Hot earth, whale songs, science meets footy, the sourdough craze, and more

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Sunday 22 August 2021

Highlights from the final day of National Science Week

117 events and exhibitions, 82 online activities, and dozens of great stories and talent.

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

  • VIC: Climate change remedies
  • SA: Science at the footy
  • QLD: Save whales, but do we want to save sharks?
  • NSW: Bizarre ancient fish
  • NSW: The science of Sydney’s biggest backyard
  • TAS: An obsession with sourdough
  • WA: How do we future-proof agriculture?

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

Planning for a warmer world – online (VIC)

Do we need a masterplan to protect our plants and animals in a warming, drying climate?

Environmental research is pivotal to understanding what is needed. Biologists, botanists, zoologists have big ideas on the future of biodiversity.

A panel of experts believes what’s happening can’t be left unchecked.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
  • Ken Walker, Senior Curator of Entomology, Museums Victoria
  • Dr Sally Sherwen, Director of Wildlife Conservation and Science, Zoos Victoria
  • Kate Phillips, Senior Curator Science Exhibitions, Museums Victoria

After live streaming, the conversation will be available on the Parliament of Victoria’s Youtube Channel.

Sunday August 22. Event details:

Media enquiries: or 0448 287 235.

What does science have to do with football? – North Adelaide, SA

AFL players are teaming up with researchers to improve their game.

Find out how scientists and sports stars are working together.

As part of National Science Week, a Science in Football workshop will be held after the Adelaide Crows Football Club game at Adelaide Oval on August 22.

Kids get to make their own pedometers, providing a starting point for young people to make the connection between STEM and football, and to start considering STEM careers as part of their future.

Sunday 22 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Katie Gloede, or 0419 828 369.

What does a shark feel like? – Surfers Paradise, QLD

The study of ocean conservation includes touching sharks, watching jellyfish under a microscope or listening to whale songs.

Researchers are available to discuss the current threats to our sea creatures and why they must be saved.

There’s also a chance to become a citizen scientist, collecting data on the likes of whales and dolphins.

Sunday 22 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Dr Johan Gustafson, or 0433 118 280. Dr Mariel Familiar, 0432 649 677.

Dr Johan Gustafson and Dr Mariel Familiar are available for media interviews.

Science from the swamp to the scrub – online (NSW)

Who was Australia’s very own dinosaur? Which nocturnal superhero animals only come out at night?

Which backyard weeds can be turned into a salad? How do ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ seeds travel through the country?

‘From Swamp to Scrub’ take people on a virtual tour through the wetlands of Centennial Park to the woodlands and scrub of Western Sydney Parklands (the city’s biggest backyard) to discover the plants and animals that call Australia’s biggest city home.

Saturday 14 August – Tuesday 14 September. Event details:

Media enquiries: Christian Eckardt,, 02 9339 6664 or 0420 534 053.

Fish with jaws like crocodiles – NSW

360 million years ago, huge fish swam in the mighty rivers of Central West New South Wales.

Bizarre ancient fish were aplenty – they were armoured, others had lungs or even jaws like crocodiles.

Thousands of their fossils have been found, providing a unique glimpse into life during the Devonian Period.

In a series of online workshops illustrator Angus Fisher and artist Todd Fuller will work with participants to create individual fish and habitats, culminating in a giant, interspecies billabong.

Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Phoebe Cowdery, The CORRIDOR Project,, 0413 910 697

Angus Fisher and Todd Fuller available for media interviews.

Who started the sourdough baking craze? – Online (TAS)

Experts in the science of fermentation are on a quest to find Australia’s oldest sourdough.

Collaborating with The Sourdough Library in Belgium, the team is also aiming to bake the greatest sourdough ever while developing a masterclass on baking the Covid-19 lockdown daily staple.

Chef and sourdough expert Morgan Clementson talks about our sourdough obsession, and how people can start their own ‘Ferment-Home-Station’.

Saturday 14 August to Monday 23 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, or 0498 511 509.

Morgan Clementson is available for media interviews.

Finding food in a warming world – online (WA)

How will we produce food in a warming climate?

What if we run low on water supplies?

Do we need to adjust our diet?

The Generation Ag podcast explores such topics as alternative food sources, extracting nutrients from food waste, sustainable fishing, and more.

Agriculture enthusiasts Kayla Evans and Lavinia Wehr speak to the people working on future-proofing our food and fibre.

Saturday 10 July to Tuesday 31 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Jane Goldsmith, or 0422 224 183.

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