Bio-bounce, croc dissection and asking ‘can science save humanity?’

National Science Week

Australians will have the opportunity to meet scientists, discuss the hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society and National Science Week kicks off today.

These are just a few of the highlights:

… and there’s more on each below.

From a large croc dissection in Darwin, down to Antarctic expedition events for schools ‘live via satellite’. From an international bioluminescent bacteria expert visiting Perth, to a ‘shark in a bus ’ visiting Sydney— over 1,500 events and activities have been registered across Australia for National Science Week.

Running from 15-23 August, Science Week 2015 is expected to reach over a million Australians—with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert talks, art installations and performances, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

There are science festivals in Hobart, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, the Sapphire Coast, Lismore, Gingin, Gold Coast and more.

And there are expert panel discussions, exploring topics such as ‘should science be sexy?’, ‘what are the secrets of success for women in science?’ and ‘can science save humanity?’

ABC’s ‘Galaxy Explorer,’ Science Week’s national experiment, is up and running for the month of August, online at www.galaxyexplorer.net.au.

Ordinary Australians can do real science from their own homes, classifying 300,000 galaxies 3-4 billion light years away. In the first two weeks over 78,000 galaxies have been classified, thanks to the group effort of more than 6,000 citizen scientists.

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.

Visit the National Science Week website for the details of events in your area www.scienceweek.net.au.

Audio interview grabs suitable for radio news are available here, featuring

  • Todd Sampson, advertising guru, presenter of ABC’s Redesign My Brain and biology graduate
  • Dr Brad Tucker, astronomer and organiser of two World Record Stargazing attempts
  • Dr Tristan Clemons, hockey player and bionano researcher
  • Prof John O’Sullivan Past Prime Minister’s Prize for Science winner and Wifi inventor

National Science Week general media enquiries:
Tanya Hatanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or call 0404 083 863
Niall Byrneniall@scienceinpublic.com.au or call 0417 131 977.

The biggest, bounciest plant cell and more at Science in ACTion – Kingston, ACT

Science in ACTion at the Old Bus Depot in Kingston will invite visitors to examine a crime scene, meet local wildlife, get prepared for natural disasters,plants see replica aircraft and bump into a nucleus in the big plant cell bouncing castle. Great photo opportunities at this family festival.

Over 40 organisations from around the ACT will have displays of their latest research. From robots to model aeroplanes, defence technology to environmental science and everything in between.

Schools Day Friday 14 August Event details

Community Day Saturday 15 August Event details

Dinosaurs by day; light orbs by night – Centennial Parklands, Sydney, NSW

Centennial Parklands will host a dinosaur, bats, the Tooronga Zoomobile, physics and chemistry demonstrations, and pot-planting activities in a free family fun day.

Then in the evening, in the park’s Belvedere Amphitheatre, artist Peter Solness will orchestrate members of the public to create some night magic photography.Science-in-Swamp-dinosaur-without-logo-300x200

Photo opportunities of family science fun during the day and the art and science of light by night.

Science in the Swamp! Saturday 15 August 11:00am – 3:00pm Event details

Field of Orbs Light Painting Extravaganza, Saturday 15 August 6:00pm Event details

Media enquiries: Vanessa Barratt, Vanessa.Barratt@cp.nsw.gov.au or 0450 018 752

The Amazing Science Circus with twin 20-year old ringmasters – Castle Hill, NSW

Roll up, roll up to the Amazing Science Circus and meet ringmasters Imogen and Freya and their scientist friends who will dazzle you with an air cannon, Cartesian divers, experiments, displays, environmental and biological science, eco-craft, and give-aways.

These two university students are veterans of Science Week, having presented The Amazing Science Circus at The Powerhouse Museum for the past three years. This year, Imogen and Freya bring their science to the people at the busy Castle Towers Shopping Centre. Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 August Event details 

Imogen and Freya are available for media interviews. If you want to know how we can attract women and young people to science careers, why not ask them?

