Planting butterflies, bottled cures and quackery, cancer art, and hundreds of mini-rockets take to the skies

Dozens of Science Week stories around Queensland

More on these highlights below.

Scientists, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week.

Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

  • Tanya Ha, 0404 083 863 or 03 9398 1416
  • Jane Watkins – or 0425 803 204

Visit to find stories in your area using the event listing.

Media centre here. Images for media here.

Queensland’s National Science Week launch with live experiments, cancer art, and a giant peacock spider – 11am, Thursday 11 August, Queen St Mall

An explosive science show at the Queen Street Mall stage (opposite Myer) kicks off National Science Week, featuring interactive science experiments and fun performances showcasing this year’s school theme Glass: More than meets the eye.

Launch event with:

  • Cancer biologist and National Science Week ambassador Ken Dutton-Regester
  • TV’s Dr Rob Bell from Experimentary, doing live science experiments
  • The UQ Science Demo Troupe
  • Queensland Museum scientists, curators and collections items
  • Webster, the peacock spider puppet.

Thursday 11 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Carolyn Cooke, or 0421 069 740

Rob Bell and Ken Dutton-Regester are available for media interviews.

National Science Week in Queensland: event highlights

1500+ rockets to be simultaneously launched around Australia

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.

It’s the brainchild of Brisbane teacher turned small business founder Steve Liddell who turned his love of science into an award-winning business presenting colourful and explosive live science shows. Meet the people who blow stuff up for a living while entertaining and educating live audiences about science.

Friday 12 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Kim Liddell, 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.

Making waves: a Century of Australian coral reef science – South Brisbane

In the face of climate change and other threats, can we save Australia’s many colourful reefs?

These reefs include those on the fringe of the Queensland coast, forming labyrinths in the Torres Strait and Coral Sea, and meandering along the Kimberley and Ningaloo coastlines.

Australia’s coral reefs are some of the longest, oldest, most biodiverse and pristine on the planet – some 17 per cent of all the world’s coral reefs. Four are World Heritage-listed: the Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island, Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay.

Coral reefs also hold great cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been caring for Sea Country for tens of thousands of years.

This exhibition at Queensland Museum explores 100 years of Australian coral reef science to find out how local scientists have been at the forefront of reef conservation and advocacy, making large ripples across the globe by supporting scientific research on coral reefs, and are protecting precious reefs for generations to come.

Reef scientists available for media interviews.

From Friday 12 August. Event details:

Media enquiries:

Explaining cancer biology to young people through pop-culture, art and augmented reality – online

How do you engage a broader or younger audience with the science of cancer and the need to reduce the risk of developing the disease?

The ‘Cancer ARt Gallery’ is a new cancer-biology-themed art gallery overlaid with augmented reality (AR), adaptive soundtracks and videography. It presents a series of AR artworks using pop-culture and nostalgic themes to explain cancer biology. It’s the brainchild of Dr Ken Dutton-Register, a cancer researcher at QIMR Berghofer and founder of creative studio Excite Science.

Each artwork is the result of a collaboration between a cancer researcher and an artist, mutually exploring creative expression to form an immersive and memorable experience.

Saturday 13 – Sunday 21 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Ken Dutton-Register, or 0435 931 961

Ken Dutton-Register is available for media interviews.

Feeding caterpillars to get butterflies – Kuranda

What botany is needed to feed very hungry caterpillars so they can grow into big, beautiful butterflies?

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda has the largest butterfly aviary and exhibit in Australia, gardens containing a variety of critical butterfly food, and a collection of native butterfly species, including the red lacewing, the mountain blue or ‘Ulysses’, and Australia’s largest butterfly, the Cairns birdwing, with a wingspan of about 18 centimetres.

Hear scientific talks from experts about the secret lives of butterflies, caterpillar food, where it is found, why it is important to the lifecycle of butterflies.

Saturday 13, Sunday 14, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Angel Benioni,, 07 4093 7575 or 0437 724 529

Cultural connection and Indigenous astronomy with Uncle Wayne Fossey – Logan

Ask Uncle Wayne Fossey how the sky has provided spiritual and practical connection to Country for thousands of years.

Learn about Indigenous astronomy and how the Elders read the Sun, Moon and stars to help with navigation, develop calendars and predict weather. Find out about the new faces and voices of Indigenous astronomy.

Saturday 13 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: or 07 3412 4100

A bottled history of cures and quackery – South Brisbane

From chloroform to quinine, and from dugong oil to snake oil, you can tell a lot about the history of medicine by the antique bottles left behind.

Queensland Museum Assistant Curator, Tess Shingles shares the stories of special objects from the museum collection in her presentation ‘Bottled Health: The benefits of glass for peddling dangerous medicines and cure-alls’.

Wednesday 17 August. Event details:

Media enquiries:

  • Kylie Hay, (07) 3153 4450, 0434 565 852 (Monday to Thursday)
  • Christine (07) 3153 4451, 0417 741 710 (Wednesday to Friday)

Tess Shingles is available for media interviews.

Wattle vs woollybutt: what is Australia’s favourite tree? – online

Do you love the water-bulging boab or the towering mountain ash, the world’s tallest flowering tree? Are you intrigued by the carbon capturing power of grey mangroves or the ‘living fossil’ story of the Wollemi pine?

The search is on to find Australia’s favourite tree. This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online to explore the wonder and science of the plant kingdom, and vote for their favourite tree.

33 different tree species have been long-listed by ABC’s resident tree-lovers in consultation with horticulturalists so that people can get to know our natives and vote for their favourites.

Monday 1 – Friday 26 August. Visit:

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, or 0408 166 426

Experts available for media interviews. Media kit at:

About National Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual opportunity to meet scientists, discuss hot topics, do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society—from art to astrophysics, chemistry to climate change, and forensics to future food.

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year—despite a global pandemic—1.3 million people participated in more than 1,750 events and activities.

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

National Science Week 2022 will run from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 August. Event details can be found at