Deadly Science, alcohol goggles, modern bush medicine, sourcing native foods, and more

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Great National Science Week INDIGENOUS SCIENCE stories up for grabs now around Australia:

▪ A chronic disease time machine
▪ How nutritious is bush tucker?
▪ Indigenous astronomy
▪ Deciphering Australia’s rock art
▪ First People’s approach to climate change

These are just a few of the events and activities 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

Closing the gap with an AI ‘Time Machine’ and a health lab on wheels – Tiwi Islands, Ramingining, Darwin & Rapid Creek, NT

Chronic diseases – such as diabetes and heart disease – cause suffering for thousands of Australians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

In the Northern Territory, the Menzies School of Health Research is letting people experience the effects of long-term diseases before they get sick. HealthLAB – a clinic on wheels – lets people see heart and kidney ultrasounds, hear their heart beating, and try on ‘alcohol goggles’ that mimic raised blood alcohol levels. An award-winning interactive Time Machine app completes the picture – literally – by showing how those choices affect appearance.

HealthLAB will travel to locations around Darwin, the island community of Wurrumiyanga on the Timor Sea, and Ramingining in the Arafura Swamp to work in country with trainee Indigenous health practitioners.

Thursday 12 – Saturday 21 August. Multiple dates and locations

Media enquiries: Minka Dickson, or 08 8946 8539.

Heidi Smith-Vaughan is available for media interviews.

Bush tucker 101: what you need to know about Indigenous food and agriculture – online

Native foods have unique and distinctive properties and tastes. But what’s the nutritional value of bush tucker? And what’s safe to eat?

Ask the experts about Indigenous food and agriculture:

  • Gumbaynggirr descendent and RMIT PhD candidate Luke Williams is working with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand and Aboriginal businesses and organisations to research the dietary safety of traditional food items.
  • Kamillaroi/Gomeroi woman and bush tucker expert Kerrie Saunders knows how to prepare native foods, where to source them and what not to eat.
  • Joshua Gilbert is a Worimi man, farmer and academic, who shares the stories of Indigenous identity through agricultural.

They’re sharing their knowledge in an online panel event presentation by the ACT National Science Week Coordinating Committee and the Royal Society of Victoria, hosted by Gamilaraay astrophysicist Karlie Noon.

Friday 13 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Brittany Carter, or 0401 332 137

Deadly Science: astronomy, engineering and modern bush medicine – online (NSW)

Our first scientists, Australia’s Indigenous culture, learnt from the land, sea and sky.

From bush medicine, astronomy, engineering and forensic science to chemistry, land management and ecology.

Founder of Dearly Science and 2020 NSW Young Australian of the Year, Corey Tutt is available for interview.

Sunday 15 August. Event details:

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

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

Schooled by Australia’s rock art – Online (VIC)

Dating Australia’s rock art can help us understand climate and environmental changes

Scientific techniques have been used to date Australia’s rock art and why they remain significant.

Dr Helen Green is available to discuss how traditional knowledge can be integrated into western science.

Monday 16 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Daryl Holland, or 0434 952 009.

The Indigenous night sky, bush food, and technology – online

What can Aboriginal astronomy tell us about the night sky? How is native flora used in bush medicine and soap-making? How do Indigenous Australians make axes and other artefacts from stone? What can we learn about sustainable living from more than 60 000 years of Indigenous culture?

The Indigenous Science Experience at Redfern Community Centre is an annual celebration of Indigenous and Western science, and Indigenous youth and Elder achievements. This year it goes online and will demonstrate the value of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge in science and technology, and the relevance of science to everyday lives. Indigenous students from National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP) partner schools will assist in demonstrating activities.

Saturday 21 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Joanne Jamie, and 0439 170 683.                       

Joanne Jamie and Indigenous student leaders are available for media interviews.

Is there bang for the research buck? – online (VIC)

The Australian Government spends upwards of three billion dollars a year on research.

Decades can be spent on a single project. Then there are the human costs and ethical quandaries.

Is research worth it?

Available for interview:

  • Biomedical ethicist Dr Christopher Gyngell
  • Physicist and dark matter detective Professor Elisabetta Barberio
  • Mathematical biologist and Gomeroi man Dr Jared Field, who provides a perspective on research involving Indigenous peoples.

Monday 16 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Daryl Holland, or 0434 952 009.

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: