Media releases

Blinded by the light no more: simulations show NASA’s James Webb Telescope will reveal hidden galaxies

Australian researchers find ways to overcome the blinding glare of quasars

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will uncover galaxies never before seen by humanity, Australian-led research reveals.

The telescope, due to launch in late 2021, is the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built.

Two new studies led by Madeline Marshall from Australia’s University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) find that the Webb will be able to reveal galaxies currently masked by powerful lights called quasars.

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Filmmaker becomes co-author on paper published in top international journal, ‘Science’

Written and issued by Genepool

In an unusual turn of events, Melbourne based filmmaker Sonya Pemberton has become a co-author on a paper that has just been published in the top international journal Science.

The paper, ‘Global citizen deliberation on genome editing’ is calling for the creation of a global “citizens’ assembly”, made up of ordinary people who are tasked with considering the ethical and social impacts of this emerging science, in humans, animals and plants. The idea was born out of a film-research trip Sonya undertook almost two years ago.

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Why plumbers and teachers should have a say on designer babies and genetically enhanced potatoes


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Genepool release – Filmmaker becomes co-author on paper published in top international journal, ‘Science’,
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– Media release below

Ethical and social implications of powerful DNA-altering technology are too important to be left to scientists and politicians, researchers find.

Illustration by Alice Mollon

Designer babies, mutant mozzies and frankenfoods: these are the images that often spring to mind when people think of genome editing.

The practice – which alters an organism’s DNA in ways that could be inherited by subsequent generations – is both more complex and less dramatic than the popular tropes suggest.

However, its implications are so profound that a growing group of experts believe it is too important a matter to be left only to scientists, doctors and politicians.

Writing in the journal Science, 25 leading researchers from across the globe call for the creation of national and global “citizens’ assemblies”, made up of lay-people, tasked with considering the ethical and social impacts of this emerging science.

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Elements of surprise: neutron stars contribute little, but something’s making gold, research finds

Colliding neutron stars were touted as the main source of some of the heaviest elements in the Periodic Table. Now, not so much

Neutron star collisions do not create the quantity of chemical elements previously assumed, a new analysis of galaxy evolution finds.

The research also reveals that current models can’t explain the amount of gold in the cosmos – creating an astronomical mystery.

The work has produced a new-look Periodic Table, showing the stellar origins of naturally occurring elements from carbon to uranium.

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Thousands pledge to tackle global warming through individual actions

National Carbon Counter project proves a hit as individuals, families and schools pledge to lower emissions.

Media release: 25 August, 2020

Media contacts: Andrew Masterson, andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0488 777 179; Ben Keirnan, ben@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 184 858.

More than 11,000 people have signed up to Carbon Counter, the countrywide challenge produced by the ABC Science Unit for National Science Week.

The challenge shows families, individuals and schools how to reduce their contributions to global warming by making simple and easy changes to everyday routines.

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Fossil fight, wildlife under fire, and the astro-origins of your smartphone

Sunday 23 August 2020

Highlights from the FINAL DAY of National Science Week

62 events, 202 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • National: Lifehacks to cut your carbon and your fuel bills
  • National: Discover new species, map wildlife, track the effects of climate change
  • ACT: Find out what robot makers, illustrators and Indigenous storytellers have in common
  • SA: Giant wombats versus ichthyosaurs: which would win? Adelaide palaeontologists fight over which is the best fossil
  • SA: Forget the Telstra shop. Your smartphone came from the stars. Find out how.
  • VIC: 76 women in science at sea: catch up with Ili Baré’s compelling documentary, The Leadership
  • VIC: Possible Impossibles: what’s next for the human species?
  • WA: Sign me up!—four scientists and an Auslan interpreter in Bunbury
  • Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

Also today:

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: 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

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Dancing with stick insects, healing nature, and what’s in your sourdough?

Saturday 22 August 2020

Highlights from day eight of National Science Week

115 events, 235 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • National: Discover storms on Jupiter in a virtual reality tour of the solar system
  • National: Discover new species, map wildlife, track the effects of climate change
  • NSW: Fit or fat? How your postcode affects your health
  • NSW: ID a frog and meet a radioecologist on the Sydney Science Trail
  • VIC: How is nature good for your health and wellbeing?
  • VIC: Phasmid of the opera: performances featuring music, dance and a stick insect
  • TAS: What microbes are growing in your sourdough?
  • TAS: Make a canoe and hear about local Aboriginal engineering and navigation

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

Also today:

Coming up:

Fossil fight, wildlife under fire, and the astro-origins of your smartphone – see a preview of Sunday’s highlights.

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: 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

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Storms on Jupiter, swim with sea dragons, and Australia’s first scientists

Friday 21 August 2020

Highlights from day seven of National Science Week

171 events, 325 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • National: Take a virtual reality trip around the solar system
  • VIC: Taste tomorrow: want to try some fake meat, sautéed spider and lobster lollies?
  • VIC: What will beer taste like in the future?
  • ACT: Who are the Indigenous STEM leaders, from maths to medicine?
  • NSW: Stones, bones, irrigation, and eel farming: hear about Australia’s first engineers
  • SA: What can you learn about gravitational wave detection via Minecraft?
  • NT: STEMfit: Can sport kick off a love for science and technology?
  • WA: Shrink your plastic footprint with a sea shepherdess

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

Also today:

Coming up:

Dancing with stick insects, healing nature, and what’s in your sourdough? – see a preview of Saturday’s highlights

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: 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

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Herding caterpillars, good science, and bad behaviour in space

Thursday 20 August 2020

Highlights from day six of National Science Week

209 events, 401 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • NSW: When artificial light becomes pollution
  • NSW: How do you take climate change action that works?
  • NSW: What do algae have to do with beer making?
  • QLD: Finding Nemo—and checking the water quality of his home
  • QLD: Cover coming eco-anxiety to survive and thrive: Generation Z to the rescue
  • SA: What’s good and bad behaviour in space?
  • SA: How can you tell good science from bad? Ask the experts (if you trust them!)
  • SA: Discover the love-hate relationship between butterflies and ants
  • TAS: Beauty from the ashes: recovery after bushfires
  • WA: A visit to the (ancient) beach – Kalgoorlie-Boulder style
  • NT: Water, desalination and sugary drinks—water is life in Arnhem Land
  • National: Lifehacks to cut your carbon and your fuel bills

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

Also today:

Coming up:

Storms on Jupiter, swim with sea dragons, and Australia’s first scientists – see a preview of Friday’s highlights

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: 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

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Beer, bandicoots, bat-poop, black holes, and science in the courtroom

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Highlights from day five of National Science Week

342 events, 588 competitions and online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • ACT:  In court, is scientific evidence the same as legal proof?
  • NSW: Holy bat-poop! What bugs are spread by flying faeces?
  • NSW: Talking climate change like your life depends on it, with Tim Flannery and Rebecca Huntley
  • NSW: From supermassive black holes to Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador—meet Lisa Harvey-Smith
  • QLD: Pandemic proofing the future
  • QLD: Humpback whales—the biggest tourists regularly visiting the Gold Coast
  • SA: Help SA’s endangered bandicoots find prickly new homes
  • TAS: What can four different brews teach you about the science of beer?
  • WA: Tiny food for huge whale sharks
  • WA: How much sunlight is good for your health?
  • WA: Can big data help save the quokka, koala and wallaby?
  • WA: Curtin University Big Watermelon Experiment
  • WA: Oceans vs space: the battle of the final frontiers
  • VIC: Science and technology saving lives in natural disasters

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

Coming up:

Herding caterpillars, good science, and bad behaviour in space – see a preview of Thursday’s highlights.

National Science Week 2020 runs from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: 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

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