Fighting superbugs, life in space, microfactories, and what do Australians really think of science?

National Science Week

This year’s festival runs from 13 to 21 August, with thousands of events.

National launch with Minister at Parliament House – Thursday 4 August.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview leading up to and throughout National Science Week. Here are some early stories:

  • National: 88% of Australians trust science and scientists, but scepticism has increased slightly amid social media misinformation – 3M State of Science Index 2022 results reveal what we think of science
  • Canberra: First Nations Sciences of the Land: the official launch of National Science Week at Parliament House
  • Hobart: Dr Karl, a NASA astrobiologist, and 150 roving scientists walk into a science bar…
  • Adelaide: Daleks, racing drones, and dinosaur droppings: Science Alive! is back
  • Melbourne & online: Are you smarter than a TV personality? Charlie Pickering quizzes Nate Byrne, Lawrence Leung and scientists
  • Melbourne: Step inside the International Space Station and take a selfie
  • Perth: What does climate change have to do with human rights?
  • National, with Brisbane talent: 1,500+ rockets simultaneously launched around Australia
  • Darwin: Thunderbirds are go! Why have they gone? Ask a palaeontologist
  • Sydney: Fighting superbugs, big bad tech, caring for sky country, and microfactories making new materials from old – Sydney Science Festival returns.

More on these highlights below.

National Science Week began in 1997. Last year—despite a global pandemic—1.3 million people participated in more than 1,750 events and activities, exploring topics from art to astrophysics, chemistry to climate change, and forensics to fermented food.

National Science Week is proudly supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, the ABC, and Cosmos magazine.

Visit ScienceWeek.net.au/events to find stories in your area using the events listings.

Media centre here. Images for media here.

General media enquiries:

Tanya Ha – tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or call 0404 083 863 or 03 9398 1416

Jane Watkins – jane@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0425 803 204

Individual event details and media contacts

Launch of National Science Week 2022: Celebrating First Nations Sciences of the Land – Parliament House, ACT

On Thursday 4 August Science & Technology Australia, in partnership with Questacon and The Australian National University, will host the official launch of National Science Week in Parliament House with a celebration of Indigenous science.

Speakers:

  • The Hon Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science
  • The Hon Paul Fletcher, Shadow Minister for Science and the Arts
  • Ngunnawal Elder Serena Williams
  • Kamilaroi astrophysicist Krystal de Napoli – co-author of the new book Sky Country
  • Quandamooka mathematician Chris Matthews, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maths Alliance
  • Kamilaroi water scientist Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge, University of Canberra
  • Professor Anna Moore, Director of InSpace, The Australian National University
  • Misha Schubert, CEO Science & Technology Australia

This event will also include the release of data from the 3M State of Science Index, which annually measures public attitudes to science:

  • 88% of Australians trust science and scientists
  • half of Australian respondents agree science is very important to them in their everyday life
  • 78% of Australians want to hear more from scientists about their work.

Thursday 4 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/launch-of-national-science-week-2022-celebrating-first-nations-sciences-of-the-land/canberra

More information: scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au

Media enquiries:

  • Martyn Pearce, martyn.pearce@sta.org.au or 0432 606 828.
  • Shannon O’Mara, 3M on 0407 770 994

Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert and Managing Director of 3M Australia Eleni Sideridis are available for media interviews.

Join a NASA astrobiologist and 150 roving scientists for a drink – Hobart, TAS

NASA astrobiologist David Flannery, physicist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, science journalist Natasha Mitchell, climate activist Craig Reucassel and other boffins will be up for a drink and a chat in Hobart.

About 150 roving scientists will be on the loose, talking to punters as part of Beaker Street Festival of arts and science at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

They will also give talks and workshops and enjoy some science art, live music in a bar and Tassie food and drink.

Friday 5 August – Sunday 7 August. Event details: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/beaker-street-festival-2/hobart

Media enquiries: Laura Dyba, laura@vallisandco.com

Images available. Festival Founder Margo Adler and some event presenters and scientists are available for interviews.

Science Alive! – Wayville Showgrounds, SA

  • Meet actual rocket scientists from Australian space company Southern Launch and find out about our country’s growing space industry.
  • Nitro Nat presents the Phantastic Physics Show.
  • See the science in sport with Adelaide Crows STEM Footy.
  • The singing palaeontologist Professor Flint explores the science of dinosaur droppings and the origin of faeces.
  • Plus dinosaur digs, robot building, live animal encounters, army drone racing, daleks, bugs, slugs, bubbles, and top female scientists: more than different 80 science sessions, displays and activities.

These are just some of the speakers, activities and displays at a bigger than ever Science Alive!

Friday 5 August: National Science Week SA state launch & STEM Day Out (secondary schools)

Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/science-alive-3/wayville

Media enquiries: Kelly Coyner, kelly@eventcrowd.com.au or 0423 814 011; or Dan Lindsay, dan@sciencealive.net.au or 0403 794 000.

