Help for addicts, speedy space travel, protecting Aussie critters, hot penguins, and more

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Thursday 19 August 2021

Highlights from day six of National Science Week

302 events and exhibitions, 162 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

Researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview around the country.

  • NSW: Understanding addiction
  • VIC: How will wildlife cope with climate change?
  • NSW: Alternatives to meditation
  • VIC: Australia’s weirdest mammal
  • QLD: Nuclear testing fallout

Read on for more on these, including event contact details.

Also today:

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 22 August. Media kit at Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities:

For general Science Week media enquiries:

Tanya Ha: or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: or 0417 131 977

More about the event highlights

How to help an addict – online (NSW)

Professor Dan Lubman is available to discuss how to help a friend or family member battling addiction.

He can explain why we get addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex or the internet and why we struggle to control our behaviour.

He will speak at the event ‘The Science of Us: rethink addiction’.

Thursday 19 August. Event details:  

Media enquiries: Rebecca Lawrence, or DanLaubman,

What’s threatening our little penguins? – online (VIC)

Little penguins and Australian fur seals are being impacted by climate change.

Their habitats threatened by a warming world. Heatwaves are hurting them.

How will they cope and what can we do to help?

Available to discuss how to protect our iconic wildlife are the following experts:

Presented by Phillip Island Nature Parks and livestreamed on Facebook.

Thursday August 19. Event details:

Media enquiries: Rena Singh, or 0448287235, or Roland Pick

Can’t meditate? No stress – online (NSW)

Finding peace of mind is not an easy road. And meditation doesn’t work for everyone.

Neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay has tips on alternatives to meditation and mindfulness – to help switch off.

Thursday 19 August. Event details:

Media enquiries:

Cleaning up the nuclear mess – online – Fortitude Valley (QLD)

Maralinga in South Australia is still contaminated with residual plutonium and uranium, nearly 70 years after British nuclear testing.

Weapons-grade plutonium has a half-life of more than 24 thousand years.

Nuclear researcher Associate Professor Liz Tynan is available for interview on her extensive research into the impact of nuclear testing

Thursday 19 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Institute of Modern Art IMA, Institute of Modern Art,, 07 3252 5750

The platypus puzzle – Online (VIC)

The platypus and four species of echidna are weird – only found in Australia and New Guinea.

They are the only mammals to lay eggs and have reptilian features.

And even though they were around since the dinosaurs, scientists are still trying to figure them out and their unusual reproduction.

Dr Jane Fenelon is available to interview about Australia’s weirdest mammals.

Thursday 19 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Daryl Holland, or 0434 952 009.

More about National Science Week

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 22 August. First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events, despite a global pandemic.

In 2021 there will be online events, virtual tours and experiences, DIY science and home-based activities held all around Australia. And there are some in-person events planned in line with local pandemic restrictions.  Media kit at; public event listings at