Contact: Erika (mum), Email: info@i-fink.com, Phone: 0415 532 080

That which we call a rose… has a scientific name – The Gardens, NT

Why there is a genus of plants called Ficus and a genus of animals called Ficus? And what the little animal behind the big name Athoracophorus bitentacularis rufovenosus?

Richard Willan, Senior Curator Molluscs will talk about biological classification and scientific naming in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s Discovery Centre. Sunday 16 August Event details

Richard Willan is available for media interviews.

Contact Richard directly on 08 8999 8238

Scientists fight about whose work is weirdest – South Brisbane, QLD

It’s flora and fauna versus stem cell science versus the Universe, as eight experts argue that their discipline is the weirdest and most wonderful.

The Science Nation is holding a debate tournament that sees prominent researchers—including mathematician Dr Ben Burton, stem cell scientist Associate Professor Christine Wells and ecologist Professor Jenny Martin—competing to convince the audience that they do the weirdest, wackiest, craziest research in the world. Saturday 15 August Event details

Organiser and host Andrew Stephenson is available for interviews.

Contact Andrew directly via thesciencenation@gmail.com or 0421 400 688

Pop-up science at the AFL – Adelaide Oval, SA

SciWorld’s Pop-up Science cart will be near the eastern gates with enthusiastic presenters giving continuous science demonstrations for the two hours before the game. Saturday 15 August Event details

Antarctica goes Minecraft, molecular gastronomy and a man bound for Mars – TAS

The very first Festival of Bright Ideas will present a diverse program of hands-on activities, science entertainment, and celebrity speakers. Mingle with scientists and science communicators asJosh-Richards-300x226 they showcase Tasmania’s innovative and exciting science sector.

Highlights include:

  • Extract virtual ice cores with a Minecraft simulation of the Antarctic
  • Identify the weird and wonderful fish turning up in odd places with Redmap
  • Meet Josh Richards, who is on the shortlist for a one-way ticket to Mars
  • Hear from this year’s Young Tassie Scientists
  • See molecular gastronomy from The Chef and the Showman
  • See the RoboCup Junior finalists – robots playing soccer and dancing!

Saturday 15  August Event details

Young Tassie Scientists are available for media interviews

Media enquiries: Sarah Bayne, Sarah.Bayne@utas.edu.au or 0419 472 539

Strawberry DNA, chocolate science and the woman who survived an ‘overdose’ of 50 homeopathic sleeping pills – Melbourne, VIC

And she did it just to prove they don’t work.

Prolific blogger and YouTube sensation SciBabe Yvette d’Entremont is dedicated to debunking pseudoscience. She is always looking at the alternative medicine and pseudoscience movements with a sceptical eye, using a combination of real science and humour.

SciBabe is touring Australia for National Science Week and will be appearing at Living Science at Queen Victoria Market.

The family friendly festival explores the links between food, science, technology and the environment.

Visitors can make fizzing lollies, extract DNA from strawberries, nibble on some chocolate science, meet CSIRO scientists and handle cutting-edge technology. Sunday 16 August Event details

Celebrity scientists, bioluminescent bacteria and a dress made from beer – Northbridge, WA

Perth Science Festival is in its third year and has extended to two days, plus an over 18 night event on Saturday 15 August. lions

There will be over 50 stallholders and performers at this free event offering hands-on activities and science fun, plus music, film and, of course, explosions.

Special guest speakers include:

  • Nat Geo Wild’s Ben Britton
  • Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis
  • microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast Siouxsie Wiles.

‘The Naked Scientist’ Dr Chris Smith will also make an appearance along with Dr Tristan Clemons, former Australian hockey player and Research Associate from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UWA. Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 August Event details

Gastronomical! is an 18+ event part of the Perth Science Festival.

Gastronomical will combine the science of food and drink with an artistic twist on light to celebrate the International Year of Light. Glowing artwork made with bioluminescent bacteria will be featured in the Blue Room.

The stage will feature culinary science, music, light shows and a fashion parade…with a dress made out of beer. Saturday 15 August, 6:30pm Event details

Siouxsie Wiles and Ben Britton are available for media interviews.

Media Enquiries: Christine Allen, christine.allen@scitech.org.au or 08 9215 0739