Are you smarter than a TV personality? – Melbourne and online, VIC

Morning TV weather forecaster Nate Byrne will compete against comedian Lawrence Leung in this year’s National Science Quiz moderated by The Weekly host Charlie Pickering.

Not only is Nate Byrne a Bureau of Meteorology-trained meteorologist. He is also a oceanographer with a physics degree and a masters of science communication.  

His rival has investigated aliens, psychics and ghosts in the documentary series Lawrence Leung‘s Unbelievable and has a Star Wars character, Lar Le’ung, a Jedi master, named after him.

Other panellists:

  • Astrophysicist and science TikTok legend Kirsten Banks
  • mathematics and statistics guru Barbara Holland
  • environmental hydrogeologist and proud Kamilaroi man Bradley Moggridge
  • Quantum scientist Jacqui Romero

Sunday 7 August. Event details: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/national-science-quiz-2/melbourne

Media enquiries: Jason Major, jason.major@monash.edu or 0455 288 309

Some panellists are available for media interviews.

Step inside the International Space Station and take a selfie– Melbourne, VIC

Mars sunsets and Venus’s lightning storms can be seen from in a scale replica of the International Space Station that is ready to land in Melbourne.

Astronauts working weightlessly on the real-life space station sleep in bags attached to the wall and must swallow instead of spitting out their toothpaste after they’ve brushed.

Visiting the space station replica is much more enjoyable, as part of the award-winning Neighbourhood Earth exhibition.

Tuesday 19 July – Sunday 28 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/neighbourhood-earth/melbourne/

Media enquiries: Andy Lee, andy@totocreative.com. Images available.

What does climate change have to do with human rights? – Perth, WA

The effects of climate change threaten a broad range of internationally recognised human rights, including access to food, shelter, and work. Some of the policies designed to address climate change are likely to further erode human rights, particularly of those who are disadvantaged.

Join Human Rights Watch researcher and former ABC Four Corners investigative reporter Sophie McNeill for an evening conversation at Boola Bardip museum asking, “Should climate change policies incorporate human rights principles?”

Alongside Sophie will be environmental and public health consultant Dr Helen Brown, who has widespread experience in climate change adaptation and health research, and artist and author-illustrator Sarah Davies, a participant in the project Connecting the Dots – Disability and Climate Change.

Thursday 11 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/in-conversation-what-does-climate-change-have-to-do-with-human-rights/perth

Media enquiries: Robyn Ambrosius, media@museum.wa.gov.au or 0466 304 807

Speakers available for media interviews.

1500+ rockets to be simultaneously launched around Australia – national

Hundreds of people around the country will launch thousands of mini rockets into the sky on the eve of National Science Week to learn about forces and flight. And to see that what goes up must come down.

Friday 12 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/launch-into-national-science-week-with-street-science

Media enquiries: Kim Liddell, kim@streetscience.com.au or 0432 647 702

Steve Liddell is available for media interviews. Photo and filming opportunities with children building and launching rockets can be pre-arranged.

Thunderbirds are go! Why have they gone? – Darwin, NT

What did the Aussie thunderbird look like? What are the differences between megafauna and dinosaurs? And how did climate change shape the Territory’s animals over tens of thousands of years?

Ask palaeontologists Dr Adam Yates and Dr Sam Arman from the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory.

See the full skeleton of the thunderbird Dromornis stirtoni in the Transformations Gallery, touch fossil bones on display, and learn how these fossils were excavated from the Alcoota Scientific Reserve, north-east of Alice Springs.

Thursday 11 and Friday 12 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/meet-australias-megafauna-with-a-palaeontologist/the-gardens

Media enquiries: Rebecca Campart, rebecca.campart@magnt.net.au or 08 8999 8203

Fighting superbugs, big bad tech, caring for sky country, and microfactories making new materials from old – Sydney Science Festival is back

  • Discover how Professor Veena Sahajwalla created a new generation of green materials, products and resources, all formed from waste.
  • Former Google engineer turned design ethicist James Williams discusses how big tech companies manipulate and persuade us in the attention economy.
  • Hear former NASA astronaut Dr Mary Ellen Weber share recollections from an outstanding career and offer her insights into the ‘new space’ era of commercial space.
  • Caring for Sky Country: Karlie Noon and Krystal de Napoli discuss their new book Astronomy: Sky Country 2022 where they talk about bringing together Indigenous astronomical expertise and practices of caring for Sky Country and dark skies, with current issues in astronomical sciences.
  • Hear how First Nations cultural burning practices can reshape Australia’s response to climate change: Victor Steffensen in conversation with Nate Byrne.
  • Superbugs: By 2050, antibiotic resistant infections are projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide resulting in approximately 10 million deaths annually. Learn how Jon Iredell’s phage therapy research is fighting this threat.

Hear from compelling speakers on science’s hot topics. Sydney Science Festival is back with events in multiple locations around Sydney and online.

Friday 12 – Saturday 20 August. Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Media enquiries: Siân Davies, sian@articulatepr.com.au, 0402 728 462; or Sasha Haughan, sasha@articulatepr.com.au, 0405 006 035

Most speakers are available for media interviews.