National Science Week

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National Science Week 2019 took place from August 10 to 18, with thousands of events and activities around the country.

The next National Science Week will take place from 15 to 23 August 2020.

Media alerts, stories and talent highlights from the 2019 program are included below.

See highlights state-by-state for NSW, VIC, WA, SA, QLD, ACT, NT and TAS. See our highlight roundups for arts, Indigenous, technology, environment, health, entertainment and food and wine rounds.

You follow Science Week stories on social media via

For more information contact: Tanya Ha on scienceweek@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0404 083 863 or (03) 9398 1416.

Images are available here

You can also get in touch with the state coordinators, sign up for the National Science Week newsletter for news of grant rounds and other information, or visit the Science Week website www.scienceweek.net.au

Dr Dolphin; Dr Karl; surviving shift work; and climate-proofing food and wine

Launch Friday at the Science Excellence Awards with Minister. Plus 230 Science Week events around SA:

▪ Who will win this year’s South Australia’s Science Excellence Awards?

▪ The science of wine, the language of plants, and the neuroscience of sex, drugs and salsa dancing at Big Science Adelaide.

▪ Gravitational waves explained by scientists, sounds, video art and poetry.

▪ Why does food taste different when you have a cold? And how do your neurons communicate? Meet your brain and find out.   

▪ Food and wine in a changing climate: can we save Maggie Beer ice cream and Barossa shiraz?

▪ Shift worker? Hear from experts about how it affects your health and what you can do about it.

▪ Meet Adelaide’s Dr Dolphin and his bottlenose friends.

▪ Zoos as research institutes, studying rhinos, African wild dogs, palm cockatoos, reptiles and more.

▪ Science Alive! comes to the Clare Valley Science Spectacular.

▪ A mobile observatory tours regional SA.

▪ Take the Aha! Challenge and test your brain’s creative insight.

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

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BOOM! POP! WOW! SCIENCE WEEK LAUNCHES FRIDAY AT THE FESTIVAL OF BRIGHT IDEAS

Media release from National Science Week Tasmania

VISION OPPORTUNITY: 10:00am Friday 9 August at the Festival of Bright Ideas, Princes Wharf No.1, with Minister for Science and Technology, Hon. Michael Ferguson MP

Thousands of Tasmanians will stream into venues across Tasmania to experience science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) events this August. There are more than 60 events to choose from, including custom dance performances based on local research, pop-up science bars, intimate talks with world leading scientists, quiz nights, nature tours, community STEM festivals and more.

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National challenge seeks to get inside your head

Researchers set up Australia-wide experiment to explore why and when the pennies drop.

Scientists want to know the things that make you go “aha!”.

Throughout August, researchers from the University of Melbourne are conducting a country-wide citizen science project to better understand how the human brain works.

The focus of the project, dubbed The Aha! Challenge, is to investigate the kind of sudden problem-solving insight that makes you spontaneously exclaim “yes!” or “at last!” or, indeed, “aha!”. It’s the ABC’s community project for National Science Week.

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Arctic art; deep dives; gravitational waves; and the future of farming

Launch Sunday at Springwood, with Chief Scientist & Engineer and a robot farmhand. Plus 500 Science Week events around NSW:

▪ Maths with Mr WooTube, deep dives, the new climate change activists, and more at the Sydney Science Festival

▪ An Indigenous hackathon to help save languages

▪ Gravitational waves explained by scientists, sounds, video art and poetry

▪ What will the farms of the future look like?

▪ Hear the untold story of the women who made the Internet

▪ Science goes local: 120 scientists visit 70 libraries

▪ Super sight, super hearing, super strength and camouflage: hear about nature’s superpowers

▪ Arctic art and photography inspiring action on climate change

▪ You’re never alone when you’ve got a parasite: public health meets comedy

▪ Take the Aha! Challenge and test your brain’s creative insight.

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

Scientists, artists, performers and event organisers are available for interview throughout 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

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National Science Week Explodes in August!

