Whisky science, daleks, disaster art, and Indigenous songs of the night sky

Media releases, National Science Week

Launch today 11.30am at the Kingston Transport Depot, plus 125+ Science Week events around ACT:

  • Who will win the ACT Scientist of the Year?
  • How will climate change affect whisky?
  • Indigenous knowedge can help with urban planning, saving species and fighting climate change—find out how
  • Canberra’s critters, daleks, science careers and knitting for brain health at Science in ACTion
  • Meet the UK actor bringing dead scientists (Einstein and Curie) to life on stage
  • Moving climates: theatre, dance and digital art that deals with the data of disaster
  • Music meets Indigenous astronomy, exploring the Southern night sky
  • Girl guides meet women in science
  • Help build a better picture of the Great Barrier Reef’s health, without getting your feet wet.

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

ACT’s National Science Week launch—11.30am Friday 10 August

Who will be the ACT’s Scientist of the Year? Find out at Science in ACTion’s schools day with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, daleks and school children.

Where: The former Transport Depot, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, ACT. Event details

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

About National Science Week

National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw 1.2 million people participate in more than 2,100 events and activities.

In 2018, National Science Week celebrates its 21st birthday, with events held throughout Australia—from Corals in the Outback in western Queensland to TAStroFest astronomy in the Apple Isle, and from STEM meets dance in Perth to The Innovation Games at Sydney Olympic Park—with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

National Science Week 2018 will run from 11 to 19 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au, public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.

National Science Week in ACT: event highlights

Knitted neurons, science careers, Canberra’s critters, and more at Science in ACTion—Kingston

Science in ACTion brings science from the wildlife sanctuary of Mulligans Flat and the outer reaches of the Milky Way to the heart of Canberra. More than 50 organisations have science stalls and activities under one roof.

Join Nix & Nellie the Cheeky Neurons at Science in ACTion to create your own cheeky character while chatting about brains, neurons and neurological disorders like epilepsy.

Learn about the future of ecosystems, technology, medicine and the Earth. Discover how geologists and archaeologists uncover stories from the past.

What could you see through a telescope looking out into the Milky Way, or by peering down a microscope?

Meet scientists and conservationists who help to protect iconic plants and Canberra’s local loveable critters, and learn how renewable energies can protect the Earth’s climate.

Schools Day: Friday 10 August Event details

Community Day: Saturday 11 August Event details

Media contacts: Rebecca Kaye, rebeccajane.kaye@gmail.com 0432 611 144

Whisky business at Questacon

Whisky: It’s made from grains, gets old in a barrel, and has travelled to space and back.

Questacon’s whisky enthusiasts are back with the ever popular Whisky Business. Using drams from around the world they will be exploring the science of whisky. How does the smokiness of whisky relate to climate change? What will happen to whisky when combined with liquid nitrogen? What has Bog Man got to do with any of it? Through comparing and contrasting, science will be closely examined through the bottom of the whisky glass.

Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 August Event details

Media enquiries: Amelia Coman, info@questacon.edu.au or 02 6270 2800

Indigenous science lessons for climate change, marine management, urban planning and saving threatened species—Questacon

Indigenous researchers and advisors of the National Environmental Science Program are coming to Questacon in Canberra for a conversation on Indigenous scientific knowledge and practice.

Speakers will present approaches to incorporating Indigenous knowledge and values into climate science, biodiversity, threatened species recovery, urban planning, land use and freshwater and marine ecology.

Wednesday 15 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Cathy Oke, cathy.oke@unimelb.edu.au or 03 8344 7727

UK actor brings dead scientists (Einstein and Curie) to life on stage

“If at first you don’t succeed, pretend,” says acclaimed science theatre writer/performer John Hinton, who has made a career out of his interest in science, story-telling and singing.

Two of his three Tangram Theatre Company ‘Scientrilogy’ shows are returning to Australia for National Science Week, after successful UK shows, and a sell-out award-winning season at the Adelaide Fringe festival.

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking tells the story of the eccentric theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, accompanied by his two wives and mum on the piano, and by guest rapper MC Squared. The show quantum leaps through two world wars, two theories of relativity, and the deployment of two very big bombs.

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 August Event details

The Element in the Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy about the Death and Life of Marie Curie tells the story of the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and whose work continues to affect our lives today.

Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 August Event details

Media contacts: Michelle Cooper, michelle.cooper@cbrin.com.au or 0420 507 374

Moving Climates—Braddon, ACT

How does it feel to spend your working life dealing with the data of disaster? How does it change you? And how do others perceive you?

Moving Climates is a public showing of a performance in development in which an actor, a dancer, a digital artist and a composer explore these questions, responding to interviews with climate scientists.

This creative development is a chance to see a work in progress, give feedback to the artists on how the work might develop, and discuss the issues it raises.

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 August Event details

Media enquiries: Robin Davidson, robin@rebustheatre.com or 0415 464 202

Greenlight for Girls Day—ACT

160 girls aged 10 to 16 from the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding area will get together with more than 40 science sector role models for fun demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and even a bit of personalised lab-coat decorating.

Greenlight for Girls (g4g) is an international initiative to inspire girls to pursue their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The girls who take part in the g4g workshops will do activities that demonstrate the links between science and everyday life. In the process, they’ll meet fellow science-enthusiasts their own age from different schools and backgrounds, build their confidence, and hear stories from women in science role models.

Saturday 18 August Event details

Media contacts: Michelle Kothe, g4g@girlguidesact-sensw.org.au or 0422 513 001

Southern Skies: one sky, many stories—Belconnen

What do the stars mean to you? Explore Australia’s night skies through music, astronomy and Indigenous science.

The Griffyn Ensemble—bringing together director Michael Sollis, Indigenous song writer Warren H Williams, and Astronomer Fred Watson—has been collecting stories and exploring Western and Indigenous Astronomy through the medium of music.

This collaboration began with The Griffyn Ensemble’s Southern Sky—a piece of music written by Estonian composer Urmas Sisask tracing the constellations that can be seen from Australia. The project recently travelled to Tennant Creek, where community members contributed their own stories, played to a soundtrack of songs written by Warren.

The result is One Sky, Many Stories, reworking Southern Sky alongside the new songs and stories. These performances bring together Western and Indigenous understandings of the night sky, told through music and the spoken word.

Saturday 18 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Michael Sollis, sollis@tpg.com.au or 0411 113 769

Virtual Reef Diver: dive into your computer screen to help scientists—national

Dive online to help the Great Barrier Reef this Science Week—and you could win a GoPro camera!

The ABC’s citizen science project Virtual Reef Diver is celebrating the International Year of the Reef, inviting people to dive through their computer screens into the Great Barrier Reef.

They will review and classify underwater images of the Reef to help scientists identify areas of sand, coral and algae to help build a better picture of coral cover. This work will allow scientists and reef managers to make critical decisions to ensure that the Reef has a future.

The project has been developed by the Queensland University of Technology, in collaboration with a host of scientific and community organisations.

Monday 6 to Friday 31 August. www.virtualreef.org.au

Several researchers, divers and science communicators are available for interviews.

Media enquiries: Suzannah Lyons, suzannah@scienceinpublic.com.au, 03 9398 1416 or 0409 689 543.