NT: Beer science, satellite selfies, and growing a hemp industry

Media releases, National Science Week

Great National Science Week stories and talent up for grabs around the Territory, including:

  • Growing hemp in the Territory
  • Will the climate get hotting in the Red Centre?
  • Your selfie from space
  • Can you brew a decent beer using a wild yeast caught from a backyard in Darwin?
  • Will the Territory be the centre of Australia’s new space race?
  • Can you save a cartoon character from being plunged into a vat of acid?—Darwin
  • Become a Carbon Counter and join the challenge cut our contribution to climate change.

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

Individual event details and media contacts

desertSMART EcoFair – Alice Springs, NT

Bush medicine, hemp, and how global warming is affecting remote communities in the Red Centre are among the highlights of the 2020 desertSMART EcoFair, running between August 7 and 9.

The festival is Central Australia’s premiere science and sustainability event. It will focus on the International Year of Plant Health, with desert scientists, Indigenous educators, renewable energy professionals and health experts all taking to the stage. The program also includes an ABC Radio outside broadcast featuring the Great Science Quiz, documentary screenings, and the Eco-Science Schools Day. Several events will invite limited live audiences, and be broadcast online.

Program highlights include:

More information at www.ecofair.org.au

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 August. Event details

Satellite selfies in the territories

You can be part of a selfie from space. A satellite will fly over Australia’s two mainland territories – the ACT and NT – to capture images of giant artworks created by the locals.

Participating schools, businesses, families and individuals can go to an oval, park or backyard and put together designs, posters or logos that are big enough to be seen from orbit. The satellite will capture the results and upload them to a website for viewing.

High-altitude photos will be taken over Canberra, Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and a dozen other northern towns.

Monday 17 – Friday 21 August. Event details

Nothern Territory locations: Darwin and Palmerston, Pine Creek, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Jilkmingan, Mataranka, Barunga, Beswick, Manyallaluk, Jabiru, Gunbalanya, Batchelor, Adelaide River, Ramingining, and Ngukurr.

At yeast there’ll be beer—Darwin, NT

Without yeast, beer would just be bitter, sugary water. This talk is all about what different yeasts do, where they come from and the perils of trying to make beer with a wild yeast we captured in a Darwin backyard.

Afterwards, there will be tastings of the same beer made with different yeasts, including a truly local Darwin brew.

Saturday 15 August. Event details

Aerospace in the Northern Territory

Will the Territory be the centre of Australia’s new space race? In this webinar, three experts working in the NT aerospace industry reveal how they use physics, biology, chemistry, electronics, mathematics and more in their working life.

  • Equatorial Launch Australia CEO Carley Scott will talk about the Arnhem Space Centre and the future of launch operations in Australia.
  • Dr Rebecca Murray from the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance will talk about using 3D metal printing to develop real world applications. She is part of a team assisting the global response to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Physicist Dr Stefan Maier from Maitec will talk about developing, implementing and operating remote sensing systems for environmental monitoring, including tracking bushfires.

The event will include a Q&A session, and is ideal for schools, students and anyone with an interest in aerospace.

Tuesday 18 August. Event details

Avoidable Perils – Darwin Festival

A tank full of sharks, a deadly laser beam, a vat of acid – each night of the Darwin Festival, a feed of cartoon heroes in danger will be beamed outside to an audience of bystanders in Festival Park for ‘Avoidable Perils’,  a social experiment exploring activism and the need for social cooperation towards a greater good.

Audience members can be part of the solution, but no one can do it alone. If witnesses can rally enough people to participate in time, the hero can be saved. The question is, can anyone be bothered?

This interactive game for the masses explores activism in the attention economy and the need for social cooperation towards a greater good. These ideas are particularly poignant during the COVID-19 pandemic, where individual choices have an impact on our collective wellbeing.

Thursday 6 – Sunday 16 August. Event details

Artist Nathan Sibthorpe is available for interviews.

Carbon Counter: cut your contribution to climate change—online

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.

Visit: www.abc.net.au/carboncounter.

Researchers and science communicators available for interviews.

Media enquiries: Andrew Masterson, andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au, 03 9398 1416 or 0488 777 179

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 www.scienceinpublic.com.au, public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.