Looking for the next young Attenborough, energy innovation, and what would you save from extinction?

Media releases, National Science Week

Environment and energy highlights from Science Week: 13-21 August

Monday 15 August 2016

  • The search for the next young David Attenborough – South Brisbane, QLD
  • What’s next for renewables? Explore the CSIRO Energy Centre – Newcastle, NSW
  • What’s happening down south and why should we care? – Hobart and Launceston, TAS
  • Are plant barcodes the future of conservation? – Kings Park, WA
  • Which ten species would you save from extinction? – Sydney, NSW
  • Solar innovation for the harsh Aussie environment – Darwin, NT
  • Corals and tree rings tell tales of our past climates – East Maitland, NSW
  • The Big Climate Trivia Night – Civic, ACT
  • Levee tour: see a city’s flood defences – Wagga Wagga, NSW

… and there’s more on each below.

Find more National Science Week events online at www.scienceweek.net.au 

The search for the next young David Attenborough – South Brisbane, QLD

The hunt is on for the next young, natural history film maker. The Queensland Museum Natural Leaders Competition is open to Year 7-9 students, who can enter by making a two-minute video about their local biodiversity.

Queensland Museum is offering an exclusive opportunity to help students prepare their submissions to the Natural Leaders Competition. This free workshop discusses biodiversity, and provides research, storyboarding and presentation tips for students.

Prizes include a GoPro camera and behind-the-scenes experiences with the Queensland Museum scientists. Entries are now open – submissions close 3 October 2016.

Mon 15, Thurs 18 and Fri 19 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Marissa McNamara, marissa.mcnamara@qm.qld.gov.au or 07 3840 7642

What’s next for renewables? Explore the CSIRO Energy Centre – Newcastle, NSW

1 Discover the cutting edge research happening in our backyard as you explore CSIRO’s Energy Centre. Researchers will take you on a guided tour through the centre, which focuses on solar field and energy research.

The guided tour takes approximately one hour and is focused toward increasing local teachers’ awareness of energy technology and research. All public welcome.

Tues 16 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Sarah Pilgrim, hsh@newcastle.edu.au or 02 4921 5071

What’s happening down south and why should we care? – Hobart, Launceston, TAS

Find out from a water and sea ice expert, a biologist, and an ice sheet expert what’s going on with the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and what this means for Tasmania and beyond in public lectures to be held in Hobart and Launceston. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with the audience and will be streamed live online.

Experts from diverse backgrounds speaking for 15 minutes on the topic of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, and a 40-minute panel discussion with the audience. The speakers include Professor Matt King, Dr Delphine Lannuzel, and Dr Mary-Anne Lea, with Dr Guy Williams as master of ceremonies.

Hobart: Tuesday 16 August Event details

Launceston: Wednesday 17 August Event details

Enquiries: Andrew Marshall, andrew.marshall@bom.gov.au or 03 6221 2086

Are plant barcodes the future of conservation? – Kings Park, WA

Dr Ellen Jorgensen will present a fascinating science seminar about her challenge to barcode native plant species in a remote area of Alaska for their future conservation.

Dr Jorgensen is visiting from New York, where she is co-founder of Genspace – the world’s first community laboratory and a highly innovative organisation dedicated to promoting citizen science and biotechnology.

With a PhD in molecular biology and a 30-year career in the biotech industry, Dr Jorgensen has a passion for increasing science literacy, particularly in molecular and synthetic biology. She is an acclaimed mentor, speaker and scientist. Her TED Talk ‘Biohacking – you can do it, too’ has had more than a million views.

Tues 16 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Rebecca Maddern, rsvp@bgpa.wa.gov.au or 08 9480 3684, 0405 661 737

Which ten species would you save from extinction? – Sydney, NSW

2 Join us at the Australian Museum for a special screening of the documentary ‘Attenborough’s Ark’. Part of the award-winning BBC series Natural World, in this episode Sir David Attenborough chooses the ten species he would most like to save from extinction. He picks weird and wonderful creatures, including the olm, the solenodon and the quoll. He illustrates their importance and shares the ingenious work of biologists from across the world who are helping to keep these species alive.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session. Panellists will include five of the top experts in threatened species. They will discuss the ten species they’d most like to save over the next 100 years and the on-ground management activities of scientists, government and community groups striving to make species survival a reality.

Panellists include Prof David Keith of NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and University of New South Wales, Dr Brendan Wintle from University of Melbourne, and Dr Rebecca Johnson of the Australian Museum.

Tues 16 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Australian Museum, see@austmus.gov.au or 02 9320 6389

Solar innovation for the harsh Aussie environment – Darwin, NT

A leading Australian solar development company will provide some insight into how they develop new solar energy equipment designed and built specifically for Australia’s harsh environment, not only in an urban landscape but also for remote areas where being robust is a priority

Wed 17 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Jade Leask, j.leask@darwin.nt.gov.au or 08 8930 0629

Corals and tree rings tell tales of our past climates – East Maitland, NSW

Guest speaker Dr Janece McDonald will introduce the use of natural archives – such as ice cores, corals, tree rings, and speleothems or secondary cave deposits – as recorders of what our past climates and environments looked like.

Janece is a Conjoint fellow in Earth Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Her studies and research centred on the use of geochemical proxies such as trace elements and stable isotopes in cave dripwaters and speleothems as proxies of past climate.

Thurs 18 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Alan Lowson, alanlowson@bigpond.com or 0429 332 381

The Big Climate Trivia Night – Civic, ACT

What do you know about climate and climate change? Come along and test your brain at this climate-themed trivia night, with experts Dr Sophie Lewis, Dr Anna MacDonald and Prof Kate Auty asking the hard questions.

Fri 19 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Anne-Sophie Dielen, annesophie.dielen@gmail.com or 0468 633 954

Levee tour: see a city’s flood defences – Wagga Wagga, NSW

3 Wagga is protected by a vast network of walls, gates, channels and tunnels that protect the city during floods and storms. But levees keep water in just as well as they keep water out, which presents challenges for city engineers. During a flood, how do you let the stormwater out without letting the raging river in?

Find out by heading along on a tour of the city’s levees, kicking off at the Museum’s Historic Council Chambers site.

Sat 20 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Tim Kurylowicz, kurylowicz.tim@wagga.nsw.gov.au or 0403 878 442

About National Science Week

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw a staggering 1.3 million people participate in over 1,500 events and activities.

In 2016, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from astronomy at Uluru to a science film night in the Antarctic—with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and sponsors Cosmos, Discovery Science, NewScientist and Popular Science.

National Science Week 2016 will run from 13 – 21 August. Event details can be found at www.scienceweek.net.au

National Science Week general media enquiries:

Tanya Ha – tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863