Media release from the National Science Week WA Co-ordinating Committee

National Science Week returns from 10 – 18 August, to reveal spectacular and breathtaking discoveries of science and technology through more than 1,000 events across Australia, 240 of which will be in Western Australia.

For Western Australians, the week will launch with the spectacular Moonboorli (Beyond), a free youth-focused event and gathering place for culture, ideas, knowledge and storytelling, presented by Propel Youth Arts WA at the State Library of Western Australia on Saturday 10 August.

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Go Moonboorli (Beyond) for National Science Week

Media release from the National Science Week WA Co-ordinating Committee

Celebrating the launch of National Science Week in 2019, Moonboorli (Beyond) is a special free event and gathering place for culture, ideas, knowledge and storytelling, presented by Propel Youth Arts WA at the State Library of Western Australia on Saturday 10 August.

Special guest Andrea Boyd will be sharing her experience as the only Australian International Space Station Flight Controller at the European Space Centre in Cologne, and her recent involvement in helping to create the new Australian Space Agency. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony and later in the day at a key-note presentation, this is her only appearance for National Science Week in WA.

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Indigenous stories in National Science Week: astronomy, hacking, and a health lab on wheels

With more than 2000 planned events around Australia, National Science Week, 10 to 18 August, offers multiple story opportunities. Here are a few ideas for Indigenous rounds.

NSW: INDIGI HACK 2019 — Redfern

Can young people’s love of gadgets and technology help save Indigenous language?

Australia is home to some of the oldest languages in the world, and we are at risk of losing them all if we don’t act fast. As many as half of the world’s 7000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century; it is estimated that one language dies out every 14 days.

This initiative helps Indigenous young people bridge science, technology and culture to develop an app that helps capture, revitalise and retain Indigenous language.

INDIGI HACK is a two-day hackathon involving more than 100 Indigenous youth from remote Australia and New Zealand, 20 teachers and community members, and more than 14 industry mentors. The winning hacker gains entry to an incubator to further develop and refine a product and their skills.

Thursday 8 to Friday 9 August Event details

Media contact: Luke Briscoe, info@indigilab.com.au or 0407 773 259

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Entertainment stories in National Science Week: sex in space, parasites and the return of a television classic

With more than 2000 planned events around Australia, National Science Week, 10 to 18 August, offers multiple story opportunities. Here are a few ideas for entertainment reporters.

ACT: The Science of Star Wars and Sex in Space – Mitchell

As a prelude to National Science Week, David Cannell, an information technologist from the University of South Australia, presents two fun sessions at GAMMA.CON, Canberra’s annual pop culture festival.

In The Science of Star Wars he looks at the technology depicted in the Star Wars franchise and how it compares to reality. He speculates on how evolution may function in the George Lucas universe, and explains how a real, working lightsabre might be built.

Then, in Sex In Space, he switches things up and asks some really probing questions. Has anyone ever done it? Is it even possible? What about in free fall? Keep an open mind as we explore the physics, biology and Hollywood depictions of out-of-this-world intimacy.

Saturday 3 August Event details

Media contact: Rob Thomas, info@gammacon.org.au or 0422 585 988

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Food and wine stories in National Science Week: climate change, coffee in space, and robots in wineries

With more than 2000 planned events around Australia, National Science Week, 10 to 18 August, offers multiple story opportunities. Here are a few ideas for food and wine sections.

VIC: Extrasensory — Parliament House, Melbourne

Extrasensory explores the human senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing and more.

The event combines art installations, performance, storytelling, and experimentation, with food and drink at Victoria’s Parliament House.

Activities and presenters include:

  • Food tasting in different virtual places: does your environment make things taste better?
  • Champagne science workshops with ‘the Culinary Scientist’ and former My Kitchen Rules contestant Emma Donnelly, who has both a science degree and a diploma of champagne science
  • The chemistry of brewing beer to get the right flavour and aroma, with brewer John Helton, who trains beer tasters.

Curator Renee Beale, Emma Donnelly and several other presenters are available for media interviews.

Saturday 10 August Event details

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The Arts infiltrate Science Week

From pee power to plastic-eating mealworms, in Melbourne the arts enter the war on waste.

In Sydney, Arctic art and photography combine to inspire action on climate change.

In Canberra, astrophysics and performance meld to present the universe in four dimensions.

And in Hobart, three chemicals are explored by three choreographers and a youth dance company.

Dozens of interesting arts stories, people and events are taking place around Australia for National Science Week this August, including:

·      gravitational waves explained by scientists, sounds, video art and poetry, Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra

·      young artists, music with birdsong, Indigenous science, neuroscience and creativity workshops in Perth

·      rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils – artists respond to nature’s art, in Canberra

·      the shape of sound and the maths of music, Sydney.

More details …

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Robot farmhands, future paddocks and savvy students: National Science Week stories for NSW rural rounds

Technology is vital for future agriculture, research reveals

Australia’s biggest science festival, National Science Week 2019, will run from 10 to 18 August, with events in major cities, regional centres and country towns. Here are a few of interest for country residents.

Agri-robots and future farming: how science is transforming NSW

From robots rounding up cattle to picking fruit at the right time, technology is helping New South Wales’ $13 billion agriculture sector adapt to the future. Science is not just for the city, says Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-White.

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Deep dives, green steel, Star Wars – National Science Week kicks off

August promises cool science, hot topics and sharp people.

With more than 2000 planned events around Australia, National Science Week, 10 to 18 August, offers multiple story opportunities – so the time to start scheduling is now.

Headline local and international science stars include:

  • NASA exobiologist Darlene Lim —a scientist who prepares astronauts for missions by putting them in the toughest environments on Earth.
  • Sylvia Earle – nicknamed “Her Deepness”, this veteran US oceanographer pioneered extreme diving, and lived in experimental underwater habitats.
  • Veena Sahajwalla – based at UNSW, Veena is the inventor of green steel, a new building material made from old car tyres and recycled plastic.
  • Eddie Wu – a Sydney maths teacher and YouTube star, Eddie was named Australia’s Local Hero for 2018, and fronted the ABC television series, Teenage Boss.

Other guests include US-based astrobiologist Paul Davies, Australian Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, and War on Waste star Craig Reucassel

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VIC community and schools go lunar with National Science Week grants

Media release from Victoria’s National Science Week coordinating committee

Victorian schools and community groups will be a hive of activity with the delivery of grants from National Science Week, coming up August 10-18.

Over 290 Australian schools received grants from the Australian Science Teachers’ Association to engage students in fun and educational STEM projects. Of the 290 grants Australia wide, 45 Victorian schools received funding, with a further 4 schools receiving sponsorship from Cambridge University Press to run activities.

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Mars missions, sewer soap, and how your brain does insight: a taste of National Science Week 2019

  • The Aha! Challenge: test your creative brain for science (national)
  • DNA and longevity—Australian Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn in Canberra and Sydney
  • Apollo 11, saving our oceans, and maths with Mr WooTube at Sydney Science Festival
  • What’s a polar vortex? Will warming ruin wine? And other climate questions, in Tasmania
  • The science of wine, from growing grapes to sensory experience, at Big Science Adelaide
  • Life on Mars: is there any? Could we live there? in Perth
  • Think your way out of cancer-themed escape room in Queensland
  • Science in the garden and the war on waste, in Alice Springs
  • Pee power, sewer soap and plastic-munching critters: challenging our disposable society in Melbourne
  • Plus many more events and activities.
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$360K+ worth of science prizes; what have you got planned for Science Week?; media training dates

Now is the time to register your National Science Week events to be a part of this nationwide festival, coming up in August.

There are many big names involved, including Sylvia Earle, Paul Davies, three Aussie Nobel Laureates, and bunch of NASA scientists. The earlier you register your event, the better your chance of reaching a broader audience. More below.

