Carbon-neutral beer, the secret life of a nudibranch, Guinness World Records and more

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

  • Become a Carbon Counter and help tackle climate change—national
  • Preparing for the fires to come—Canberra
  • Talking global warming like your life depends on it—Sydney
  • Is your diet good for the planet?—talent in Sydney and Melbourne
  • What do algae have to do with beer-making?—Sydney
  • Are bushfires good for plankton?—Tasmania
  • Can big data help save the quokka, koala and wallaby?—Perth
  • Get your dark sky back—talent from Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne
  • How to keep the Great Barrier Reef great—Gold Coast

These are just a few of the environmental talks, events and activities happening across Australia during National Science Week (August 15 to 23).

If you’re after more great ideas for highly visual stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Individual event details and media contacts

Carbon Counter: cut your contribution to climate change—online

Learn how you, your household or your school can adapt to reduce your carbon footprint through Carbon Counter, a countrywide challenge produced by the ABC. See what savings your lifestyle hacks will make and pledge to make a difference.

Work out small changes you can make to your day-to-day energy consumption, food and transport use with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas production.

Contribute to a running tally showing tonnes of carbon saved to determine the collective impact of you and your fellow challengers.


Researchers and science communicators available for interviews.

Lessons from the fires: a biodiversity and climate perspective—Canberra, ACT

Bringing together biodiversity scientists, climate change experts and policy makers, this webinar will focus on understanding bushfire seasons under a changing climate, including ongoing impacts on biodiversity.


  • David Karoly – Leader, Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub
  • John Woinarski – Deputy Chair, Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel and Deputy Director, Threatened Species Recovery Hub


  • Sally Box – Threatened Species Commissioner and Chair of the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel
  • Andrew Dowdy – Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub Lead Investigator and Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Meteorology
  • Dan Rogers – Principal Ecologist, South Australian Department for Environment and Water

The event is part of the Climate, Fire, and Biodiversity webinar series, a collaboration between the NESP Threatened Species Recovery and Earth Systems and Climate Change Hubs.

Tuesday 25 August Event details

We still need to talk about climate change—Sydney, NSW

How do we restart the conversation on global warming?  Join climate scientist and author of The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery, marine ecologist Adriana Vergés, and social researcher and author of How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference, Rebecca Huntley, for this online discussion.

The event is hosted by marine ecologist, TV presenter and UNSW Dean of Science Emma Johnston.

Wednesday 19 August. Event details

Tim, Adriana, Rebecca and Emma are available for media interviews.

Eating for the planet—Kensington, NSW

Is it possible to feed 10 billion people a healthy diet without destroying the planet? Join public health advocate and CEO of VicHealth Sandro Demaio, Alexandra Jones from The George Institute for Global Health, clinical dietitian Jennifer Cohen and director of That Sugar Film Damon Gameau as they discuss how we can all eat better and contribute to a healthier world.

The Planetary Health Diet is a way of eating created by scientists to sustain the health needs of humans with what our planet can afford.

Tuesday 18 August. Event details

Damon, Sandro, Alexandra and Jennifer are available for interviews

Beer & algae: brewing a greener future—Sydney, NSW

Did you know that the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation of a six-pack of beer takes a tree two full days to absorb? So can we make beer carbon neutral?

Independent brewery Young Henrys were on a mission to tackle their carbon emissions, when they came across the Climate Change Cluster (C3) the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Together they’ve developed a way to use algae to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

This online event takes audiences into the heart of the brewery co-founder and director Oscar McMahon and UTS researcher Dr Janice McCaughly. Find out how the fusion of brewing science and climate change innovation led to an Australian-first, and discover how one humble organism algae is changing the future of our planet.

Thursday 20 August. Event details

When artificial light becomes pollution—NSW

Remember when the night sky used to be dark? Support the growing movement dedicated to fighting light pollution and bringing back darkness where it’s needed.

Join the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance science committee in an online panel event to find out how light is impacting the environment and the simple steps you can take to help.

The Australian Dark Sky Alliance, by the way, recently secured a Guinness World Record. Be sure to ask for details!


  • University of Melbourne ecologist Dr Theresa Jones
  • Macquarie University astronomer Dr Richard McDermid
  • Perth-based ecologist Dr Kellie Pendoley
  • South Australian environment manager Ms Sofia Oliver

Thursday 20 August. Event details

A Day @ DNA Zoo—WA

How do you 3D-map a genome? Can big data help save the quokka, koala and wallaby? The Australian branch of DNA Zoo thinks so, and invites you to watch a live lab investigation to see how it’s done.

DNA Zoo is an international consortium helping conservation efforts through rapid generation and release of high-quality genetic data.

This event also introduces a new social enterprise, BioBarcode Australia, which will bring DNA technologies to schools and the community. Suitable for Years 10,11,12 STEM focused students.

Wednesday 19 August. Event details

Science of the Sea: whale sharks, climate change, nudibranchs and Tim Flannery

Ask Tim Flannery how climate change is affecting our oceans and what can we do to help. Learn about nudibranchs – the sea slugs that look like they’re dressed for the carnival. Perhaps go on a virtual rock ramble, or hear from experts about humpback whale calving, marine animal rescue and saving the Great Barrier Reef.

Gold Coast Libraries’ ‘Science of the Sea’ is a program of free online events, including ‘Luminary Lectures’ from high-profile scientists, focused on the ocean, coastline and marine life.

Luminary Lectures:

Other events include:

Samantha Reynolds, Olaf Meynecke, Tim Flannery (limited availability), Peter Mumby and Ocean Connect scientists are available for media interviews.

From Sky to Sea: Bushfires, the atmosphere and the marine environment—Hobart, TAS

What does plankton have to do with bushfires? How does weather influence fire, and what can Tasmania expect in the future? Hear from two experts at this online event.

Paul Fox-Hughes is a researcher working in the Bureau of Meteorology, mostly on the interactions of fire and weather, after spending two decades as a severe weather forecaster.

Pete Strutton is a biological oceanographer at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. He uses satellites, ship-based data and autonomous ocean observing platforms to investigate how climate affects ocean life.

Paul and Pete share their science for the annual public lecture of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the Australian Marine Science Association.

Tuesday 18 August. Event details

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year 1.5 million people participated in more than 2050 events around the country, in metropolitan, regional and remote locations.

In 2020, the festival is almost entirely virtual, online, DIY and well-spaced. This means most events, large and small, is open to anyone, no matter where they live.

National Science Week 2020 will run from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at, public event listings at