Sunlight, sleep, cutting carbon, and why your postcode matters for health

Great LIFESTYLE stories up for grabs now around Australia.

  • Fit or fat? How your postcode affects your health—Sydney
  • Is your diet good for the planet?—talent in Sydney and Melbourne
  • The dangers of staying awake: speak to a sleep scientist—Perth
  • What’s wrong with ultra-processed food?—Melbourne
  • How much sunlight is good for your health?—Perth
  • How to use your panic-bought food stash—Queensland
  • Save energy and save money in the home—Tasmania
  • Roo or beef? Hot wash or cold? Become a Carbon Counter and cut your contribution to climate change—national

These are just a few of the 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

The science of healthy cities—Sydney, NSW

Does your suburb make you fit or fat? Share your ideas for healthier cities and track how the COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on health and wellbeing at The Science of Healthy Cities event.

Learn the role urban spaces play in your health and wellbeing, how science is tackling key urban challenges including climate change, transport and equitable access; and how you can get involved to help scientists to tackle these issues, through videos and online discussion with experts.

Presented by Yvonne Lair, University of Sydney lecturer in Prevention and Health Promotion.

Friday 14 August – Sunday 23 August Event details

Yvonne is available for interviews.

Eating for the planet—Kensington, NSW

Is it possible to feed 10 billion people a healthy diet without destroying the planet?

Four years ago, this question was posed to a group of doctors and dieticians from all over the world, and their response became the Planetary Health Diet – a way of eating created by scientists to bring together the health needs of humans with what our planet can afford.

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.

Tuesday 18 August. Event details

Damon, Sandro, Alexandra and Jennifer are available for interviews

The science of sleep— Booragoon, WA

What causes bad slep and how can you fix it?  Ask Dr Jen Walsh—a physiologist at the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute and Centre for Sleep Science at UWA. 

Get up to speed on common sleep disorders, some novel treatments and simple tactics to optimise your shut-eye.

Walsh’s research interests include investigating the causes of, and treatments for, sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia.

Friday 28 August Event details

Event type: in person

What’s wrong with ultra-processed food?—Melbourne, VIC

Hear the latest research into the dietary and health impacts of ultra-processed foods from Associate Professor Gyorgy Scrinis, food politics and policy expert at the University of Melbourne, and author of the book Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice.

Learn how ultra-processed foods are regulated, produced, distributued and marketed in this online event, hosted by Dr Jennifer Henry.

Tuesday 18 August Event details

Event type: Online

Sun Health with Dr Shelley Gorman—Perth, WA

Learn about the role of sunlight exposure in good health from Dr Shelley Gorman, a leading sun health researcher from the Telethon Kids Institute.

Shelley is an expert on how sunlight affects our wellbeing, from inflammation to immunity. In this Wanneroo Libraries event she will discuss how it could be used to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes, and how Vitamin D may have a role in stopping some chronic and autoimmune conditions.

The library will also be giving away a small number of copies of Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight and How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds, by Linda Geddes.

Wednesday 19 August. Event details

Reducing food waste—QLD

Got food still hanging around from that supermarket panic-buy you did earlier this year? Find out how to put it to good use – and reduce your weekly grocery bill, to boot – with Dr Polly Burey, a food science expert from the University of Southern Queensland.

Even before the pandemic hit, Australians on average wasted about 300kg of food each year. Dr Burey will share tips, experiences and practical ideas for using food better, including what to do with scraps and veggies past their use-by date.

Thursday 20 August. Event details

Saving energy at home with Matt Ruffin—TAS

High energy bills? Want to be more energy efficient at home? Energy expert Matt Ruffin will share his tips on how you can save energy at home: different kinds of insulation, draught sealing, double-glazed windows, insulating curtains and blinds and comparative efficiency for heating and lighting.

Be a super sleuth and check the energy used by different appliances. Find new ways to save energy and earn pocket money.

Saturday 15 August. Event details

Event type: in person

Carbon Counter: cut your contribution to climate change—national

How much carbon will you pledge to save this National Science Week? Put on a jumper when you’re cold, cut your shower time, eat roo or fish instead of beef, cycle instead of driving. These are some of the small changes that you, your household or your school can adopt to reduce your carbon footprint.

Join in at Carbon Counter, a countrywide challenge produced by the ABC. See what savings your lifestyle hacks will make and pledge to make a difference.

The Carbon Counter project invites individuals, households and schools to make small changes to day-to-day energy, food and transport use with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas production.

A running tally of the tonnes of carbon saved shows the collective impact of you and your fellow challengers.


Researchers and science communicators available for interviews.

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