Satellites solving mysteries, faster x-rays, zippy rockets, quicker cures and more

Great National Science Week TECHNOLOGY stories up for grabs now around Australia.

  • An eye in the sky over the deaths of one million fish – online, NSW
  • How fast can a rocket go? – Adelaide, SA
  • Smaller, lighter, faster X-rays – Tonsley, SA
  • What to do with radioactive waste – online, NSW
  • Hastening medical advances – online, NSW

These are just a few of the events on during this year’s National Science Week (August 14 to 22).

If you’re after more ideas for stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, performers, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

▪ Tanya Ha: or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

Individual event details and media contacts

Why did one million fish die at Menindee Lakes? – Online

Satellites are helping solve mysteries such as why did one million fish die at Menindee Lakes.

UNSW Professor Graciela Metternicht can discuss how the multi-billion satellite industry, and observing earth from a distance, is helping the rural sector.

Wednesday 18 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Graciela Metternicht, Bonnie Teece,

How fast can a rocket go? – Adelaide, SA

Rocket scientist Dr Patrick Neumann’s fascination with space travel led him to develop a super-efficient rocket engine.

He’s available to discuss how quickly a trip to space could be and how safe is it?

He will join Associate Professor Alice Gorman (aka ‘Dr Space Junk’) and space medicine researcher Vienna Tran at a space travel science fact and fiction Q & A event.

Thursday 19 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Hugh Scobie, Ancient World,, 0497 346 952

Smaller, lighter, faster X-rays – Tonsley, SA

How does X-ray imaging work? How is it different to photography? And how will it change in the future? Find out about X-rays and see the high-tech equipment involved, without breaking an arm or leg.

This series of events will give people the opportunity to see inside Adelaide’s Micro-X factory, which develops and produces new generation X-ray imaging equipment incorporating innovative design and carbon nanotube technology. There, they can also take part in visible light photography workshops. In addition, science and engineering talks at Flinders University will explore physics of X-ray production, engineering and problem solving, 3D printing, and how photography works.

Friday 20 August to Saturday 21 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Tennille Reed, or 0428 271 243.

Engineer and CEO Peter Rowland is available for interviews.

Is nuclear power here to stay? – online (NSW)

Should the next generation of submarines be nuclear powered?

Can nuclear energy slow climate change?

Are nuclear weapons needed for defence?

And why are we storing radioactive waste in our region?

Author and environmentalist Professor Ian Lowe is available for interview, tackles a range of contentious topics in his new book, Long Half-life: The Nuclear Industry in Australia.

Tuesday 24 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Sarah Cannon,, 03 9905 0526

Ian Lowe available for media interviews.

Why do medical discoveries take so long? – online

Researchers delivered multiple COVID-19 vaccines in under a year, but we’re still waiting for an AIDS vaccine, decades later.

And where’s our cure for cancer?

It seems to take forever for medical discoveries to reach the doctor’s consulting rooms.

UNSW medical experts, Anushka Patel, Louisa Jorm, Anand Deva, Joseph Powell and Vlado Perkovic are available to discuss why discoveries typically take so long and how to hasten medical and health advances.

They are presenting an online forum, organised by the UNSW Centre for Ideas.

Wednesday 1 September. Event details:

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, or 0408 166 426

Anushka Patel, Louisa Jorm, Anand Deva, Joseph Powell and Vlado Perkovic are available for media interviews.

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:

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