Bull shark bandits, butterfly-inspired tech, satirical science music, and bloody school science classes

Dozens of Science Week stories around Queensland

  • Street Science on the farm at the Ekka.
  • TV presenter Dr Rob Bell shares bloody science with Aussie kids in 200 schools nationwide.
  • A science fair for sick kids in The Children’s Hospital.
  • Satirical science music ‘Road to Reason’: album launch at Planetarium.
  • Meet human and marine stars of National Geographic’s SHARKFEST and Bull Shark Bandits – Currumbin.
  • How butterflies inspire technology – Kuranda.
  • A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter – touring Queensland.
  • Kooo-koo-kaa-kaa, croak, screeee… What is Australia’s favourite animal sound?

More on these highlights below.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week.

Read on for direct contact details for each event, or contact Tanya Ha – tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863.

Visit ScienceWeek.net.au/events to find more stories in your area.

Media centre here. Images for media here.

Street Science on the farm at the Ekka – Bowen Hills, QLD

Street Science presenters share the science behind agriculture through exciting visual demonstrations. Discover the unexpected potential for produce like seaweed and corn in revolutionising our everyday lives.

Fun and interactive demonstrations will have any young scientist engaged before exploring how innovations in agriculture are shaping the future sustainability of our planet.

Saturday 12 – Sunday 20 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/street-science-education-stage-at-the-ekka/bowen-hills/

Media enquiries: Dr Anita Milroy, a.milroy@uq.edu.au or 07 3365 2846

TV presenter Dr Rob Bell promises Aussie kids a ‘bloody good time’ – 200 schools Australia-wide

Why do some animals have blue blood? Why does a skinned knee get scabby? How many colours can a bruise really turn?

To answer these questions (and more) Dr Rob Bell, former presenter of science show Scope, has teamed up with the Red Cross to have a bloody good time this Science Week. More than 200 primary schools have signed up to the Big Bloody Experiment, which is part science experiment and part special-effects workshop. The blood will be fake, but the facts are real!

Saturday 12 – Friday 18 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/the-big-bloody-experiment/

Media enquiries: Dr Rob Bell, rob@experimentary.com.au or 0438 387 019.

Dr Rob Bell is available for media interviews.

Queensland Children’s Hospital STEM Fair: bringing science to sick kids – South Brisbane

The Queensland Children’s Hospital STEM Fair brings National Science Week to patients, students, their siblings and parents. Featuring:

Thursday 17 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/queensland-childrens-hospital-stem-fair/south-brisbane/

Media enquiries: Dr Anita Milroy, a.milroy@uq.edu.au or 07 3365 2846

Satirical science music ‘Road to Reason’: album launch at Planetarium – Toowong

Songwriter and Science Communicator Nathan Eggins (aka Conspiracy of One) is bringing his signature sciency music to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

Nathan’s pop-rock-funk music explores scientific and psychological concepts while highlighting and satirising many forms of pseudoscience, misinformation and cognitive biases.

Nathan and his band will share songs from his new album ‘Road to Reason’, along with fan favourite science songs like ‘We’re All Aliens, Baby’ and ‘The Sound a Duck Makes’.

Hear eclectic and thought-provoking music while seeing the cosmos via the Skydome.

Sunday 20 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/planetarium-concert-live-music-in-the-skydome/toowong

Media enquiries: Nathan Eggins, nathan@sentientproductions.com.au or 0402 593 431.

Meet human and marine stars of National Geographic’s SHARKFEST and Bull Shark Bandits – Currumbin

Sharks are solitary so how do scientists track their family trees? Why are jellyfish blue? And why do they sting?

What do marine animals find toxic? How and why do whale songs change? How do First Nations peple understand and protect the marine environment?

A dozen marine scientists are on hand to share their knowledge and answer questions, including shark ecologists Dr Johan Gustafson and Dr Mariel Familiar Lopez who feature in the National Geographic documentaries SHARKFEST and Bull Shark Bandits.

Live presentations by researchers. And the chance to see live jellies under the microscope, touch the skin and teeth of sharks, and hear whale songs sung along the Gold Coast.

Sunday 20 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/into-the-depths-of-the-fascinating-world-of-whales-sharks-and-jellyfish-2/currumbin

Media enquiries: Mariel Familiar Lopez, m.familiarlopez@griffith.edu.au.

Dr Johan Gustafson and Dr Mariel Familiar Lopez are available for media interviews.

A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter – Brisbane, Emerald & touring regional schools in Queensland

The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip brings quantum and dark matter experts to pubs and schools in cities and towns around Australia, and travelling around Queensland from 21 – 25 August.

Dark matter accounts for 84 per cent of all the matter in the Universe… but we don’t yet know what it is. Australia is a key player in the quest to find out.

Quantum technologies are crucial in the hunt for dark matter, and they’re already used in smart phones and cars, medical imaging, manufacturing, and navigation. But today’s technologies capture only a small fraction of the potential of quantum physics.

Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Fleur Morrison, fleur.morrison@unimelb.edu.au or 0421 118 233.

Multiple experts involved with different legs of the tour are available for media interviews.

How butterflies inspire technology – Kuranda

Butterflies are efficient, self-cleaning flying machines. Which is why scientists and engineers study them.

The study of butterfly wings has led to the development of more efficient aerospace technology, while their eye structure has inspired the creation of high-resolution cameras. Lepidoptera has also contributed to the development of biomimicry and biotechnology, with applications in self-cleaning materials and tissue engineering respectively.

Find out about the technology based on butterflies and moths at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the largest butterfly aviary in the Southern Hemisphere.

Saturday 12 – Saturday 19 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/lepidoptera-and-technology/kuranda

Media enquiries: Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, manager@australianbutterflies.com or 07 4093 7575.

What is Australia’s favourite animal sound?

Do you love the summer night sounds of cicadas? Are you intrigued by the lyrebird’s mimicry or the mating croaks of frisky frogs?

The search is on to find our most-loved Aussie animal sound. This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online to eavesdrop on the animal kingdom, explore the wonder and science of bioacoustics, and vote for their favourite call of the wild.

Twenty-eight different animal sounds have been selected by ABC’s resident nature-lovers in consultation with scientists so that people can get to know our local tweets, howls, bellows, barks, chirps, croaks and calls, and vote for their favourites.

Monday 31 July – Friday 18 August: www.abc.net.au/sounds.

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, laura@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 166 426.

About National Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual opportunity to meet scientists, discuss hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society – from art to astrophysics, chemistry to climate change, and forensics to future food.

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year about 1.9 million people participated in more than 1,650 events and activities. 

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, and the ABC.

In 2023 it runs from Saturday 12 to Sunday 20 August. Event details can be found at www.scienceweek.net.au.