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

Bulletins, Science stakeholder bulletins

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

Calling early-career researchers with a story to tell — Fresh Science nominations now open

Do you know an early-career researcher who has peer-reviewed results, a discovery, or an invention that has received little or no media attention?

Encourage them to nominate for Fresh Science, the national competition that helps early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

Scientists get a day of media training and the chance to share their work with the media, general public and school students.

We’re looking for:

  • early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years’ post-PhD)
  • with a peer-reviewed discovery that has had little or no media coverage
  • and with some ability to present their ideas in everyday English (something we can build on).

Nominations for Fresh Science 2017 are now open and close 31 August 2017.

For details on how to nominate, and this year’s events, visit

Want to join the party? And help the next generation of scientists find their voice

Now in its 20th year, Fresh Science has trained more than 500 scientists to share their science, and generated hundreds of news stories via TV, print, radio and online.

You can read past Fresh Scientists’ stories online at

We’re looking for partners around the country for Fresh Science 2017 – to help us celebrate our 20th birthday in style.

So far…

Fresh Science is supported by New Scientist. 

Fresh Science South Australia is supported by the South Australian Museum, Flinders University, and the University of Adelaide.

Fresh Science Western Australia is supported by the Western Australian Museum, Edith Cowan University, the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame.

Fresh Science Victoria is supported by The University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, CSIRO and La Trobe University. 

Fresh Science Queensland is delivered in partnership with Econnect Communication and is supported by QUT, Griffith University and The University of Queensland.

A few prize reminders

Do you know a rising star in stem cell research?

$50,000 prizes for stem cell research closing this Friday

Applications for the 2017 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research close at the end of this week. If you know an up-and-coming stem cell researcher, encourage them to apply.

The $50,000 prizes are open to mid-career researchers who are five to 10 years past their PhD or MD (research-based) and working in stem cell research in Australia. They could be working in medicine or agriculture, government or a university, or anything in between.

To apply online, and for a full list of criteria and conditions, head to the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s website:

Two $400,000 Westpac Research Fellowships

Is your work strengthening Australia-Asia ties, enabling positive social change, or focused on technology and innovation?

Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is partnering with Australia’s leading research universities to offer two Westpac Research Fellowships valued at a minimum $400,000 over three years for outstanding early career researchers working in these areas.

Applications close Thursday 31 August.

More information

Meet some of the past Westpac Scholars

$5,000 young engineer prize

The Batterham Medal is an early-career award for a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial peer/industry recognition for his/her work in the past five years.

The medal, and $5,000 cash prize will be awarded to one of Australia’s best young engineers at the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)’s Oration Dinner on 24 November in Sydney.

Nominations close on 31 August.

The Batterham Medal Guidelines and Nomination form are online.

Get a piece of the Science Week action


Festivals, science shows, film nights, talks with Nobel Laureates, open days, a huge future energy summit, and even virtual reality journeys from the outer reaches of the universe to inside a plant cell – it must be National Science Week.

1,800 events and activities are now registered for National Science Week, coming up from 12 to 20 August. If you’re running an event, make sure you register it.

Last year saw an estimated 1.3 million Australians take part, meeting scientists, doing science and learning about its delights, discoveries and contribution to our society. This year marks the initiative’s 20th birthday.

If you’re involved this year, shout about it…

The great strength of National Science Week is the hundreds of local stories and events that together build the buzz that becomes a national shout.

So please tell the media what you’re doing, even if you don’t need a crowd. We want everyone to see that Science Week is (almost) everywhere, from the Tiwi Islands to Tasmania.

We’ve provided a media release template you can adapt for your activities – download the Word doc template. An example of a media release for a Science Week event can be downloaded via this link.

We’re providing national publicity support, so if you’re running an event that has strong national media appeal, let us know. Email

If you’d like to get involved in the future, or just be a punter this year…

Come to an event this year for the fun of it, or to find inspiration and ideas for future events.

You can find events in your local area via the National Science Week website:

Or you can read our national round-up, providing a taste of Science Week events selected from around the country.

And events around the country


“One of the world’s greatest cancer scientists”

Harold Varmus will deliver the 2017 Graeme Clarke Oration in Melbourne 

A pioneer of cancer research, Dr Harold Varmus shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for findings on how viruses can cause cancer.

This work undertaken at the University of California San Francisco lay the foundation for our modern view of the genetic basis of cancer.

In this oration, Transitions in Cancer Research, Dr Varmus will discuss some of the history of cancer research and what the future holds.

Both Graeme Clark and Suzanne Cory have sung Dr Harold Varmus’s praises ahead of the lecture, calling him visionary, one of the world’s greatest cancer scientists and a giant in cancer research.

The lecture is on Monday 30 October 2017 at 6.15pm at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

More at:

Holding HIV; black sausage from a live pig; injecting horse blood; and more

Blood – is it art? Is it science?

Science Gallery Melbourne is giving us a taste of what to expect when it sets up permanently in 2020, combining art, science and controversy with its pop-up exhibition.

BLOOD: Attract & Repel opens on 2 August and features 22 works which address the themes of taboo, stigma, identity, giving, health, future.

As well as international artists, the exhibition also involves many of The University of Melbourne’s staff and students – from almost all disciplines; only the business and architecture streams are not involved – and a curatorial advisory panel like few other galleries, among them a cardiologist, a haematologist, an Indigenous bio-artist and a performance art lecturer.

Read more about some of the works at:

Visit the site:

Everything you wanted to know about Dark Matter but were afraid to ask

Dr Katie Mack tours the country giving Women in Physics lectures

Dark matter. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. But what it is it really? Are we sure it exists at all? Can it really be explained by tiny invisible particles?

This July and August University of Melbourne astrophysicist Katie Mack is touring the country giving Girls in Physics breakfasts, university colloquia, and free public lectures as a part of The Australian Institute of Physics’ annual Women in Physics lecture series.

Katie will share her insights on what we know so far about dark matter, how we’re searching for it, and how it differs from the other big cosmic mystery of the day, dark energy. There will be time for questions at the end, so bring your own!

Her final public lectures will be at UNSW (2 August), Macquarie University (3 August), The University of Tasmania (August 8), The University of Adelaide (10 August), La Trobe Uni (August 14) and The University of Melbourne (15 August).

The nature of chemistry: saving lives and creating jobs

Drugs for brain injuries, heart disease, cancer – free public lecture at Macquarie University in Sydney on 17 August.

Professor Margaret Brimble has raided nature’s medicine chest to create treatments for many diseases. With 500 articles, 30 patents, and a string of successful commercialisations, she has shown how medicinal chemistry can transform lives and reap economic returns.

At the lecture Margaret will reveal how to build bridges from the chemistry lab to the clinic and to industry.

Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble CNZM, FRSNZ, is Chair in Organic Chemistry, and Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Auckland University. Margaret was awarded the Rutherford Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand and was named the 2007 L’Oreal-UNESCO Woman in Science Laureate for Asia-Pacific.

Register your attendance here

Communication and engagement training — book now


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

We 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 practice interviewing, and invaluable coaching in how to tailor my message that I use to this day.”

For more information on a bespoke course, visit or call us on 03 9398 1416.

We also hold regular media and communication training workshops around Australia, for scientists and those who communicate science.

For the rest of 2017, our media and communication training course for scientists will be in:

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

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite. Or call us, (03) 9398 1416.

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.