Teddy bear dissection, dark skies, tardigrade art, ravens

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Plus dozens of Science Week stories around Tasmania:

  • Teddy bear dissection reveals our reliance on plastics
  • One in five bags of food is thrown away – can we change?
  • A party to celebrate Tassie’s dark skies
  • Finding Australia’s oldest sour dough, and fermenting at home
  • Matthew’s mad about ravens
  • Ice cores reveal past and future
  • Tardigrade art

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

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: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

Individual event details and media contacts:

Life on Mars, arty tardigrades, cartoonists, whisky, and a pop-up science bar – Hobart & regional Tasmania

Meet an Antarctic scientist, learn about the science of distilling whisky, see the art of the invisible, or ask an astrobiologist about NASA’s Perseverance Rover Mission to Mars.

Beaker Street Festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration of science and art, in and around Hobart’s iconic Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and touring Tasmania. It features talks and workshops led by top scientists, interactive science/art installations, the annual Beaker Street Science Photography Prize, live music in the Speakeasy Bar, Tassie food and drink, and roving scientists to chat with.

Highlights include:

  • Friday 6 August: What does science have to do with cartoons and whisky? Ask cartoonists Jon Kudelka and First Dog on the Moon.
  • Friday 6 August: Local ceramicist Nanna Bayer creates art inspired by the invisible world, including slime moulds, viruses, fungi, and tardigrades.
  • Friday 6 August: NASA’s search for life on Mars.
  • Saturday 7 August: What does the past, captured in ice, tell us about the future? Ask glaciologist Dr Tas van Ommen.
  • Saturday 7 August:  Indigenous data sovereignty: why Indigenous Peoples should have the right to govern the collection, management access, interpretation, dissemination, and reuse of data related to them – with Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter.
  • Saturday 14 August: The Aussie astronomer and Nobel Laureate mapping the entire southern sky – at the Nocturna Dark Sky Party.

Friday 6 – Saturday 14 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/beaker-street-festival/hobart/ or www.beakerstreet.com.au.

Media enquiries: Margo Adler, margo@beakerstreet.com.au or 0468 789 933.

Tassie’s war on food waste – North Hobart

7.3 million tonnes of food is lost, dumped, or wasted in Australia, every year.

And while much of that food is still edible, there are millions of Australian going hungry every day.

Food waste also creates toxic greenhouse gas emissions.

A panel of experts is available to discuss the issues at hand, including how to feed the hungry and how to stop the waste.

  • Food microbiologist Professor Tom Ross (University of Tasmania)
  • Food rescuer Amelia Cromb (Grassroots Action Network)
  • Andrew Hillier (CEO, Loaves and Fishes)
  • Senior waste and environmental consultant Gwen Harper
  • Dietician Ngaire Hobbins
  • Hosted by sustainable food systems expert Leah Galvin.

Thursday 12 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/tackling-food-waste-a-tasmanian-perspective/north-hobart/

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au or 0498 511 509

Speakers are available for media interviews.

Who started the sourdough baking craze? – online

Experts in the science of fermentation are on a quest to find Australia’s oldest sourdough.

Collaborating with The Sourdough Library in Belgium, the team is also aiming to bake the greatest sourdough ever while developing a masterclass on baking the Covid-19 lockdown daily staple.

Chef and sourdough expert Morgan Clementson is available to talk about our sourdough obsession, and how people can start their own ‘Ferment-Home-Station’.

Saturday 14 August to Monday 23 August. Event details: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/ferment-home-station/

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au

Morgan Clementson is available for media interviews.

Four breweries, four brews, two thirsty scientists – online and Hobart

Four breweries, four brews, two thirsty scientists, and a live audience.

ExBEERimental Science is a beer tasting event sampling the science behind brewing and beer. Four Australian independent breweries will craft an experimental beer to be explored in depth during the live-tasting panel event. Each of these beers will feature in the exBEERimental 4-pack, which science and beer nerds from across Australia can pre-order to enjoy at home while watching the live stream of the event.

There will also be limited live audience tickets to attend the in-person event (COVID dependant). This event is organised by Science Made Beerable, the brainchild of plant scientist Kelsey Picard and ornithologist (bird scientist) Matthew Fielding.

Wednesday 18 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/exbeerimental-science/hobart/

Media enquiries: Matthew Fielding, beerablescience@gmail.com

Kelsey Picard and Matthew Fielding are available for media interviews.

Teddy bear dissection – Fern Tree

Chopping up a teddy bear helps explain how plastics are manufactured, what their uses are and how long they take to decompose.

What are plastics made of? And why do tonnes end up in our oceans, impacting sea life and seabirds? Environmental consultant Evan Boardman explains all.

Friday 20 August. Event details:


Media enquiries: Evan Boardman, evan@e3planning.com.au or 0438 376 840; or Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au or 0498 511 509.

Science stunts, piracy, and dinosaurs down under—at the Festival of Bright Ideas

  • Find out about the science of piracy in Piratechniques 101, with ABC’s Lish Frejer (Pirate Captain ScungeBucket)
  • A science stunt show of hilarity and daring with Space Cowboy, Chayne Hultgren
  • Hacking Minecraft: code your own world
  • Get to know Aussie dinosaurs, from the flesh-eating Australovenator to remarkable long-necks like Savannasaurus and Rhoetosaurus, with Professor Flint, the singing paeleontologist
  • Dr Nathan Kilah explores improving your life with chemistry
  • How do we keep our lakes and rivers healthy?
  • What secrets are hidden in Antarctica’s ice and snow?
  • Meet scientists from Tasmania’s top research institutes
  • Plus the school solar car challenge, designing drugs, underwater parks, cuddly animals, workshops, and more.

These are just some of the speakers, activities and displays at the Festival of Bright Ideas, all under one roof at Princes Wharf 1 on Hobart’s waterfront.

Friday 20 August (schools day).

Saturday 21 August. Event details: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/festival-of-bright-ideas/hobart/

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au

Bugs, birds, brains, and cheese: young scientists tour Tassie

Meet Young Tassie Scientists this August! Matt the ‘raven-mad’ bird scientist, Allanna the bioinformatician, Dipon the cheesy microbiologist, and Shasta the entomologist who can tell you all about bugs and why we should eat them.

These are just a few of the Young Tassie Scientists team — passionate early career researchers who bring STEMM presentations and activities to schools and public events state-wide during August. Young Tassie Scientists are science ambassadors who make serious, local research accessible and entertaining for everyone. With a focus on reaching regional, rural and island communities, the group aim to inform Tasmanians about the wonderful work happening in STEM research across Tasmania.

Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Adele Wilson, adele.wilson@utas.edu.au or 0449 013 689

All the Young Tassie Scientists are available for media interviews.

More information: youngtassiescientists.com

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals, first held in 1997.

Last year about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events, despite a global pandemic.

It is proudly supported by the Australian Government, and partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, and the ABC. More information: www.scienceweek.net.au.

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 22 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: www.scienceweek.net.au.