Exclude from Home Page

Can you find the owls in the night? Researchers recruiting Hoot Detectives

Nationwide project aims to map Australia’s favourite predator birds

Media contacts: Ben Keirnan, ben@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 184 858; or Tanya Ha, tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863.

A Barking owl fluffing its feathers, or ‘floofing’. Credit: Dr Nick Hamilton

“I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.” Macbeth, William Shakespeare.

Is that an owl hooting? Or a car?

Researchers are after volunteers to help map five native Australian owl species, by listening to short recordings made in the bush. 

The results will provide important information about the range and numbers of these beloved birds of prey. They will also help researchers develop artificial intelligence (AI) systems to use in a new field of science, known as “eco-acoustics”.

The project is called Hoot Detective, and is produced by ABC Science in collaboration with the Australian Acoustic Observatory (A2O) for National Science Week. It will commence online on Monday 9 August at www.hootdetective.net.au and run until the end of August.

The idea is to hunt for Powerful, Barking, Boobook, Barn, and Masked owls. For more about each species, visit hootdetective.net.au/the-owls.

[continue reading…]

Mood food, eating insects, dark matter, owl calls, a forgotten female physicist, and more

Plus dozens of Science Week stories around WA:

  • Can we future-proof our food and fibre crops?
  • Forgotten physicist defends her life – on stage
  • Gut feelings: what to eat to improve your mood
  • Meet Magnus, the supercomputer that found gold, searched the stars, and mapped the quokka genome.
  • A mechanical stomach turning food waste into energy
  • Ask bright young minds about dark matter
  • Help map Australia’s owls by listening to their calls

These are just a few of the events happening during this year’s National Science Week (August 14 to 22).

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

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

▪ Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

Plus, WA’s National Science Week launch TODAY, 9:00am:

Continental rolls made from crickets & WA’s longest macchiato

[continue reading…]

Exposing quacks, eating crickets, gaming climate change, and growing food in space

Plus dozens of Science Week stories around ACT:

  • Can we science our way out of multiple crises?
  • Growing food in space and on Mars
  • Crickets – the new superfood?
  • Exposing the fake medicine, wellness crazes, cons and quacks
  • Inclusive dance company explores the birth of the Universe
  • Can gamers help save the planet?
  • A LEGO guide to the evolution of the cosmos
  • Scouts reveal the science of Outdoors
  • Make a lightsaber: science for people with disabilities
  • Help scientists map Australia’s owls by listening to their calls.

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

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

National Science Week in ACT: event highlights

▪ Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

[continue reading…]

Teddy bear dissection, dark skies, tardigrade art, ravens

Plus dozens of Science Week stories around Tasmania:

  • Teddy bear dissection reveals our reliance on plastics
  • One in five bags of food is thrown away – can we change?
  • A party to celebrate Tassie’s dark skies
  • Finding Australia’s oldest sour dough, and fermenting at home
  • Matthew’s mad about ravens
  • Ice cores reveal past and future
  • Tardigrade art

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

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

▪ Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

[continue reading…]

Crunchy crickets, lab-grown meat, fishless caviar and more. Oh, and beer

Great National Science Week FOOD stories up for grabs now around Australia.

  • Cellular agriculture – growing meat in vats (online with NSW talent)
  • The science of beer – with sampling! (TAS & NT)
  • Yum or yuck? The chemistry of flavour (SA)
  • How will we produce food in a warming climate? (Online)
  • What’s for dinner on Mars? (Online)
  • More seaweed? Don’t mind if I do (QLD)
  • Bush tucker 101 (Online)
  • Searching for the oldest sourdough in Australia (Tasmania)
  • How to become a yeast wrangler for future fermented foods (SA)
  • Making caviar without fish (VIC)

These are just a few of the mouth-watering questions set to answered during this year’s National Science Week (August 14 to 22).

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

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

▪ Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

[continue reading…]

Professor Mmantsae Moche Diale: “In big conferences, there are very few black women.”

Professor Mmantsae Moche Diale is a senior physicist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. All too often, she recalls, walking into an unfamiliar laboratory was an experience that sheeted home the gender disparity that pervades her profession.

“If there was equipment that I hadn’t encountered before, I would ask others how to use it,” she says.

“The men in the laboratory would usually just hand me the manual to read. If a man asked the same question, they would happily and quickly explain and demonstrate.”

[continue reading…]

Dr Anisa Qamar: “I was the only woman in the physics faculty.”

