Laser light art shows, celebrity scientists and a dress made from beer

Media releases, National Science Week

Western Australia launches National Science Week

Saturday 15 August: launch 11am at the Perth Cultural Centre main stage with Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Deputy Lord Mayor and guest speakers

Western Australians will be making art out of bacteria, seeing where science is done, and learning to track fireballs as they fall from the sky.

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

… and there’s more on each below.

The celebrations will begin on Saturday at the Perth Science Festival, where Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, the Hon. Donna Faragher MLC and Perth Deputy Lord Mayor, Cr Rob Butler will be officially launching National Science Week in WA. And don’t miss the metre-high elephant toothpaste explosion to top it off.

Science celebrities Nat Geo Wild’s Ben Britton, Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis, and microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast Siouxsie Wiles will also be at the Festival. ‘The Naked Scientist’ Dr Chris Smith will make an appearance along with Dr. Tristan Clemons, former Australian hockey player and Research Associate from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UWA. Event details

There’s lots happening in Perth for Science Week, but WA is a big state.

Gingin is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Einstein’s Theory of Gravity with laser light art shows and more at the Light of Einstein Exhibition, as part of the Gingin Science Festival which runs for a month. Event details

Geraldton will be talking science and sustainability at the Goodness Festival. Visitors can learn about the science behind the things they use every day, meet the local critters that live around the Chapman River, and pick up tasty, eco-friendly food. Event details

And in Bunbury, the Light the Future Science Show will see well-loved science people Dr Karl, Surfing Scientist Ruben Meerman, former WA chief scientist Lyn Beazley, and Naked Scientist Chris Smith get together with locals and students for talks, interactive displays, hand-on experiments and interesting insights into the world of science part of the Southwest Science Spectacular. Event details

Audio grabs suitable for radio news are available here, featuring Tristan Clemons and others

Media interviews and photo ops with Nat Geo Wild’s Ben Britton, visiting NZ bioluminescent bacteria scientist Siouxsie Wiles and arts/science guru Gary Cass (the man behind the ‘beer’ dress).

Media Enquiries: Simon Carroll, or 0419 304 906

Sarah Woods,, 08 9215 0723 or 0421 656 646

National Science Week general media enquiries:

Tanya Ha (national publicist) – or call 0404 083 863

A dress made from beer, and bioluminescent bacteria ‘paintings’ – Northbridgelions

See explosive stage shows, cuddle some cute animals, or take a tour of a mine at the Perth Science Festival. Event details

For the bioluminescent art exhibition, Siouxsie Wiles will work with local artists and Central Institute to create ‘paintings’ using bacteria that naturally glow. The artists’ work will be on display in the Blue Room Theatre as part of the Perth Science Festival.

Exhibition times: Saturday 15 August: 10am-10pm and Sunday 16 August: 11am-3pm Event details coco'

Gastronomical will combine the science of food and drink with an artistic twist on light to celebrate the International Year of Light. Find out the science behind some yummy foods, and taste them too!

The stage will be jam packed with culinary science, music, light shows and a fashion parade…with a dress made out of beer.      Saturday 15 August, 6:30pm Event details

Cloudy, with a chance of fireballs – Perth

Find out how scientists track fireballs as they head towards Earth using a network of digital cameras in the outback desert of Australia that take photos of the night sky, and see if you can help them. It’s at the State Library of Western Australia.

Saturday 15 August Event details

Parasites and Poo – Lesmurdie

Experts at the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre explain just how important poo, and what’s in it, can be. They’ll explain the history of microscopes to visitors, and help them view plant and animal tissue and even make some slides of parasites. It’s a crash course in nematode words, coccidia and avian gastric yeast. Sunday 16 August Event details

‘From Fireflies to Superbugs’: bioluminescent bacteria and the disease detective – Curtin Universitypink

As well as the Perth Science Festival, Dr Siouxsie Wiles will talk at Curtin University about her research using bioluminescence (the stuff that helps glow worms to lure food and fireflies to find a mate) to understand how nasty bacteria cause infections and to search for new antibiotics.

This simple phenomenon is also exploited by scientists in myriad ways, including studying the circadian rhythm of plants and animals, and monitoring the cleanliness of hospitals. Even NASA scientists use fireflies to search for extra-terrestrial life. Monday 17 August Event details

See crystal art made with microscopes and smartphones – Bunbury

Scientist Gary Cass gets creative with science. crystals

See fast growing crystals developing under a microscope before your eyes, and change the crystal’s colour by manipulating different properties of light, and then photograph and take home your own microscopic crystal art.

Wednesday 19 August Event details

Media enquiries: Gary Cass, email or 0400 636 818

A view of the Pilbara night sky from the red earth – Tom Price

Join professional astronomers and see the Pilbara night sky using powerful telescopes at the Red Earth Night Sky Astro-Fair.

There’ll be an astrophotography display, a model of the Square Kilometre Array telescope, guest speakers, a water rocket, information stands and hands-on activities. Thursday 20 August Event details

See where the science is done – Open Days at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and ChemCentre

Put on a lab coat and try your hand at being a medical scientist at the first ever Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research open day.

Take a walk through the history of medicine on a guided tour, hear about the latest cancer research, and check out what goes on inside the human body with giant MRI scans. kids

Saturday 22 August Event details

Illegal drug labs, protecting the environment and dangerous chemical incidents are all in a day’s work for ChemCentre scientists.

Come down and enjoy free liquid nitrogen ice-cream, fairy floss, a range of amazing science shows, stalls and activities and discover how science saves the day.

Saturday 22 August Event details and website

Derek Muller: Meet the Uranium Documentary Maker ­– Perth Town Hall

Meet Derek Muller – an Australian-Canadian physicist, science communicator, filmmaker and television presenter, best known for his YouTube channel Veritasium and his role as a presenter on labABC’s Catalyst.

Derek is the host of the documentary Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, premiering this month. The series journeys across nine countries and more than a century of stories to explore the science and history of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth. Wednesday 26 August Event details