ARTS stories up for grabs now around Australia

Phone scanning art

More on these highlights below.

Scientists, performers and event organisers are available for interview leading up to and throughout National Science Week: 13 to 21 August.

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How do collisions of rocks with planets help the planets evolve?

Australian Institute of Physics

Planetary scientist Katarina Miljkovic is available to discuss the nature of planets in Hobart this week. It’s part of a national tour of public and school talks promoting opportunities for women in physics. Her free public lecture on Tuesday 9 August is part of National Science Week.

The planets in our solar system are vastly different although they all formed from the same cloud of gas and dust around a star – our sun. Why is this?

Associate Professor Katarina Miljkovic thinks the answers lie in studying how asteroids, comets and meteors bombarded the planets in the past, changing the surface conditions.

She works at Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre and School of Earth and Planetary Sciences and uses data from several NASA missions.

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Sea Country, science on silos, daleks and drones, and Alzheimer’s takes centre stage

National Science Week

Dozens of Science Week stories around South Australia

More on these highlights below.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week.

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Fighting superbugs, life in space, microfactories, and what do Australians really think of science?

National Science Week

This year’s festival runs from 13 to 21 August, with thousands of events.

National launch with Minister at Parliament House – Thursday 4 August.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview leading up to and throughout National Science Week. Here are some early stories:

  • National: 88% of Australians trust science and scientists, but scepticism has increased slightly amid social media misinformation – 3M State of Science Index 2022 results reveal what we think of science
  • Canberra: First Nations Sciences of the Land: the official launch of National Science Week at Parliament House
  • Hobart: Dr Karl, a NASA astrobiologist, and 150 roving scientists walk into a science bar…
  • Adelaide: Daleks, racing drones, and dinosaur droppings: Science Alive! is back
  • Melbourne & online: Are you smarter than a TV personality? Charlie Pickering quizzes Nate Byrne, Lawrence Leung and scientists
  • Melbourne: Step inside the International Space Station and take a selfie
  • Perth: What does climate change have to do with human rights?
  • National, with Brisbane talent: 1,500+ rockets simultaneously launched around Australia
  • Darwin: Thunderbirds are go! Why have they gone? Ask a palaeontologist
  • Sydney: Fighting superbugs, big bad tech, caring for sky country, and microfactories making new materials from old – Sydney Science Festival returns.
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