Dog happiness; and dark matters – on a roadtrip and in an exhibition

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Dozens of Science Week stories around Victoria

  • Can art shed light on dark matter?
  • Dog happiness and mental health
  • A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter
  • 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.

The art of dark matter – Carlton, VIC

Dark matter consists of a mysterious substance that does not present an interaction with electromagnetic forces, which means it does not absorb, reflect it, or emit light.

The DARK MATTERS exhibition explores the mysterious substance that makes up 85 per cent of the matter in the universe. It’s a collaboration between Science Gallery Melbourne, Arts at CERN and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics.

Through local and international experimental projects – some developed in conversation with scientists and researchers – explore life and all the dark matter that flows through it, under it and collides with it.

Wednesday 5 August – Thursday 30 November:

Media enquiries: Katrina Hall, or 0421 153 046.

Dog happiness and mental health – Online

Is your dog stressed, bored, or lonely?

Join University of Melbourne animal welfare scientist Dr Mia Cobb as she unveils the secrets behind canine happiness and decodes a brighter future for dogs and the practical applications to improve dog welfare.

Discover how interdisciplinary animal welfare research is helping dogs to live their happiest lives, alongside their humans.

Thursday 17 August:

Media enquiries: Vanessa Williams, or 0422 261 937.

A band of physicists go on a road trip to explain quantum and dark matter – touring Victoria & beyond

The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip brings quantum and dark matter experts to pubs and schools in cities and towns around Australia, including Adelaide, Sydney, Eden, Albury, Perth, Wangaratta, Stawell, Melbourne, Mallacoota, Apollo Bay, Brisbane, cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Winton.

Dark matter accounts for 84 per cent of all the matter in the Universe… but we don’t yet know what it is. Australia is a key player in the quest to find out.

Quantum technologies are crucial in the hunt for dark matter, and they’re already used in smart phones and cars, medical imaging, manufacturing, and navigation. But today’s technologies capture only a small fraction of the potential of quantum physics.

Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Fleur Morrison, or 0421 118 233.

Multiple experts involved with different legs of the tour are available for media interviews, including UWA particle physicist Ben McAllister.

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