Dr Anisa Qamar is a professor of plasma physics at Peshawar University in Pakistan. 

“I was born in a small village in the north of Pakistan where cultural stereotypes mean females are not allowed to go to school,” she says.

“My parents were well-educated and held education to be a priority, regardless of gender. Indeed, my father built the first female school in the village, but the social pressure was still there.”

She and her parents, she recalled, faced this pressure “boldly”. Her father ensured she received both primary and college education, and played an active role in supporting her admission to university. She was also helped and encouraged by a family friend, Zari Sarfaraz (1923-2008), a noted campaigner for the rights of women in Pakistan.

[continue reading…]

Professor Prajval Shastri: “Such bad mentoring has no consequences.”

Professor Prajval Shastri, astrophysicist and adjunct professor at Australia’s International Centre for Radioastronomy Research (ICRAR), is often confounded by the advice senior physicists, mostly men but also women, sometimes provide to aspiring women.

“I constantly encounter colleagues who mentor young men to ‘stick to your passion and press on’, but to women they say, ‘you need to work hard to be in physics because you will have to manage both family and research’,” she says.

“Are they implying that men of future generations will continue to abdicate their life responsibilities at the expense of the women in their families?

[continue reading…]

Draft Recommendations from the 7th IUPAP Conference on Women in Physics

IUPAP Conferences

  • Endorsement & Funding to conferences should be contingent on an anonymised review process for selecting contributed abstracts to the conference
  • Endorsement & Funding to conferences should be contingent on a plenary session on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion which should be embedded within the schedule and include expertise from the social sciences on intersectionality.  
  • Conferences or sessions for undergraduate students which should include sessions on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in order to foster inclusive thinking in the next generation
  • Demographics of speakers/chairs/attendees should be reported with an intersectionality lens and be available to attendees
  • Accessibility: IUPAP to sponsor accessible conferences, noting digital divide

IUPAP Members

  • Encourage IUPAP members to organize workshops to provide skills on entrepreneurship and innovation. 
  • Mentor, network, sponsor:  IUPAP calls on Members to facilitate Mentorship of women in physics at all levels
  • Represent: IUPAP calls on Members and Liaisons to provide opportunities for women in physics to have leadership roles
  • Systemic changes: IUPAP calls on Members to provide support and commitment to gender parity
  • Safe and welcoming environment: IUPAP calls on Members to implement code of conduct with zero tolerance for discrimination

IUPAP Processes

  • The Award nominations process should include certification that there are no known issues  of scientific misconduct or harassment for its awards.   Create mechanisms for revoking such honors if something is revealed later
  • support networking through requiring country liaison to be active and available to WiP working groups in their country
  • IUPAP to give some priority to physics education for females in their policies and projects.

Raise Awareness

  • Increase awareness of IUPAP amongst physics educators so that IUPAP’s programs gain traction and becomes visible to future generations.
  • Show what a physicist is: IUPAP to raise awareness of the roles of women in physics 
  • Discussion of mental health issues should be normalised
  • Increase awareness of imposter syndrome and bias by developing and delivering workshops for academics through conferences. The workshops should provide tips and strategies for countering these, go beyond theory..

Data and Metrics

  • Organize the gathering of and providing guidance on the quality of data, not restricted to only quantitative, for measuring research output which is fairer to females.
  • Consider ways in which metrics can be developed for parameters associated with teaching and its evaluation with an eye on the fact that females are more likely to receive inappropriate/irrelevant feedback and critique.
  • Set up a working group to consider reinvigorating the curriculum and the teaching of physics with the objective of providing a contemporary and ‘balanced’ physics education.  
  • Provide guidance on collecting, analysing, reporting, and storing data on the people of physics, to include: Principles which can be adapted to meet the needs of local communities; Prioritising and centering marginalised groups; and Paying attention to intersectionality of identities, such as indigenous women in physics

Summaries of plenaries at the 7th IUPAP Conference on Women in Physics

Plenary 1: Gender Gap in the Global Survey: Igle Gledhill, Rachel Ivie and Susan White

Plenary 1: Gender in publication practices in maths and physics, Helena Mihaljević

Plenary 1: Australia inequity, Lisa Harvey-Smith

Plenary 2: Women in physics in Sudan, challenges and opportunities, Nashwa Eassa

Plenary 2: Molecular motors and switches at surfaces, Petra Rudolf

Plenary 3: Men as allies

[continue reading…]