570 Science Week events in NSW New South Wales launches National Science Week with NASA’s mission to Mars; boozy botany; the chemistry of life and death and more

Media releases, National Science Week

8 August 2017, launch at 8.30am at Australian Museum

1 William Street, Sydney. Please enter via Crystal Hall, corner of William and College Streets

With NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane, Australian Museum Executive Director and CEO Kim McKay molecular biology guru Merlin Crossley, Winny the Muttaburrasaurus, and students from Chifley Public School, animals and experiments.

Contact: Claire Vince on Claire.Vince@austmus.gov.au, or 0468 726 910.

Statewide highlights include

  • Can parasitic worms halt MS? Or honey fight superbugs?
  • Sporty science at the Innovation Games
  • The botany of brewing
  • The chemistry of the smell of death, with a modern-day Sherlock
  • Chemistry saving lives and creating jobs
  • Greenhouse or madhouse? What’s holding back climate action?
  • Dinosaurs invade the Blue Mountains, and more…

And more than 570 other events across the state.

Scientists and event organisers are available for interview throughout the week, read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Sydney Science Festival highlights include:

  • Life on Mars at the Sydney Opera House, with NASA scientists talking about the 2020 Rover Mission
  • The women who photographed stars and worked as ‘human computers’ over a century ago—US science writer Dava Sobel and her new book The Glass Universe
  • Mars One candidate Josh Richards launches his book Becoming Martian
  • How the chemistry of corpses solves crimes, with forensic scientist and Shari Forbes
  • The science of baking, DIY, a comedy quiz night, art/science activities, Dr Karl, and more…

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend more than 150 events across dozens of venues in Sydney, including the Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum, university campuses and local libraries. Festival details

Media enquiries: Matt Fraser, matt@cardinalspin.com.au, 02 8065 7363 or 0401 326 007. 

More about the event highlights

Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern and Wagga Wagga

What can Aboriginal astronomy tell us about the night sky? How is our native flora used in bush medicine? What can we learn about sustainable living from 40,000+ years of Indigenous culture?

The Indigenous Science Experience @ Redfern is a celebration of Indigenous and Western science, and Indigenous youth and Elder achievements.

Wagga Wagga Mon 14 August Event details

Redfern Schools Days: Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 August  Event details

Redfern Family Science Fun Day: Sunday 20 August Event details


Worms & Honey — Unlikely Heroes – Ultimo, NSW

Could worms be the answer to halting Multiple Sclerosis? Could honey be the answer to antibiotic resistance? This double feature explores these unlikely heroes.

Meet Sheila Donnelly, the parasitologist who thinks that parasitic worms may be able to help stop the progression of MS.

And meet microbiologist, Nural Cokcetin, who  is working on alternatives for treating antibiotic resistant skin infections. She thinks Australian honey could be a a medicinal powerhouse.

Tue 15 August Event details

Media enquiries: Nicole Tuohy, nicole.tuohy@uts.edu.au or 02 9514 1777, 0419 222 329


Greenhouse Effect or Madhouse Effect? – Sydney Opera House, NSW

Paris got Trumped. Abbott axed the tax. What is stopping action on climate change, despite mountains of evidence of the reality of global warming?

The Madhouse Effect event brings together noted US climatologist Michael E. Mann, psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and activist Anna Rose to look at these complex questions from a range of perspectives and to share their suggestions for how to break the stalemate.

Wed 16 August Event details

Media contact:  Liza Cassidy, UNSW Media, 02 9385 3249, 0429 390 737, l.cassidy@unsw.edu.au


Botany Distilled – Sydney, NSW

You can tell by the enthusiasm in his Texan drawl that Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens horticulturalist Jimmy Turner loves his plants… and his gin.

Jimmy and a group of experts in their fields will explore the role plants play in the concoction of your favourite alcoholic beverages in this night dedicated to the process of turning plants into alcohol.

Meet local makers, taste their products and learn the science behind the creation of wine, beer and gin.

Thu 17 August Event details

Media enquiries: Vanessa Barratt, vanessa.barratt@bgcp.nsw.gov.au, 0450 018 752 or 02 9231 8176


Chemistry: Saving Lives and Creating Jobs – Macquarie University, NSW

Margaret Brimble has raided nature’s medicine chest to create treatments for many diseases. With 500 articles, 30 patents, and a string of successful commercialisations, she has shown how medicinal chemistry can transform lives and reap economic returns.

At the lecture Margaret will reveal how to build bridges from the chemistry lab to the clinic and to industry.

Thu 17 August Event details

Media enquiries: Kevin Rhodes, kevin.rhodes@mq.edu.au or 0448 037 266


Face-to-Face with Dinosaurs at Gondwana Garden – Mount Tomah, NSW

Algae, Fungi, Liverworts, ERTH, kids activities, AusMus. Take a trip back to Gondwanan times at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah for a fantastic family day of hands-on science fun!

See Australian dinosaurs and megafauna come to life with our amazing new Augmented Reality app Jurassic Garden. Erth Dinosaurs will also be roaming the Garden during the day.

Sat 19 August Event details

Media enquiries: Vanessa Barratt, vanessa.barratt@bgcp.nsw.gov.au, 0431 747 708 or 02 9231 8176


Sporty Science at The Innovation Games – Sydney Olympic Park, NSW

Can you kick physics out of a footy? How fast can you run in the NRL sprint test? How far can you throw a spear? Or a boomerang?

The Innovation Games is a free family fun day full of hands-on sporting, science and technology action at the town centre of Sydney Olympic Park.

Activities include a visit from Dr Karl, a solar car display, and a decathlon of fast-paced challenges including: cutting edge cook-offs, Lego building, farming face-offs (cow milking anyone?), solar sprints, boomerang battles and unique tests of sporting performance.

Sun 20 August Event details

Media enquiries: Susan Darwiche, susand@vervepr.com.au, 0414 706 704; Tori McPherson, torim@vervepr.com.au, 02 8004 3462


Fire and flora at the Illawarra Festival of Flame

This one-day event will explore the Illawarra’s Flame Tree, the science of fire and its influence on the local habitats.

Local scientists and gardening personalities including ABC’s John Gabrielle have been invited to speak about the importance of the Flame Tree in our local ecology and its importance to first nation people.

Michael Connor form the Discovery Centre at the Wollongong Botanic Gardens will be helping people propagate a Flame Tree from seed and the Fireready team will be on hand to talk about how residents can prepare their homes to be ready for bushfire. Drones flying above the rainforest will help map the flame trees near the scout camp.

Sunday 20 August Event details