Deep fake videos, imploding watermelons, and sautéed spiders: a taste of National Science Week

Media releases, National Science Week

2020 program goes virtual, DIY and well-spaced, accessible across the country

15 to 23 August – start scheduling stories now!

Workshops on conserving endangered honeyeaters, lessons in making sourdough bread, insights into Indigenous astronomy – the range of events in this year’s National Science Week is vast.

And because most of them are online, anyone can take part, no matter where they live. Broome residents can see the sea-dragons of the Great Southern Reef, Territorian students can join the Sydney-based challenge to eradicate malaria, and science fans in Penrith can test their ability to spot deep fake videos with a neuropsychologist in Melbourne.

There are stories here not just for science rounds, but also health, environment, kids, sport, tourism and the arts.

Highlights include:

  • Swim with giant Australian cuttlefish without getting wet, through an online virtual tour of Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park.
  • Fake meat, sautéed spiders and lobster lollipops: how will we feed a global population of 10 billion? In online events, scientists discuss foods of the future, with mystery boxes sent for sampling.
  • E$$ENTIAL MEDICINE$ – scientists from the Breaking Good project, involving the community in chemistry research, explore overpriced drugs and improving access to essential medicines.
  • Requiem for a Reef: artist Ngaio Fitzpatrick and composer Alexander Hunter explore the fragility of the Great Barrier Reef through sculpture, music, and Q&A with scientists, livestreamed from Canberra Glassworks.
  • The Big Watermelon Experiment: schools learning about physics and forces by seeing how many rubber bands it takes to implode a watermelon.
  • Sci Art Walks into Tasmania’s Wilderness: audio artworks and talks from prominent Tassie scientists, musicians and cultural icons to accompany people on walks in the state’s natural wonders.

Headline science stars include:

  • Astrophysicists Lisa Harvey-Smith, Alan Duffy and Rebecca Allen;
  • Gardening expert Costa Georgiadis;
  • War on Waste presenter Craig Reucassel;
  • And many more

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals, first held in 1997. Last year about 1.2 million people participated in more than 2100 events. It is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and media sponsors including Cosmos and Science Illustrated. More information:

Search for events: Images for media here.

If you’d like to follow up on any of these stories or hear about others that a relevant to your round, get in touch. To receive story alerts in the lead up to and during National Science Week, register here or email