Fighting cancer, tree saviours, archaeology in space, and a First Nations Science Festival

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Dozens of Science Week stories around South Australia

  • Nitro Nat and animal encounters at Science Alive! – Showgroundsf
  • Plants in space and the Botanic Gardens, Ngarrindjeri weaving, Indigital augmented reality, and more at Payirri-Apinthirlu Naalityangka: the First Nations Science Festival – Adelaide
  • Can we innovate creativity? – Adelaide
  • Proton therapy for cancer – Adelaide
  • Tree scientist encourages gardeners to grow the urban forest – Aberfoyle Park, Noarlunga, Smithfield Plains, Salisbury, & Enfield
  • Using data to map dolphin migration – Kangaroo Island
  • Archaeology in space and on Earth in a changing climate – Unley
  • Tiny Adventures Inside of Me: A journey into microbiology – Mount Gambier
  • What is Australia’s favourite animal sound?

More on these highlights below.

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

Read on for direct contact details for each event, or contact Tanya Ha –, 0404 083 863.

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

Media centre here. Images for media here.

South Australia’s launch event with minister, chief scientist, and award winners – 6pm, Friday 11 August at the Museum

Launch event with:

  • Susan Close MP Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
  • The Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia
  • Prof Caroline McMillen, South Australia’s Chief Scientist

The Governor of South Australia will present the Citizen Science Award, the Unsung Heroes of Science and Science Communication Awards and 2023 Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.
Where: South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide.
Media enquiries: Alison Kershaw, or 0417 046 600.

National Science Week in South Australia: highlights

Science Alive! – Wayville Showgrounds

  • Nitro Nat – Supreme States of Matter with Liquid Nitrogen Show
  • Animals Anonymous Wildlife Show with Adrian Sherriff
  • Dr Quark’s Scientific Circus
  • Plus, dinosaur digs, robot building, live animal encounters, army drone racing, daleks, and bugs and slugs, top female scientists, and the scientific bubble show: more than different 80 science sessions, displays and activities, all under one roof.

These are just some of the speakers, activities and displays at a bigger than ever Science Alive!, with events held over 3 days in over 16,000 m2 at the Adelaide Showground.

STEM Day Out (schools): Friday 4 August.

Saturday 5 – Sunday 06 August:

Media enquiries: Francesca Doyle, or 08 8242 8400.

Payirri-Apinthirlu Naalityangka: the First Nations Science Festival – Adelaide

Explore Indigenous science through a series of events held in the heart of Adelaide.

Indigital AR Workshop: Hear a yarn on Country from a Knowledge Holder about the cultural ways of the Kaurna People. Work with Indigenous TechEd company Indigital to use Minecraft, Microsoft Paint 3D and Indigital’s voice recording software to turn the yarn into an augmented reality experience. Saturday 12 August.

Botanic Gardens Native Plant Trail: Tjimari Sanderson-Milera, founder of Kumarninthi Cultural Education, takes people into the Adelaide Botanic Gardens to learn how native plants are used in Aboriginal culture. Sunday 13 August.

Night Lab: In Our Element: Explore the four natural elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – in a night at the museum delving into the science and cultural significance these have for Aboriginal and other First Nations groups. Friday 18 August.

Native Plants on Earth and Beyond: Find out what the Australia’s First Scientists and Astronomers can teach us about growing plants on Earth and in space, at the Australian Space Discovery Centre. Saturday 19 August.

Ngarrindjeri Weaving Workshop: Learn about traditional textiles and technology through weaving with Aunty Ellen Trevorrow with support from Dr Janina Haines. Sunday 20 August.

Media enquiries: Alison Kershaw, or 0417 046 600.

Using data to map dolphin migration – Kangaroo Island

Can data save the dolphins?

Dolphin movements, patterns, behaviours and preferred habitat are fundamental elements in conservation and protection of dolphins, about which very little is known.

Community volunteers are also invited to participate in dolphin monitoring surveys (space permitting) and data analysis workshops on Kangaroo Island and in Victor Harbor, South Australia.

