Eating insects, no-kill meats, Aussie volcanoes, marine threats, a Blue New Deal, and more

Great National Science Week ENVIRONMENT stories up for grabs now around Australia.

Growing no-kill meats in vats
▪ Volunteers needed to bury cotton jocks
▪ Are insects nutritious?
▪ Indigenous knowledge applied to climate change
▪ Can nuclear energy stop climate change?
▪ Australia’s explosive volcanoes
▪ Satellites keeping an eye on the environment
▪ What a teddy bear dissection reveals about plastic and material use
▪ Oceans drowning in plastic
▪ Saving the last sawfish

These are just a few of the events happening during this year’s National Science Week (August 14 to 22).

If you’re after more ideas for stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, performers, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

▪ Tanya Ha: or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

Individual event details and media contacts

Growing no-kill meats – online, NSW

Scientist are turning to no-kill or cruelty free meat to help feed the world.

Researchers are helping farmers pivot – with cells grown in vats creating cultured meat.

UNSW food science researcher Johannes le Coutre and food journalist Joanna Savill are experts in cellular agriculture.

Ask them how meat is grown in vats, who’s going to eat it and what it tastes like.

Monday 16 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, or 0408 166 426

Johannes le Coutre is available for media interviews.

Soil Your Undies! – Murraylands & Riverland, SA

Better compost. Flourishing gardens. And healthier crops.

An experiment asking people to bury their undies is being staged to help determine what’s in different soils.

The observations will help determine what’s active in soils across locations such as farms, gardens, compost, crops and so on.

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is asking people in those regions to take part .

Participants get a pair of 100 per cent cotton undies with their instruction kit.

Saturday 14 August to Monday 4 October. Event details:

Media enquiries: Jayne Miller, or 0467 762 107

Soil biologist Eliza Riger and citizen science coordinator Sylvia Clarke are available for media interviews. 

Future foods for sustainable suburbs – metro Perth, WA

• Cooking with a solar oven
• Making food last
• Could your nature strip become a veggie verge?
• Community building through urban farming

These are some of the topics covered in the ‘Food for Thought’ series of events and workshops, run by Switch Your Thinking in Perth’s suburbs.

Saturday 14 – Saturday 21 August. Multiple events, dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Shelley Foster, or 08 9397 3208

Planet Ocean’s secrets revealed – online, via QLD

How does the oceanic food web work? How does light behave in water? Did you know the ocean is an incredible climate machine?

These are some of the topics and episodes of ‘Planet Ocean’, the second season of the podcast ‘Actually, it’s Phytoplankton!

Host Jamie Coull, and oceanographer co-hosts Lachlan McKinna and Ivona Cetinić present six oceanography lessons via podcast, with resource packs for primary and middle school kids.

With the help of expert guests, they explore topics including the food web, the carbon cycle, ocean acidification, optical properties of water, arts in science, and DIY experiments.

Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Jamie Coull, Go2Q Pty Ltd,, 07 5415 1733

Hosts Jamie, Lachlan and Ivona are available for media interviews.

The world’s oldest living culture tackles climate change – Carlton, VIC

Indigenous youth are helping researchers understand their connection to Country, physically and spiritually.

They are working together to tackle climate change from First Peoples’ perspectives.

Museums Victoria is hosting a conversation with scientists and Indigenous youth at the forefront of climate action and leadership.

Monday 16 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Brigitte Gebbie, or 0415 676 120; Museums Victoria Media Team,, 0466 622 621

Is nuclear power here to stay?  Online – Hawthorn,VIC

Should the next generation of submarines be nuclear powered?

Can nuclear energy slow climate change?

Are nuclear weapons needed for defence?

And why are we storing radioactive waste in our region?

Author and environmentalist Professor Ian Lowe is available for interview, tackles a range of contentious topics in his new book, Long Half-life: The Nuclear Industry in Australia.

Tuesday 17 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Sarah Cannon,, 03 9905 0526

Ian Lowe available for media interviews.

Why did one million fish die at Menindee Lakes? – Online

Satellites are helping solve mysteries such as why did one million fish die at Menindee Lakes.

UNSW Professor Graciela Metternicht can discuss how the multi-billion satellite industry, and observing earth from a distance, is helping the rural sector.

Tuesday 17 August to Wednesday 18 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Graciela Metternicht, Bonnie Teece,

Are Australia’s volcanoes about to erupt? – online (NSW)

Australia’s fiery volcanic past has left behind an expanse of volcanoes stretching more than 4000 kilometres down the country’s eastern margin.

How prepared is Australia for a volcanic eruption?

Where will it be?

What are the warning signs?

Volcanologist and science communicator Heather Handley is available for interview.

Wednesday 18 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Heather Handley, or 02 9850 4403.

What does a cricket powder brownie taste like? – Ballarat Central, VIC

Are edible insects good for you?

Would a Saltbush and rosemary mealworm snack hit the spot?

The Ballarat Tech School and Circle Harvest have teamed up to share insights into why we should be eating more edible insects.

There’s cooking workshops to take part in and recipes that can be shared.

Thursday 19 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Ballarat Tech School,, 03 5327 8080

Teddy bear dissection – Fern Tree, TAS

Chopping up a teddy bear helps explain how plastics are manufactured, what their uses are and how long they take to decompose.

What are plastics made of? And why do tonnes end up in our oceans, impacting sea life and seabirds?

Environmental consultant Evan Boardman is available for interviews.

Friday 20 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Evan Boardman, or 0438 376 840; or Dipon Sarkar, or 0498 511 509.

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:

Media enquiries: Sasha Haughan,, or 0405 006 035; or Kym Elphinstone, or 0421 106 139.

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.

Where have all the sawfish gone? – Adelaide, SA

Forty years ago, spotting sawfish was easy.

But their numbers are declining and their rare sightings have researchers worried.

Once considered a prized fishing trophy, it’s hard to find a large sawfish.

While many have perished, caught up in nets.

Three sawfish species are listed as vulnerable.

Available for interview is Dr Barbara Wueringer, Director Sharks and Rays Australia, who wants the public to help spot sawfish, as the quest to save them continues. She’s speaking at the ‘Scuba in the Pub’ event.

Friday 27 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Gail Jackman, or 0428 034 903.

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals, first held in 1997.

Last year about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events, despite a global pandemic.

It is proudly supported by the Australian Government; and partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC. More information:

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: