Bush medicine, beer goggles, climate conundrums, and a cancer-themed escape room

Media bulletins, National Science Week

Highlights from the final day of National Science Week

115 events and exhibitions, 12 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: Can we adapt to live with drought, wild weather and climate change? Ask the experts.

Sydney Olympic Park: Kick the physics out of a footy at The Innovation Games.

Sydney: Dinosaurs and superpowers at Science in the Swamp, Centennial Park.

Sydney: Bush medicine, astronomy, engineering and sustainability: what we can learn from 60,000 years of Indigenous knowledge.

Darwin: Beer goggles and fitness tests with a health clinic on wheels.

Brisbane: Liquid nitrogen, flame tests, explosions, and cool chemistry experiments at Brisbane Science Festival.

Brisbane: Think, puzzle and learn your way out of a cancer-themed escape room.

Melbourne: ‘The Curiosity Show’ meets music.

Tasmania: Aboriginal science in Tasmania’s Midlands biodiversity hotspot.

Perth: Scitech, animal encounters and waste as a resource: expo on the Canning River.

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

Also today:

Sydney: Be a scientist for a day at the Royal Botanic Garden’s Living Laboratory.

Alice Springs: Questacon’s Science Circus comes to town with a pop-up science centre.

Murray Bridge, SA: Citizen scientists monitor microbats and mozzies.

Allynbrook, NSW: New MacDonald has a robot: explore the future of farming.

Canberra: See the past, present and future of astronomy on a Mt Stromlo Observatory tour.

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

For general Science Week media enquiries:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

More about the event highlights

ACT: Droughts and wild weather: Living with climate change — Acton

The Earth’s climate is warming. Weather events are becoming more severe and affecting more people. In Australia droughts are becoming longer and winter rainfall in the south is decreasing.

How can we adapt to live in this warmer world? What can we do to prepare ourselves for these changes? What impacts will these changes have on local, regional and global scales?

Find out at this panel discussion, featuring Australian National University experts:

  • Professor Jamie Pittock
  • Dr Liz Hanna
  • Emeritus Professor Janette Lindesay
  • Dr Annette Hirsch
  • Dr Matthew Colloff
  • Dr Steven Crimp

Sunday 18 August Event details

NSW: The Innovation Games – Sydney Olympic Park

Can you kick the physics out of a footy? How fast can you run in a sprint test? How far can you throw a spear? Or a boomerang? How much energy can you generate on a skate ramp?

The Innovation Games is a free family fun day full of sporting, science and technology action at the town centre of Sydney Olympic Park.

Activities include drone simulators, virtual reality gaming, a scooter and skate challenge, BYO-device augmented reality treasure hunt, Australian wildlife shows, sports and fitness challenges, wellbeing talks, participatory Indigenous art, chemistry shows, films, and social media live streaming throughout the day. The event brings science to sports fans attending the AFL game at Spotless Stadium.

Sunday 18 August Event details

NSW: Science in the Swamp – Dinosaurs vs Superpowers – Centennial Park

Carpe diem: seize the day and meet the Fish Whisperer’s carp and turtles, try daytime astronomy, ID a frog, and meet the rock stars of the NSW Geological Society. Science in the Swamp returns to Centennial Parklands for a free, outdoor family and community event celebrating science and providing a range of diverse and exciting hands-on science activities accessible for all ages.

Science in the Swamp is a partnership between Centennial Parklands and a series of science exhibition providers.

Sunday 18 August Event details

NSW: Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern

 What can Aboriginal astronomy tell us about the night sky? How is our native flora used in bush medicine and soap making? How do Indigenous Australians make axes from stone and other artefacts? What can we learn about sustainable living from 60,000+ years of Indigenous culture?

The Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern is a celebration of Indigenous and Western science, and Indigenous youth and Elder achievements. Part of the Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week, the four-day event at the Redfern Community Centre will demonstrate the value of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge in science and technology, and the relevance of science to our everyday lives. Indigenous students from National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) partner schools will assist in demonstrating activities.

Family Science Fun Day: Sunday 18 August Event details

NT: HealthLAB: Science on Wheels – Darwin

A health education clinic on wheels will travel to locations around Darwin and to the remote Milingimbi community in North East Arnhem Land to work with trainee Aboriginal Health Practitioners on country.

What does the world look like through ‘beer goggles’ when you’re stone cold sober? How good is your health? And how do your lifestyle choices affect the health of your body?

HealthLAB is a health education clinic on wheels where visitors can see ultrasounds of their heart and kidneys, hear their heart beating, see how the heart changes after exercise, and try on ‘alcohol goggles’ that mimic raised blood alcohol levels.

Interactive displays and demonstrations will cover topics of preconception health, nutrition, the amount of sugar in soft drinks, poisons in cigarettes and other health topics.

Participants assess their own health in a pop-up laboratory, learn about healthy lifestyle choices, and find out about careers in health science-related fields.

Charles Darwin University (Casuarina): Sunday 18 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 and partnerships 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 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

VIC: Sounds a lot like Science with The Curiosity Show and VYSO—Iwaki Auditorium, Southbank

Professor Rob Morrison and Dr Deane Hutton from the Curiosity Show are back to explore the science of sound with Artistic Director Dr Ingrid Martin and the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Using the 70-piece symphony orchestra as live laboratory, the scientists and Ingrid will explore and explain the science of sounds and musical instruments. This fun, interactive performance introduces children to science, using do-it-yourself experiments with household items like straws, rubber bands and cardboard.

Be prepared for bucketloads of home-made instruments, audience participation, and a cracking grand finale.

Sunday 18 August Event details

TAS: Aboriginal science in Tasmania’s Midlands – Beaufort, Ross

What can we learn about the science and sustainability of Australia from the people of its First Nations? Environment group Greening Australia and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community are joining forces to celebrate traditional and contemporary knowledge in science and technology in the Tasmanian Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot.

This initiative includes four training days, two National Science Week Expos and an exhibition, a field day, and a community symposium. The project will train 53 Aboriginal youth at Oatlands and Campbell Town Schools, empowering them to communicate to families, farmers and the wider community at the two science Expos.

These events share the learnings from more than 60,000 years of Indigenous culture and sustainable land management, including biodiversity of native flora as bush food and medicine.

Sunday 18 and Tuesday 20 August Event details

WA: Scitech, animal encounters and waste as a resource: expo on the Canning—Wilson

Nature of Science Community Expo is a one-day science and sustainability expo held on the banks of the Canning River.

The program has more than 40 activities, including rock bands, solar science, Scitech shows, native animal encounters, Aboriginal presenters, waste as a resource, bug science, a recycled wood workshop, native plant give-aways, interactive displays, hands-on demonstrations, presentations and a speakers forum.

Sunday 18 August Event details

National: The Aha! Challenge: Test your creative brain for science—online

You know that feeling of ‘aha’? It’s that flash of insight you get when pieces of information fall into place, revealing a deeper meaning or understanding.

It’s a critical contributor to scientific, mathematics and creative discovery, and researchers are really keen to know how it changes over our lifespan. Does that feeling of excited discovery change over our life?

Contribute to real scientific research from the comfort of your own home by participating in the ABC’s National Science Week project ‘The Aha! Challenge’. Participants will do a series of online tests designed to elicit insight and draw out creativity, helping scientists understand how the human brain works.

Visit AhaChallenge.net.au until Saturday 31 August.

Researchers and science communicators available for interviews.

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 www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area: www.scienceweek.net.au.