A Blue New Deal for oceans, hacking Minecraft, LEGO goes astro, and more

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Saturday 21 August 2021

Highlights from day eight of National Science Week

197 events and exhibitions, 103 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

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

  • NSW: An ocean defender to the rescue
  • TAS: Hacking Minecraft, insect worlds, and cuddly animals at the Festival of Bright Ideas
  • VIC: A VR view of the Universe
  • QLD: Dive into the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet
  • NSW: CSI wildlife
  • ACT: Understanding the Universe through LEGO

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

Also today:

Coming up tomorrow:

Hot earth, whale songs, science meets footy, sourdough, and more – see a preview of Sunday’s highlights.

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

For general Science Week media enquiries:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

More about the event highlights

Without oceans, there is no life – Online (NSW)

Fundamental to a healthy planet, oceans make most of the oxygen we breathe and feed billions of people.

But they are under threat from pollution, overfishing, the destruction of coral reefs and more.

Globally-renowned ocean defender Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson says saving the oceans is key to fighting the climate crisis.

Ask her and Australian marine scientist Emma Johnston about the potential for a Blue New Deal and how women leaders are pioneering global climate action.

Saturday 21 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/justice-for-the-oceans/

Media enquiries: Sasha Haughan, sasha@articulatepr.com.au, or 0405 006 035; or Kym Elphinstone, kym@articulatepr.com.au or 0421 106 139

Hacking Minecraft, insect worlds, and meet the animals at the Festival of Bright Ideas – Hobart, TAS

These are just some of the speakers, activities and displays at the Festival of Bright Ideas, all under one roof at Princes Wharf 1 on Hobart’s waterfront.

Saturday 21 August. Event details: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/festival-of-bright-ideas/hobart/

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au or 0498 511 509.

Become a Virtual Reef Diver and help classify what’s in the Great Barrier Reef – online (QLD)

Virtual Reef Diver invites 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.

QUT statistician Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen is available for interviews.

Kerrie uses statistics to solve complex problems in the real world. She’s worked on the conservation of orangutans, cheetahs and jaguars in Peru, now she’s using statistical models to help reef managers better protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/great-barrier-reef-science-celebration/ or www.virtualreef.org.au

Media enquiries: Angela Dahlke, a.dahlke@qut.edu.au or 0468 820 714

Understanding the Universe, LEGO brick by brick – online (ACT)

How did matter evolve over billions of years? An explanation comes in the form of building the Universe’s evolutionary timeline with LEGO.

Manik Mahajan from The Young Stars Program guides people to a better understanding of the Big Bang.

Saturday 21 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/building-the-universe-brick-by-brick/

Media enquiries: Manik Mahajan, The Young Stars Program, manik.mahajan@anu.edu.au

Explore the Universe through VR on your phone – online (VIC)

See the stars, fly by Jupiter’s red spot, and delve into the latest gravitational wave research — all without leaving town.

Astrophysicists Professor Alan Duffy and Dr Rebecca Allen return to share the latest wonders of Australian-led astronomy research through SciVR, an immersive astronomy experience enabled by a virtual reality (VR) smartphone app. Guided by Alan and Rebecca, 75 regional science centres, observatories and libraries will transform into virtual exploriums.

Saturday 21 August. Online livestream: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/scivr-livestream/

Media enquiries: Rebecca Allen, rebeccaallen@swin.edu.au or 03 9214 5846       

Alan and Rebecca are available for media interviews

Rocket science, disappearing cakes, and CSI wildlife: Sydney Science Trail – online (NSW)

Sydney Science Trail returns for National Science Week 2021, with a program of online activities and live virtual events.

The program features:

The program, exploring the theme Food: Different by Design, will celebrate food, science, and sustainability through a wide range of activities and experiences, including video games, virtual lab tours, live-streamed conversations, and science people can do outdoors and in the kitchen.

Presented by The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, and Australian Museum.

Friday 13 August – Monday 13 September. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/sydney-science-trail-live-at-royal-botanic-garden-sydney/

Media enquiries: Carla Horvath, Carla.horvath@bgcp.nsw.gov.au or 0406 273 422or Claire Vince, claire.vince@australian.museum or 0468 726 910.

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 www.scienceinpublic.com.au; public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.