Images and videos are collected, identifying individual dolphins by distinctive dorsal fins and body markings. Data collected is used to inform management practices in collaboration with scientific entities and government agencies. The aim is to strengthen, protect and conserve dolphins numbers in regional waters. It is also made available to scientists globally, to increase understanding of these iconic marine mammals.

Tuesday 8 August – Friday 18 August:

Media enquiries: Tony Bartram, or 0429 870 006.

Tree scientist encourages gardeners to grow the urban forest – Aberfoyle Park, Noarlunga, Smithfield Plains, Salisbury, & Enfield 

Trees reduce pollution, create shade and encourage biodiversity, according to plant scientist Dr Kathryn Hill.

Kathryn studies how well trees are growing and how much carbon they’re storing by measuring their scientific values.  She even compares how plants grew 65 million years ago to how the same species grow today. 

Amateur plant scientists can help her grow and study more trees in Adelaide by attending her National Science Week workshops.

Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Kathryn Hill, or 0423 693 733.

Archaeology in space and on Earth in a changing climate – Unley, SA

Ask two very different archaeologists from Flinders University about finding unmarked graves, how climate change has impacted human history, and why the Moon is an archaeological site.

Alice Gorman is an international leader in the field of space archaeology and the author of the book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe.

Ian Moffat is an archaeological scientist using geological techniques to examine the effect of climate variation on human evolution.

Thursday 17 August:

Media enquiries: Kristie Beatson, City of Unley Libraries, or 08 8372 5100. Flinders University media enquiries: or 0427 398 713.

Q: Can we innovate creativity? – Adelaide

Creativity: are you born with it? Or can it be cultivated?

Ask a panel of artists and experts, including:

Dr Sarah Neville, Artist and Practitioner, whose research is in the area of the transmission and transfer of embodied knowledge in immersive digital simulation environments.

Alex Degaris, Artist, who is researching creative collaboration in virtual environments. Their work Traces of You is on display at MOD. as part of the FLEX exhibition.

Maria Vieira, Lecturer in Education Futures and PhD Candidate in STEM at UniSA. She is passionate about delivering innovative education experiences that cultivate creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills in STEM.

Thursday 17 August:

Media enquiries: Lisa Bailey, or 08 8302 6663.

Proton therapy for cancer – Adelaide

What is proton therapy? How is it different from traditional radiation treatments, and why it is such a game-changer for people with cancer in Australia – in particular children?

Proton therapy holds promise for treating rare tumours, paediatric tumours and tumours close to vulnerable organs.

Meet the people behind Australia’s first proton therapy centre – the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (ABCPTR) – is under construction adjacent to SAHMRI, with treatments to begin in early 2025.

Thursday 17 August:

Media enquiries: Pete McDonald,  or 0402 293 078.

Tiny Adventures Inside of Me: A journey into microbiology – Mount Gambier

Meet the doctor-turned- author behind ‘Tiny Adventures Inside Me’, the children’s book that shrinks the reader down to the size of a microbe and takes them inside the body to discover a whole new world of bacteria, viruses, and cells.

Dr Harry James Gaffney is a medical doctor and researcher, author, TEDx speaker, podcaster and pathology advocate. 

He is visiting Mount Gambier Library to share his book and knowledge of microbiology and staying healthy.

Saturday 12 August:

Media enquiries: via

What is Australia’s favourite animal sound?

Do you love the summer night sounds of cicadas? Or the outback howl of dingoes? Are you intrigued by the lyrebird’s mimicry or the mating croaks of frisky frogs?

The search is on to find our most-loved Aussie animal sound. This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online to eavesdrop on the animal kingdom, explore the wonder and science of bioacoustics, and vote for their favourite call of the wild.

Twenty-five different animal sounds have been selected by ABC’s resident nature-lovers in consultation with scientists so that people can get to know our local tweets, howls, bellows, barks, chirps, croaks and calls, and vote for their favourites.

Monday 31 July – Friday 18 August:

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, or 0408 166 426.

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 about 1.9 million people participated in more than 1,650 events and activities. 

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, and the ABC.

In 2023 it runs from Saturday 12 to Sunday 20 August. Event details can be found at