Nominate your top researchers and rising stars for the science prizes that are now open, including:

  • the $50K CSL Florey Medal for medical research
  • two $50K Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research—for mid-career researchers
  • the $60K NSW Premier’s Prize for Scientist of the Year, plus nine $5,000 prizes for NSW-based scientists in various categories
  • two $50K Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation (VIC only)
  • £3000 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science in the face of hostility
  • the Australian of the Year Awards
  • and our own Fresh Science program will open in the next couple of weeks.

Key dates, links and information are detailed below.

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Sydney Science Festival 2019 Program Announced

Media release from the Sydney Science Festival

Leading scientists, conservationists and comedians join Eddie Woo for the 2019 program including Dr Sylvia Earle, Michael Aw, Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Paul Davies, Adam Spencer, Andrea Boyd, Claire L Evans and Dr Alice Motion.

Sydney Science Festival is back for a fifth year with events across the city from 6 –18 August 2019. Coinciding with National Science Week, the 13-day program investigates how science informs and intersects with the contemporary issues we face every day. From climate change and oceanic pollution, how to halt aging to the future of space travel, the Festival asks, “how is science influencing the future?”

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Science Week – touching space and earth 10th-18th August 2019

Media release from Victoria’s National Science Week coordinating committee

New adventures in space, advances in AI and bionics, and closing the loop on sustainable futures. Discover how science is making the impossible possible – get involved this National Science Week, an annual celebration of scientific discovery in all its forms from August 10-18.

“I encourage all Victorians to get involved in National Science Week,” said Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist. “It is a great time to celebrate the fantastic science underway in Victoria, and to explore the knowledge and discoveries that will shape our future.”

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Is plastic threatening our oxygen supply; a silicon path to quantum computers; Mars, wildlife, and trash talk: a first taste of Science Week

Today: it’s not just fish, plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help us breathe—scientist available for interview

Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Macquarie University scientists have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution.

Study published in Communications Biology overnight; scientist available for interview and images available. Details below.

Today: Australia’s silicon quantum computer will add up accurately!

Yesterday Nature published the latest paper from this UNSW team. It’s their third in three months and reinforces that Australia is leading the race to invent a silicon-based quantum computer. This paper demonstrates that if we invent a silicon computer it will be able to do its sums accurately, which apparently wasn’t a foregone conclusion. UNSW media have all the details. More below.

Mars, wildlife, curious climate and trash talk: a first taste of National Science Week—coming up in August

Mimicking Mars missions on Earth, plastic-eating bacteria, Star Wars science, and hunting wildlife with an app (in a non-lethal way)—just some of the activities planned for National Science Week. Now’s the time to start planning your coverage of Australia’s biggest festival with an anticipated 2000+ events and activities. More below.

Kind regards,
Niall

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National Science Week federal grants 2019

Announcement from the National Science Week office at Questacon

Congratulations to all of the successful recipients in the 2019 National Science Week grant round. A total of $723 000 has been awarded to 53 projects.

QuestaGame players using the app

Can you get a decent cup of coffee in space? What makes a cell turn into cancer? Why are Port Adelaide’s dolphins special?

National Science Week grant projects will explore the far reaches of the universe through a travelling observatory, an art exhibition, virtual reality and a multimedia experience of gravitational waves. Sustainability will be a focus for Perth’s suburbs, the Indigenous knowledge of Tasmania’s midlands will be shared and celebrated, and Rob and Dean from The Curiosity Show will team up with the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The projects are listed below in the state or territory where the lead applicant is located.

ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

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Aussie citizen scientists unite to help the Great Barrier Reef

Citizen scientists from around Australia are helping scientists and reef managers get a much better picture of the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

So far, they have looked at over 2.7 million points on more than 170,000 underwater images of the Reef and told us whether they can see coral, algae or sand.

They’re all taking part in Virtual Reef Diver—the ABC’s online citizen science project for National Science Week.

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