Coral reefs, cancer, cocktails and painting with light

Media bulletins, National Science Week

Friday 16 August 2019

Highlights from day seven of National Science Week

378 events and exhibitions, 18 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.

Hobart: Invasive species cocktails, engineering coral reefs, and retro videogames at a pop-up science bar.

Canberra: The science behind your favourite drink.

Sydney: Painting with light through long-exposure photography.

Darwin: Revisiting the 1919 great London to Darwin air race.

Brisbane: Science on the streets with Brisbane Science Festival.

Brisbane: What happens inside a cancer cell?

Perth: Forensic science and criminology at Fremantle Prison.

Melbourne: Artificial intelligence and the future of humanity: world premiere of the movie MACHINE.

Adelaide: From medical sensors to night vision: how light is useful.

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

Also today:

▪ Sydney: From Wollemi pines to persoonia: the science of PlantBank.

▪ Pokolbin, NSW: Bots beers and wine at the Ben Ean winery.

▪ Wollongong, NSW: What does climate change mean for Australia’s coasts and oceans?

▪ Brisbane: Touring coral reefs in virtual reality.

▪ Ballarat: Aboriginal astronomy.

National Science Week 2019 runs from 10 to 18 August. Media kit at Or visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area:

More about the event highlights

Bringing back the thylacine, microbiomes of private parts and eating the problem: BeakerStreet@TMAG, a pop-up science bar—Hobart

▪ Resurrecting species from ancient DNA: should we bring the thylacine and other extinct animals back from the dead? Ask palaeontologist Mike Archer how and why.

▪ ‘Only technology will save us from ourselves’— experts battle it out in the Radio National Science Friction debate, moderated by Natasha Mitchell.

▪ ‘Eat the problem’ at MONA’s Invasive Species Cocktail Bar.

▪ The microbiome of your private parts.

▪ Genetically engineering coral reefs for survival, with Madeleine van Oppen.

▪ Explore technology and game design in a retro videogame arcade.

Ockham’s Razor Live, with short science talks hosted by Bernie Hobbs.

▪ The science of brewing at the Tasmanian Whisky Week distillers bar.

Plus, the Science Photography Prize, workshops, live music, Tassie food and drink, and 100+ roving scientists to chat with—all at BeakerStreet@TMAG, a pop-up science bar at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

In 2019, BeakerStreet presents a series of talks from Australian Academy of Science Fellows at Hobart Town Hall, featuring:

▪ Professor Jenny Graves—the extinction of the Y chromosome and the future of men

▪ Professor Martina Stenzel—the chemistry of life

▪ Dr Steve Rintoul—the keys and clues of climate in the Southern Ocean

▪ Professor Michael Archer—bringing back the dead: why extinction should not have to be forever

Friday 16 to Saturday 17 August Event details

ACT: A science cocktail – Acton

What is the chemistry behind your favourite ethanol-based drink?

Experts explain the science of alcohol, with taste tests, hands-on experiments and public talks. Ticket includes two free drinks per person. This event promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Friday 16 August Event details

NSW: Painting with light: Photography with Peter Solness — Centennial Park

Film or photograph Centennial Park dotted with orbs of spinning light as master light-painter Peter Solness leads dozens of volunteer light spinners in this art and science event, bringing public art together with long exposure photography.

Friday 16 August Event details

NT: Air Race: aviation history brought to life on stage – Darwin

Inspired by the amazing true story of the 1919 Air Race from London to Darwin, this old-world adventure from Arena Theatre Company captures an extraordinary moment in history, when flight was inspiring a whole new way of looking at the world.

Seven teams took to the skies in a thrilling race to victory, chasing an adventure that will take them half-way across the planet. Maintaining their flying machines with found objects, random spare parts and the occasional wad of chewing gum, these aviators undertook their extraordinary journey at a time when ‘risk management’ just wasn’t a thing.

Will they survive? Will they make it to Darwin? And whose stories matter when you’re making history?

Friday 16 to Sunday 17 August Event details

QLD: Brisbane Science Festival – Brisbane

Smoke cannons, liquid nitrogen, flame tests, explosions, and cool chemistry experiments on the streets of Brisbane.

Brisbane Science Festival will bring science to life using a range of interactive activities, guest presentations, and captivating science demonstrations to show the relevance of science in everyday life.

Produced and presented by Street Science in partnership with government, universities, research organisations, leading Queensland businesses and science institutes.

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August Event details

QLD: Makings of a malignancy: The journey of a cancer cell —South Brisbane

The world’s first cancer-themed escape room.

Have you wondered what cancer is, how it develops, and why some cancers are curable while others are not? ‘Makings of a Malignancy: The journey of a cancer cell’ is an immersive experience to see the journey of a cancer cell at first hand.

Participants have to solve a series of puzzles based on the underlying principles of cancer biology in an engaging physical experience. The idea is to learn about the complexities of cancer while breaking down misconceptions surrounding the disease.

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August Event details

WA: Science behind bars: forensics and criminology at Fremantle Prison—Fremantle

Talks, interactive displays, activities and informative tours of the Fremantle Prison, one of Australia’s historic prisons.

Go behind the bars and delve into the world of forensics and criminology with scientists from Murdoch University.

Participants will learn about Murdoch’s current research in forensic and crime science, including fingerprinting, IT/cyber forensics, imprints and impressions, blood pattern analysis, DNA profiling, criminology, blood typing and crime scene science.

Friday 16 August Event details

VIC: MACHINE World Premiere Screening at Melbourne International Film Festival – Melbourne

MACHINE is an exploration of identity, creativity, and humanity, as we grapple with Artificial Intelligence and our place in a world where MACHINES appear to be smarter than humans.

Post screening there will be a Q&A with leading artificial intelligence scientist Professor Toby Walsh.

Friday 16 August Event details

SA: Light and artificial intelligence — Adelaide

Light is useful in science, from analysing life at the nanoscale to understanding the universe and AI.

Hear about new technologies and discoveries from experts including Dr Roman Kostecki, research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics who develops optical fibres for sensing cell activity, and Dr Jerry Madakbas, a photonic physicist who builds night vision sensors for NASA.

Miroslav Kostecki, technical manager at the STEMSEL Foundation, will invite the audience to control large colour light ribbons on stage via their mobile phones using WiFi, and using their phone cameras to see infrared light.

Friday 16 August Event details

More about National Science Week

National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw 1.2 million people participate in more than 2100 events and activities.

In 2019, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from Indigenous astronomy  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 science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

National Science Week 2019 will run from 10 to 18 August. Media kit at Or visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area: