This year’s National Science Week runs from 12 to 20 August, with thousands of events.
National launch with Minister at Parliament House: Wednesday 9 August.
Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview leading up to and throughout National Science Week. Here are some highlights:
- National: 92% of Australians want business to take action to defend science – 3M State of Science Index 2023 results reveal what we think of science.
- Canberra: What gets you excited about the future of Aussie science? The official launch of National Science Week at Parliament House.
- Canberra:First Nations food and medicine in the National Museum’s garden.
- Sydney: An Aussie astronaut, art therapy, deep sea science, space junk and Sky Country.
- Hobart: Taste the science of experimental beers with three independent breweries and two thirsty scientists.
- Melbourne: DARK MATTERS exhibition – can art make the invisible universe visible?
- Brisbane: A science fair for sick kids in The Children’s Hospital.
- Adelaide: Plants in space and the Botanic Gardens, Ngarrindjeri weaving, Indigital augmented reality, and more at a First Nations science festival.
- Perth: Finding aliens, love, energy, innovation, and the bottom of the ocean at The Anti-conference.
- Darwin: Paint with a UV torch at ‘Sea of Light’, a light installation at MAGNT.
- National: A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter.
More on these highlights below.
National Science Week began in 1997 and 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.
Visit ScienceWeek.net.au/events to find stories in your area using the events listings.
Direct contact details for each event are below or contact Tanya Ha on email@example.com or 0404 083 863.
Individual event details and media contacts
Launch of National Science Week 2023: Exploring the future of Australian science – Parliament House, ACT
On Wednesday 9 August Science & Technology Australia, in partnership with Questacon and The Australian National University, will host the official launch of National Science Week in Parliament House with a series of two-minute lightning talks. Prominent Australians will share, ‘What excited me most about the future of Australian science.’
- The Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Industry and Science
- The Hon Richard Marles MP, Deputy Prime Minister and co-founder of Parliamentary Friends of Science
- The Hon Karen Andrews MP, co-founder of Parliamentary Friends of Science
- Jo White, Director of Questacon
- Senator David Shoebridge, Greens science spokesperson
- Jas Chambers, chair and co-founder of Ocean Decade Australia
- Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency
- The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Shadow Minister for Science
- Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director, Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, President STA
This event will also include the release of data from the 3M State of Science Index, which annually measures public attitudes to science:
- 93% of Australians believe positive outcomes can be achieved if people stand up for and defend science. 92% want business to take action to defend science.
- 92% of Australians say STEM professionals can help us solve the problems of tomorrow.
- 88% of Australians see the connection between science and its role in improving their life.
Wednesday 9 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/launch-of-national-science-week-2023/capital-hill/
More information: scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au
- Martyn Pearce, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0432 606 828
- Charlotte Hartley-Wilson, ElevenPR: 0424 855 835
Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert and Managing Director of 3M Australia Eleni Sideridis are available for media interviews.
First Nations food and medicine with Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp – Acton, ACT
What Australian plants are good to eat and useful as medicine? Ask the people who have used them for thousands of years. And see, smell and touch some of the plants at the National Museum’s Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden, a living museum of First Nations food and medicine plants from across Australia.
Yurbay (‘You-ra-bi’) is the Wiradjuri word for seed. Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp of Yurbay Consultancies shares his knowledge of the food and medicine plants that grow in ACT in a series of tours that with the opportunity to sample some of the flavours found in the Kennedy Garden and around Canberra.
Friday 11 – Saturday 12 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/tasting-australia-with-adam-shipp/acton/
Adam Shipp is available for media interviews.
An Aussie astronaut, art therapy, deep sea science, space junk and Sky Country – Sydney Science Festival is back
- Dr Meganne Christian, a European Space Agency reserve astronaut.
- Dr Nicole Yamase on ocean conservation.
- Atmospheric Memory by Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer – interact with artworks in an immersive exhibition filled with light, sound and projections that make the atmosphere tangible.
- Country and Sky: Australian space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman (‘Dr Space Junk’) and Gamilaraay astrophysicist Karlie Noon on the connection between astronomy and cultural heritage, and the future of Australians in space.
- Ove Hoegh-Guldberg in conversation with Nate Byrne.
- Cell therapy: engineering immune cells to treat cancer.
- Art therapy and the brain: hear from scientists and artists.
Hear from compelling speakers on science’s hot topics. Sydney Science Festival is back with events in multiple locations around Sydney and online.
Friday 11 – Saturday 20 August. Multiple events and locations.
Media enquiries: Siân Davies, email@example.com, 0402 728 462; or Sasha Haughan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0405 006 035
Most speakers are available for media interviews.
Atmospheric Memory image library.
Experimenting with beer – Hobart & online
Three Australian breweries will craft both a control and an experimental beer. These beers will be exactly the same except for one experimental difference, which will highlight the incredible sensory shifts that science can have on beer.
Hear about the science and taste the difference with beer-loving scientists Kelsey Picard and Matthew Fielding.
