The Arts infiltrate Science Week

Media bulletins, National Science Week

From pee power to plastic-eating mealworms, in Melbourne the arts enter the war on waste.

In Sydney, Arctic art and photography combine to inspire action on climate change.

In Canberra, astrophysics and performance meld to present the universe in four dimensions.

And in Hobart, three chemicals are explored by three choreographers and a youth dance company.

Dozens of interesting arts stories, people and events are taking place around Australia for National Science Week this August, including:

·      gravitational waves explained by scientists, sounds, video art and poetry, Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra

·      young artists, music with birdsong, Indigenous science, neuroscience and creativity workshops in Perth

·      rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils – artists respond to nature’s art, in Canberra

·      the shape of sound and the maths of music, Sydney.

More details …

DISPOSABLE – Parkville and Southbank, VIC

Science meets art and the war on waste at DISPOSABLE – Science Gallery Melbourne’s 2019 exhibition.

Following the lead of Australian cult-hero, the bin chicken, the event delves into our garbage to find opportunities within our disposable culture. It features outdoor installations, pop-up gallery exhibits, performances, experiments and workshops.

Science Gallery Melbourne will highlight experimental and creative ways to tackle our ever-growing excess of waste through transdisciplinary and collaborative practices in its third pop-up program.

Thursday 1 August to Sunday 1 September Event details

Media enquiries: Katrina Hall, or 0421 153 046

Director Rose Hiscock and Head of Programs Ryan Jefferies available for media interviews.

Particle/Wave – Adelaide, SA, Melbourne, VIC and Wollongong, NSW

The late cosmologist Stephen Hawking once said “gravitational waves provide a completely new way of looking at the universe.” What stories do gravitational waves tell? Led by theatre-maker Alicia Sometimes, writers, musicians, sound and video artists, as well as internationally-renowned scientists collaborate to present a unique answer.

Particle/Wave is an immersive multimedia exploration of gravitational waves at the point where poetry, video art, music and science intersect. These events include live music and speakers, as well as the show.

Adelaide: Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 August Event details

Wollongong: Thursday 15 August Event details

Melbourne: Saturday 17 August Event details

Media enquiries: Alicia Sometimes, or 0403 421 185.

Elysium Arctic – Darling Harbour, NSW

Artworks capturing the majesty of the polar north – and the impact of climate change – are coming to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In 2015 a team of explorers, photographers and scientists sailed through the High Arctic of Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland to document these unique environments.

Together, they created Elysium Arctic, an ongoing series of artworks capturing the icons of the north – majestic icebergs and glaciers, playful wildlife and stunning views of land and sea.

Elysium Arctic also records the devastating impact of climate change in the earth’s northernmost regions. The Elysium projects are run by internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, explorer and conservationist Michael Aw. Aw believes that art can inspire people to take action against climate change and save some of the most vulnerable places on earth.

Tuesday 6 to Sunday 18 August Event details

Media enquiries: Sasha Haughan, or 0405 006 035

Sydney Science Festival image library.

U4D: The Universe in 4 Dimensions – Canberra, ACT

U4D is a trip through space and time using dance and animation, involving artists and astronomers.

ASTRO 3D astronomers, who research the universe from soon after the Big Bang to the present-day, will work with dance artists Liz Lea and Eric Avery, photographer Jen Brown, and animator James Josephides.

They’ll create an arts/science performance exploring the key concepts of the astronomers’ research, including the origin of the ionised universe and of the Periodic Table.

The aim is to place the human body in space while seeking connections with cultural histories including the Dreamtime and recent discoveries being made by astronomers.

Sunday 18 August Event details

Media enquiries: Ingrid McCarthy,, 02 6125 8022 or 0407 070 769.

NEON – Clarendon Vale, TAS

Three elements, three choreographers, three composers, four scientists, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and 18 local young dancers join forces to explore science through music and movement.

Hobart’s youth dance company Drill will present NEON, a performance that fuses artistic practice and STEM engagement for audiences and young participants. The result will be a suite of works that take as their inspiration forms, behaviours and uses of carbon, lithium and krypton.  

Audiences will first learn about these elements through hands-on experiments and activities, which all include an artistic and scientific component, encouraging creative experimenting and play while learning. They then experience the dance works in a free-roaming and interactive experience, seeing some of their experiments in action.

Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 August Event details

Media opportunities during dress rehersals on 12-13 August.

Media enquiries: Joshua Lowe, or 0408 660 748

GEO: Art of the Collection — Acton, ACT

A collaboration between Geoscience Australia and the ANU School of Art & Design, this art exhibition is a response to Geoscience Australia’s vast and marvellous collection of rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils.

Held in the ANU School of Art Gallery, It includes artworks by Pie Bolton, Cassie Brooker, Julie Brooke, Susan Chancellor, Tiffany Cole, Liz Coats, Michelle Grimston, Patsy Hely, Jan Mackay, Rowan McGinness, Lindy McSwan, Cat Mueller, Alison Munro, Tom O’Hara, Cathy Paver, Harijs Piekalns, Anna Raupach, John Reid, Gilbert Riedelbauch, Annika Romeyn, Dioni Salas, Erica Seccombe, Kristina Sinadinovska, Charles Tambiah, Linda Tawagi, Ruth Waller, Ella Whateley, Cierra Wilson, Wei-Rong Wu, and Naomi Zouwer.

Wednesday 7 to Friday 30 August Tuesday to Friday. Event details

Media and event enquiries: ANU School of Art & Design Gallery, or 02 6125 5841.

This Sounds Like Science: Why Music is Maths – Sydney, NSW

Mathematician Professor Geordie Williamson can tell you how the musical concepts of timbre, overtones, modes and frequencies are anchored in mathematics and physics.

Why do guitars, flutes and voices sound different?  How do we hear the different notes in a piece of music? Why does the sound of a whistle feel simpler than that of a violin?

Most importantly, what does all of this have to do with the cover of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon

Leading Australian researchers lend their expertise to topics, including the role of music in breakthrough scientific studies on music and philosophy, periodic scales and the elements, music by robots, music and maths and music, feeling and emotion.

Geordie Williamson explores the shape of sound and sound waves, and the sense and sensibility of music at the City Recital Hall.

Wednesday 7 August Event details

Media enquiries: Cynthia Crespo, or 02 9231 9004.  

Moonboorli (Beyond) – Perth, WA

Propel Youth Arts WA opens National Science Week with Moonboorli (Beyond), a special free event blending science, culture, ideas, knowledge and storytelling at the State Library of Western Australia.

Science is brought to life with:

This event is a day-long program of workshops, performances, talks, exhibitions, installations, and showcases of the latest developments and trends in WA and beyond. This is your chance to meet people who can change the world and learn how you can make an impact of your own.

Saturday 10 August Event details

Media and event enquiries: Jamie McGleave, or 08 9328 5855

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

Media contacts:

About National Science Week

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw a staggering 1.2 million people participate in over 2100 events and activities.

In 2019, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from world’s first global Indigenous hackathon ‘INDIGI HACK’ to ‘Dr Dolphin’ and his bottlenose friends in Adelaide, and from marking the Moon landing in Sydney to the science queens of Kings Park in Perth—with everything including science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and media sponsors including Cosmos, New Scientist and Science Illustrated. National Science Week 2019 will run from 10 to 18 August. Media kit at, public event listings at