Milking deadly snakes; Uranium; Inside your cranium; Barista scientist; Smashing stargazing records; Scibabe; and more …talent for Science Week

National Science Week

There are some interesting, weird and wonderful people involved in National Science Week this year. They would make great talent for media interviews. Here is our backgrounder, with names, events, bio notes and contact details.

Backgrounds, bio details and the Science Week involvement of these people can be downloaded here.

Siouxsie Wiles

NZ scientist touring Australia talking about her twin passions of bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. Contact: (for WA leg of tour) Christine Allen, or 08 9215 0739; (for TAS leg of tour) Wayne Goninon, or 0408 388 881

SciBabe – Yvette d’Entremont

Yvette d’Entremont famously took an overdose of homeopathic sleeping pills. Not surprisingly she survived. She’s touring Australian debunking pseudoscience. Contact: Tania Ewing, or 0408 378 422 or (for TAS leg of tour) Wayne Goninon, or 0408 388 881

Derek Muller

Derek visited the world’s hot spots including Chernobyl and Fukushima for the new SBS series Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail. His YouTube channel Veritasium has brought him global attention.

Contact: Jessica Parry, SBS publicity,, 0428 767 836 or 9430 3786

Brad Tucker

Brad is the brains behind the Science Week Guinness Book of World Records Stargazing record attempts, led by Mt Stromlo Observatory. They plan to not just break it but to smash it, with thousands of people using telescopes this weekend. Contact:, 02 6125 6711 or 0433 905 777

Alan Duffy

Alan Duffy is a gun young astronomer. He wants Australians to get online and classify galaxies – real science, part research into how galaxies evolve. Contact:, 03 9214 3876

Amanda Bauer

Amanda Bauer is an up and coming astronomer and communicator. She’s just M/Ced two Neil deGrasse Tyson talks and wants Australians to get online and classify galaxies – real science, part research into how galaxies evolve for the national experiment – Galaxy Explorer. Contact:, 02 93724852

Dr Sarah McKay

Dr Sarah McKay is a neuroscientist turned science writer who translates mind and brain research into simple strategies for health and wellbeing. She wants people to knit for the good of their neurons. Contact: or 0412 002 226

Josh Richards – Science comedian & Mars One candidate

Physicist, Explosives Engineer, Soldier, Stand-Up Comedian and Astronaut Candidate – one thing Josh Richards can never be accused of is being boring. Now he hopes to go to Mars.

Contact: or 0481 303 457

Young Tassie Scientists

In the lab and field, Jeremy Just is a ‘barista scientist’ – using a coffee machine, packed with plant specimens, to extract organic natural products for chemical analysis.

Aimee Bliss is planning her next big trip – an expedition to Antarctica with 42 other selected female scientists from around the globe. Contact: Sarah Bayne, or 0419 472 539; Adele Wilson,, 03 6226 2287 or 0449 013 689

‘Venom Doc’ Bryan Grieg Fry

Deadly snakes, milking them for venom. And he’s written a book about it. What more do I need to say.
Contact: or 0400 193 182

Paul Willis

Palaeontologist and head of the RI Aus, Paul will be ‘Making Babies’ this weekend – or at least discussing how to make a healthy baby in the 21st Century at a public forum in Adelaide.

Contact: or (08) 7120 8600

Ben Britton

Ben Britton is Director of Wild Animal Encounters, and face of Nat Geo Wild on the National Geographic Channel. Contact: Christine Allen, or 08 9215 0739 or 0468 676 933

Imogen & Freya Wadlow

The science twins are multi-award winning 20 year old NSW doing science circuses in shopping centres because they can. Contact: Erika Wadlow (mum), Email:, Phone: 0415 532 080

Dr Karl

Australia’s crazy-shirted science guru. Contact:, 02 9351 2963

Bernie Hobbs

ABC Science Online writer, broadcaster, The New Inventors judge, funny girl and former medical researcher.

Contact: via

Ruben Meerman

Better known as the Surfing Scientist, Ruben is a broadcaster, science communicator and now fat-busting myth-busting PhD student. Contact:

Gary Cass

One third scientist, one third artist, and one third entertainer. Contact: email

Will Steffen

Professor Will Steffen is a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, Canberra. He’s among the panel discussing ‘can science save humanity?’

Contact:, 02 6125 7265

Chris Lassig

Physics, eco and science communication guru and all-round nice guy Dr Chris Lassig is talking time machines, physics and his science hero this Science Week. He also presents ‘Lost in Science’ on radio 3CR.

Contact: via

Katie Mack

Astrophysicist and Twitter star @AstroKatie

Contact: via Natalie Bedini,, 0420 908 096

Clare Hampson

Dr Clare Hampson is a trainee pathologist, medical advisor for the ABC series The Doctor Blake Mysteries and a Eurovision enthusiast.

Contact: via Natalie Bedini,, 0420 908 096

Questacon senior execs – Kate Driver & Dr Stuart Kohlhagen

Questacon’s Acting Director Kate Driver and Director of Science and learning Dr Stuart Kohlhagen are passionate about involving Australians from all walks of life in science and National Science Week.

Contact: Rian Kent, or phone 02 6270 2947


Limited availability

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist, author, celebrity, wrestler, world-recognised badass, currently touring Australia with gigs in Sydney and Canberra this weekend.

Contact: Suzi Jamil, or 0424 805 323

Chris Hadfield

A spaceman and musician who performed A Space Oddity in orbit. Touring Australia with gigs in Melbourne and Sydney this week. Contact: Nikita at IP Publicity


Australia’s eighteenth National Science Week will be one of Australia’s largest festivals, with 1,500 plus registered events expected to reach over a million people.

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and sponsors NewScientist, Cosmos, Popular Science and PrimaryConnections.


National Science Week General media enquiries:

Tanya Ha – or call 0404 083 863

Niall Byrne – or call 0417 131 977