Audience members can join the live event in Hobart or join watch parties across Australia as they delve into the science of brewing. Science and beer nerds from across Australia can also pre-order the beers to enjoy at home while watching the event live-stream.
Thursday 17 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/exbeerimental-science-2023/hobart
Media enquiries: Matthew Fielding, email@example.com or 0417 167 618.
Kelsey Picard and Matthew Fielding are available for media interviews.
The art of dark matter – Carlton, VIC
Dark matter consists of a mysterious substance that does not present an interaction with electromagnetic forces, which means it does not absorb, reflect it, or emit light.
The DARK MATTERS exhibition explores the mysterious substance that makes up 85 per cent of the matter in the universe. It’s a collaboration between Science Gallery Melbourne, Arts at CERN and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics.
Through local and international experimental projects – some developed in conversation with scientists and researchers – explore life and all the dark matter that flows through it, under it and collides with it.
Wednesday 5 August – Thursday 30 November: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/dark-matters-2/carlton
Queensland Children’s Hospital STEM Fair: bringing science to sick kids – South Brisbane, QLD
The Queensland Children’s Hospital STEM Fair brings National Science Week to patients, students, their siblings and parents. Featuring:
- STEM Punks
- The Create Lab/Professor Tech
- Chinchilla sand megafauna palaeontology presented by PhD candidate Mr Vikram Viakil
- Sharkecology presented by Dr Marielle Familiar Lopez
Media enquiries: Dr Anita Milroy, firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 3365 2846
Payirri-Apinthirlu Naalityangka: the First Nations Science Festival – Adelaide
Explore Indigenous science through a series of events held in the heart of Adelaide.
Indigital AR Workshop: Hear a yarn on Country from a Knowledge Holder about the cultural ways of the Kaurna People. Work with Indigenous TechEd company Indigital to use Minecraft, Microsoft Paint 3D and Indigital’s voice recording software to turn the yarn into an augmented reality experience. Saturday 12 August.
Botanic Gardens Native Plant Trail: Tjimari Sanderson-Milera, founder of Kumarninthi Cultural Education, takes people into the Adelaide Botanic Gardens to learn how native plants are used in Aboriginal culture. Sunday 13 August.
Night Lab: In Our Element: Explore the four natural elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – in a night at the museum delving into the science and cultural significance these have for Aboriginal and other First Nations groups. Friday 18 August.
Native Plants on Earth and Beyond: Find out what the Australia’s First Scientists and Astronomers can teach us about growing plants on Earth and in space, at the Australian Space Discovery Centre. Saturday 19 August.
Ngarrindjeri Weaving Workshop: Learn about traditional textiles and technology through weaving with Aunty Ellen Trevorrow with support from Dr Janina Haines. Sunday 20 August.
Media enquiries: Alison Kershaw, Alison.Kershaw@samuseum.sa.gov.au or 0417 046 600.
Finding aliens, love, energy, innovation, and the bottom of the ocean at The Anti-conference – Perth, WA
- Exploring ocean depths with Paige Maroni, the deepest diving Australian woman.
- Is human hair the new fingerprint? Meet the people developing a new technique for human identification by analysing proteins in hair.
- Can the power of estimation in physics help finding alien life forms in the galaxy or romantic partners in a big city?
- Debating the best renewable energy sources.
- How a robot helped construct a part of Murdoch University’s newest building, Boola Katitjin.
- Marine tech exploring the private lives of mantra rays.
These are just some of the attractions planned for ‘The Anti-conference: Innovation, Inspiration, Intelligence’, along with workshops, quizzes, debates, food trucks and drinks. On at Perth Mess Hall and WA Museum Boola Bardip. Not your typical conference. Open to all.
Media enquiries: Imogen Winsborough, email@example.com or 0448 888 938.
Painting in a Sea of Light – The Gardens, NT
Sea of Light invites people to explore how light is produced and perceived. Using a UV torch as a paintbrush, participants can paint and stencil their own voyage or create bioluminescent animals in the Discovery Centre at MAGNT.
Children and families can steer ships that leave glowing paths of light in their wake as they sail across the sea floor or create a floor of fireflies that fade as time steals their lanterns.
Sea of Light brings together magical light and a gentle soundscape to create a unique adventure as part of Darwin Festival and National Science Week.
Tuesday 15 August – Sunday 20 August: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/sea-of-light/the-gardens
Media enquiries: Nicole Ogilvie, Nicole.Ogilvie@magnt.net.au or 08 8999 8264.
Dr Kirsti Abbott, Lucyna Kania and Dr Dan Edwards from the MAGNT science team are available for media interviews.
A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter – touring Australia’s cities and regions
The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip brings quantum and dark matter experts to pubs and schools in cities and towns around Australia, including Adelaide, Sydney, Eden, Albury, Perth, Wangaratta, Stawell, Melbourne, Mallacoota, Apollo Bay, Brisbane, cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Winton.
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.
Media enquiries: Fleur Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0421 118 233.
Multiple experts involved with different legs of the tour are available for media interviews, including UWA particle physicist Ben McAllister.