Science bollocks; Nobel Universe tour; saving Nemo; and the kittens of Schrödinger’s cat

Bulletins, Media bulletins, National Science Week

30,000 people identify 800,000 animals – Australia’s online wildlife census is working!

1Scientists—many available for interviews—say thank you to the thousands of people (30,000 and growing) who have identified animals caught on camera. Media release below.

Day seven of Science Week’s nine-day week has 888 events and dozens of great stories and talent, including:



Ballarat: Blood tests, tumour samples, and inside the labs: see how research is conducted on the scientific frontline of the fight against cancer.

nemoCairns: A new app for saving Nemo.

Perth: Quantum mechanics – the kittens from Schrödinger’s cat.

Canberra: See stars, Saturn’s rings, and tour the Universe with a Nobel Laureate: Mt Stromlo Observatory opens to the public, with talks from astronomers Brad Tucker and Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt.

Hobart: See the Antarctic through the eyes of artists who joined scientists in the Southern Ocean on-board the CSIRO Investigator, with an artists’ talk and performance.

Launceston: What Permian monsters and bizarre beasts lived before the dinosaurs?


For general Science Week media enquiries, contact Tanya Ha on, or Ellie Michaelides on, or call us on 03 9398 1416.

Next week: listen closely (if you can)—it’s Hearing Awareness Week.

One in every six Australians is hearing impaired. Thousands are undiagnosed or don’t realise the options available that could improve their quality of life. ASTE Clunies Ross Award winner Dr Elaine Saunders is making premium hearing aids more affordable and easier to use. She is great media talent and can talk about causes of deafness, signs of hearing loss, and what people can do about it.

Kind regards,

30,000 people identify 800,000 animals – Australia’s online wildlife census is working!

wildlifeScientists are thanking the 30,000 Australians who have gone online and spotted more than 800,000 animals in 675,000 images through the ABC’s Wildlife Spotter project, helping scientists monitor Australia’s wildlife, their predators, and pests.

But there’s still more work to be done, with hundreds of thousands of pictures of animals taken by automated ‘camera traps’ needing to be done.

“You’re helping us save bandicoots and other animals,” says Deakin University ecologist Euan Ritchie. “And you’re literally saving us years of work, so we can get ahead with understanding and protecting our wildlife.”

Anyone with a tablet or computer and an internet connection can join in – head to to start spotting and identifying the wildlife caught on camera.

Participants could also win one of two Go Pro Hero 4 cameras and schools could win a visit from Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. The more images you check, the better your chances of winning. The competition runs until 5 September.

“I’ve heard of people doing Wildlife Spotter at school, with their grandchildren, and even while watching the Olympics,” says Kylie Andrews, coordinator of the project at ABC Science.

“One person has worked through over 6,500 images. And there’s an enthusiastic school group that has logged more than 3,200 observations.”

Scientists will use the findings to understand our wildlife hotspots, such as the Territory’s arid regions, conservation parks in Tasmania, and bandicoots on Melbourne’s fringe.

“With over 125,000 images to go through, I definitely need the help – there’s no way I could do them all on my own,” says Sarah Maclagan, PhD candidate at Deakin University and leader of the bandicoot project.

“The response from volunteers has been incredibly helpful and revealing,” says Jenny Davis, Head of the School of Environment at Charles Darwin University.

“The images captured near a waterhole are our most recent pictures. They show plenty of frogs, thanks to summer rainfall. I’m looking forward to analysing the results.”

Wildlife Spotter is the online citizen science project for National Science Week 2016, undertaken by ABC Science in conjunction with the Australian Museum, Deakin University, Charles Darwin University, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Tasmanian Land Conservancy, and WWF Australia. It is supported by funding from the Australian Government Inspiring Australia strategy.

Seventeen ecologists, zoologists, scientists and science communicators from around the country are available for interviews about Wildlife Spotter.

More information, images, and other resources at
To organise interviews, contact:

More about Science in Public

We’re always happy to help put you in contact with scientists. Our work is funded by the science world – from the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes to Nature. We’re keen to suggest interesting people and stories – and not just those of our clients.

If you’re looking for ideas or people for features we know hundreds of science prize winners past, present, and future and are always happy to chew the fat about the developing themes in Australian science.

Feel free to pass these stories along to colleagues. And between bulletins, you can follow me on Twitter (@scienceinpublic) for more science news and story tips.
Kind regards,

Niall Byrne

Creative Director
Science in Public

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC 3015
PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015

03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977