Where’s my jetpack; Antarctica goes Minecraft; the great prostate debate; and a man bound for Mars

Media releases, National Science Week

Tasmania launches National Science Week

Friday 14 August, 2.30 pm at the Festival of Bright Ideas Schools Day in Hobart

Tasmanians will asking what happened to the hoverboards and robots we were promised in ‘the futcha’, debating prostates, and the future of the West Coast.

There are around 200 National Science Week events across the state; these are just a few of the highlights:

… and there’s more on each below.

It all begins with the Festival of Bright Ideas at Princes Wharf 1 (PW1) in Hobart on Saturday, with the launch and a schools’ preview today. Find out whether our future involves robots and hoverboards at Future Crunch, if penguins should be worried about climate change, and explore Antarctica Minecraft style.  Event details.

Also at the Festival of Bright Ideas, meet the Young Tassie Scientists – a group of communicators who are travelling around the state talking to schools and the broader public. Jeremy Just will be taking an explosive look at the science of light and its impact on the human race, and Aimee Bliss is planning her next big trip ­– an expedition to Antarctica with 42 other female scientists from around the globe.  Event details.

What does the future hold for the marine flora and fauna on the West Coast? At the Bright Ideas Symposium, a panel of experts from the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Seafood Industries Council, and Young Tasmanian of the Year Adam Mostogl will discuss the future of the marine environment and industries, and what business and art can do for the West Coast’s future. Event details.

The symposium is just one small part of the Bright Ideas Festival on the West Coast, where you can also make a mini science film, or find out what it takes to become a citizen marine scientist. It’s on 21-22 August. Event details.

Chair of Tasmania’s National Science Week organising committee Jeannie-Marie LeRoi and Young Tassie Scientists will be available for media interviews

Contact: Jeannie-Marie LeRoi, jeanniemarie.leroi@utas.edu.au, 03 6226 7477 or 0418 562 635

Young Tassie Scientists contact: Sarah Bayne, Sarah.Bayne@utas.edu.au or 0419 472 539; or Adele Wilson, Adele.Wilson@utas.edu.au, 03 6226 2287

National Science Week general media enquiries:

Tanya Ha, tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0404 083 863

Meet the man on the shortlist for a one-way ticket to Mars Josh-Richards-300x226

Josh Richards has signed up to be one of the first humans to colonise Mars – despite the fact that it will be a one way ticket to outer space, scheduled to depart Earth as soon as 2020. He’s excited to share the story of space travel with the rest of us Earthlings, as part of the inaugural Festival of Bright Ideas in Hobart. Saturday 15 August, 10am Event details

Media enquiries: Luminous Events, admin@luminousevents.com.au, 03 6226 2716

Let’s debate your prostate, with Bernie Hobbs and experts – Hobart

Should all men aged 50-69 years should have annual prostate cancer screening with a PSA test?

Bernie Hobbs from ABC Science Online will moderate the debate between six experts on a topic that’s particularly important in light of the 3,300 Australian men that die from prostate cancer each year, and the 20,000 diagnoses annually.

The Menzies Director, Professor Tom Marwick, will host this light-hearted look at a serious subject. Thursday 20 August  Event details

Debating for the negative:

  • Professor Frank Bowden (Professor at the Australian National University Medical School and Staff Specialist at Canberra Hospital)
  • Dr Liesel Fitzgerald (Prostate cancer genetics researcher, Menzies Institute for Medical Research)
  • Professor Mark Nelson (Chair, Discipline of General Practice at the University of Tasmania, Senior Professorial Fellow at , Menzies, GP)

Debating for the affirmative:

  • Professor Paul Glaziou (Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Bond University and part-time GP)
  • Dr Michael Vaughan (Practising Urologist)
  • Penny Egan (CEO, Cancer Council Tasmania)

Media enquiries: Miranda Harman, email miranda.harman@utas.edu.au or 03 6226 7751, 0427 199 562

How good is your BS* detector? International guests Glow Girl and Sci Babe in Hobart

International pseudoscience busters Glow Girl and SciBabe show us how to detect BS (Bad Science) and why this is so important.

Featuring microbiologist and renowned science communicator, Siouxsie Wiles from New Zealand and forensic scientist, blogger, and survivor of a overdose of homeopathic sleeping pills, Yvette D’Entremont from the USA.

Environmental campaigner, television presenter and science journalist, Tanya Ha, will MC.

Friday 21 August, 6pm Event details.

Media enquiries: Sarah Bayne, email Sarah.Bayne@utas.edu.au or 03 6226 2716

Smashing the world records for stargazing

Join in on the southernmost official stargazing party.IMG_4380-small-300x199

This Science Week looks set to see over 15,000 Australia attempt to smash two Guinness World Records: Most People Stargazing at a Single Site (Canberra) and Most People Stargazing Across Multiple Sites in a Country.

Mt. Stromlo Observatory will be leading both attempts. Additional stargazing sites at schools, observatories and other venues will join Mt Stromlo for the multiple site record attempt at locations across the Eastern states, including Brisbane, Broken Hill, Ballarat, Balanglo, Oyster Bay, Sydney, Albury, Melbourne, and down to Huonville, Tasmania. Find sites on this map.

Friday 21 August, 7pm in Huonville Event details

Media enquiries: Brad Tucker, brad@mso.anu.edu.au, 02 6125 6711 or 0433 905 777