Floral fragrances; future medicine; and science, fear and Facebook

Media releases, National Science Week

Lifestyle stories from National Science Week

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview and photo opportunities around the country.

  • Are you a human or an ecosystem? What can we learn from ancient DNA? – Adelaide, SA
  • Risky business or worried well? The science of why and what we fear – Melbourne, VIC
  • 2084: How future medicine will create a happier world – University of Sydney, NSW
  • Meet the Mars Lab’s rovers and step inside the Large Hadron Collider – Ultimo, NSW
  • Make your own perfume and fabric dye with flowers – Hopetoun, WA
  • So you think you can science? Vote for your favourite science staff video – National

… and there’s more on each below.

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

Are the bacteria in our bodies controlling us? – Adelaide, SA

The human body contains more bacterial cells than human ones. So what does it mean to be human? And what can we learn from Neanderthals?

Using a mixture of ancient DNA and modern medicine, Dr Laura Weyrich from the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA will discuss how many of our daily activities are actually performed and governed by the trillions of microorganisms that live within us, and how information from ancient bacteria impacts on medical research today.

Tues 16 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Kristy Tucker, programs@samuseum.sa.gov.au or 08 8207 7575

Risky business or worried well? The science of fact and fear – Melbourne, VIC

11 Why are we more scared of flying than driving, despite the road toll? Why do we drink wine while questioning soy milk? And why does every health story seem to feature a food that might either kill you or cure you?

Join us with host Tanya Ha and our panel of experts in health and environmental risk, communication, and media, as we navigate some of the common difficulties and help sort the facts from the fiction to find the information we need to make informed choices.

Featuring panellists:

  • Dr Victor Kabay – health risk advisor, EPA Victoria
  • Professor Linda Brennan – School of Media and Communication, RMIT University
  • Dr Libby Rumpff – School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
  • Andrew Masterson – author and journalist

Tuesday 16 August Event details

Enquiries: Tom McPherson, tom.mcpherson@epa.vic.gov.au, 03 9695 2971 or 0472 802 229

2084: How future medicine will create a happier world – University of Sydney, NSW

22 Albert is born on 5 June 2084. At birth, a prick of blood is drawn for DNA sequencing of his genome and epigenome. The Wellness App diagnoses Albert’s long-term disease risks. After fecal matching, he is given an optimal colonisation from a donor.

For his first two years Albert is provided with careful environmental cues matching his DNA profile, ensuring optimal neuronal synapses in the brain for a happy and healthy life. The MedChip is implanted at six months to monitor sleep, food, activity and language. Data is uploaded to the Wellness App providing constant feedback about Albert’s best life options.

If we better understand how metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes take hold, can we prevent them from occuring in the first place? Join Professor David James from the Charles Perkins Centre at Sydney University to find out how metabolic systems biology could revolutionise our health by offering precision medicine.

Wed 17 Aug Event details

Enquiries: University of Sydney, sydney.forum@sydney.edu.au or 02 9351 5397

Meet the Mars Lab’s rovers and step inside the Large Hadron Collider – Ultimo, NSW

33 Use your hands to discover more about the Large Hadron Collider’s four main detectors by building a micro model out of LEGO®, join our space guide on a mission to Mars, and meet the Mars Lab’s robotic rovers: Mawson, Continuum and MAMMOTH. See these impressive robots in action on the Museum’s Mars Yard – a re-creation of the Martian surface – and find out how robots are used in space exploration.

And step inside the largest scientific experiment ever constructed – CERN’s Large Hadron Collider – in an immersive exhibition from London’s Science Museum.

The Powerhouse Museum will buzz with science action on the last day of the Sydney Science Festival. Featuring interactive science shows from Fizzics Education introducing the wonders of particle physics, there will be things to do and see that will spark scientific curiosity in all members of the family, young and old.

Sun 21 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Sydney Science Festival, book@maas.museum or 02 9217 0222

Make your own perfume and fabric dye with flowers – Hopetoun, WA

44 There’s more to flowers than a pretty addition to your home. Head down to the Hopetoun Community Resource Centre for a workshops on making your own perfume from different flowers, and dyeing fabric and paper using a flower and a hammer.

Perfume workshop: Tues 16 Aug Event details

Flowers to dye fabric: Thurs 18 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Tina Harris, hopetoun@crc.net.au or 08 9838 3062

So you think you can science? Vote for your favourite ‘On the Job’ video – National

Australia’s world-class scientific track record would not be possible without the technical and support staff who keep science moving. So the Australian Academy of Science and Australia’s Science Channel (RiAus) want you to meet the science support staff – the people who slice the specimens, run the machines, collect the data, grow the crops, sterilise the equipment, mix the chemicals, and communicate the science.

These are the finalists

  • Peter Thomas-Hall—a lab chemist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Vanessa Mollard—runs Australia’s first malaria life cycle facility, at the University of Melbourne
  • Patricia Gadd—runs the micro X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) scanning facility at ANSTO
  • Madeleine Flynn—a medical and scientific illustrator and graphic designer at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Duane Chapman—a roof plumber by trade, Duane is the fix it man at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
  • Nardia Bordas—a lab technician at Edith Cowan University
  • Matthew Bell—a resident techy at ANSTO since he was 16.

See their videos and vote for your favourite.

Enquiries: Dion Pretorius, dion.pretorius@science.org.au or 0418 281 777

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 call 0404 083 863