Wave energy, creative climate activism, hunting wildlife with your smartphone, and more

Media bulletins, National Science Week

Great energy and environmental stories up for grabs now around Australia.

From artworks to school strikes, how is climate change activism evolving? What is the future for the world’s oceans? Rethinking our waste: is ‘disposable’ a dirty word?

These are just a few of the exciting, and occasionally stomach-churning, questions tackled at exhibitions, shows and talks across Australia during National Science Week (August 10 to 18).

If you’re after more great ideas for highly visual stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, artists, performers and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

National: The Great Aussie BioQuest: like Pokémon Go! but with real animals

Submit your wildlife sightings using your smartphone to help scientists study how climate change is influencing where the wild things are.

QuestaGame is an app with which users can log sightings of real wildlife. They can then identify the plant or animal, or wait for an expert to help. All sightings are expert-verified and given a remarkability score.

The data is shared with the Atlas of Living Australia to help researchers make better decisions about protecting the environment.

Ready to join thousands of players across Australia in a team-based, outdoor game that will help protect our environment? Join the Great Aussie Biodiversity Challenge 2019.

Results appear live on the website, displaying the latest finds, as well as the rankings of each science hub team and the top individual players. Prizes are awarded for highest scores in sightings and identifications, as well as active participation.

QuestaGamers are finding new species, such as the spider Ornodolmedes benrevelli, which was named after the gamer who photographed it — Ben Revell — by the scientist who confirmed it. More species of moths, spiders and insects are in the process of being scientifically described and confirmed. Gamers have also spotted invasive species that are a threat to biosecurity.

Saturday 10 August until Sunday 18 August Event details

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: State of the oceans — Sydney

Legendary oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle, UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston AO and multi-award-winning nature photographer Michael Aw present a night of stunning imagery and lively conversation, discussing the future of the world’s oceans — live on stage at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Our economic and social survival is inextricably linked to the health of the seas, and Australia is surrounded by some of the most biologically and ecologically diverse marine environments in the world. Human activity is impacting their long-term protection and management.

Tuesday 13 August Event details

NSW: 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

QLD: Coral reefs: immerse, learn and act — Brisbane and regions

Reefs are in trouble worldwide. How can you help?

Virtual reality that gives you a realistic reef experience even if you’re hundreds of kilometres away is one of the projects of CoralWatch, a global citizen science program based at the University of Queensland.

Researchers will be doing presentations, displays, outdoor field science activities and workshops in several regional Queensland coastal communities with suggestions on how we can help the reef.

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 August Event details

SA: Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Public Lecture — Port Adelaide

Meet Port Adelaide’s local dolphins and a man who knows all about them. Chair of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Dr Mike Bossley will deliver a special presentation where he will draw upon his 25 years’ experience in studying the wild dolphin population in the area. In 2005, Bossley’s ongoing study of dolphins in Adelaide’s Port River estuary was the basis for the SA Government declaring the area a dolphin sanctuary.

The presentation is free to the general public. In addition, the South Australian Maritime Museum will offer special dolphin search cruises in National Science Week 2019.

Wednesday 14 August Event details

SA: The evolution of Australian climate activism — Adelaide

This panel will provide an understanding of climate activism, investigating early examples and looking at key campaigns of the recent past. The panel will then turn to the future, considering developments including #SchoolStrikeforClimate and what they express about Australian society and its attitudes to science.

This event is hosted by the Centre of Democracy and chaired by Dr Cassandra Star from Flinders University. She is an expert on the interface between politics and policy development, with a focus on climate change policy. She is the Associate Professor in Public Policy, Research Section Head – Politics, Policy and Global Affairs and Co-convenor, Environmental Politics and Policy Standing Committee for the Australian Political Science Association.

Thursday 15 August Event details

VIC: DISPOSABLE – Parkville and Southbank

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.

  • Is waste fat a friend or foe? See a fatberg grow. Or try luxury ‘sewer soap’ made from fat poured down drains.
  • Pee power: turn your urine into battery power to recharge your mobile phone with the help of ‘Urinotron’.
  • Could the humble mealworm be a hero? Watch the mealworms of ‘Plastivore’ devour polystyrene and turn it into compost.

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

VIC: Living wonders from the forest to the deep sea – Carlton

This morning seminar will present museum scientists’ recent discoveries and will illustrate how complex patterns in sound, colour, shape and genetics can now be used to understand natural diversity.

As well as sharing the wonder that researchers feel when they make new discoveries, the presentations will show how collaborations, new technology and citizen science are vital to current research efforts.

Seminar participants will have time for discussion over morning tea.

Thursday 15 August Event details

WA: Meet the science queens of Kings Park—Perth

Students studying STEM or STEAM subjects are invited to meet Kings Park’s female science and conservation staff in Kings Park to gain an insight into the rewarding career opportunities in the areas of ecology, seed science, genetics and plant conservation.

The events will take place on 13 and 14 August (Years 5 and 6), and 15 August (Years 9 to 12) for National Science Week.

Bookings are essential and places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 August Event details

WA: Rocks, rips and renewables in Albany

Albany in southern WA is known for its great surf. Could we harness the power of these waves? Hear from University of Western Australia experts at this half-day multi-disciplinary forum about the research under way to develop renewable wave energy in the region, with optional coastal field trip. It will take place at the Great Southern Marine Research Facility in Albany.

Tuesday 13 August Event details

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 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—including 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, public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.