Mood food, eating insects, dark matter, owl calls, a forgotten female physicist, and more

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Plus dozens of Science Week stories around WA:

  • Can we future-proof our food and fibre crops?
  • Forgotten physicist defends her life – on stage
  • Gut feelings: what to eat to improve your mood
  • Meet Magnus, the supercomputer that found gold, searched the stars, and mapped the quokka genome.
  • A mechanical stomach turning food waste into energy
  • Ask bright young minds about dark matter
  • Help map Australia’s owls by listening to their calls

These are just a few of the events happening 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.

Plus, WA’s National Science Week launch TODAY, 9:00am:

Continental rolls made from crickets & WA’s longest macchiato

Media opportunity: VIPs sample eat the ‘future food’ versions of WA’s official foods.

Who: Professor Peter Klinken AC – WA Chief Scientist and National Science Week WA Patron, and Professor Fiona Wood AM – WA Surgeon and Medical Researcher.

Where: Epoch Café, WA Museum Boola Bardip

Media enquiries: Jane Goldsmith, or 0422 224 183.

What: In an April Fool’s Day prank, Premier Mark McGowan this year jokingly declared WA’s official coffee and official sandwich as the Long Macchiato and Continental Roll.

Premier McGowan’s post will form the basis for the National Science Week 2021 launch. As WA citizens and scientists of note, Professor Klinken and Professor Wood will together enjoy a meal encompassing:

  • WA’s Longest Macchiato – giant, flower-vase sized Long Macchiato coffees made with locally-produced, environmentally-friendly oat milk; and
  • A Future Foods-Based Continental Roll – made with flour from freeze-dried crickets and filled with plant-based salami and ham deli meats.

Mini cricket-flour Continental Rolls will further be available for distribution to the WA public at this event, to gain public reactions to our possible diet future.

Individual event details and media contacts:

Finding food in a warming world – online

How will we produce food in a warming climate?

What if we run low on water supplies?

Do we need to adjust our diet?

The Generation Ag podcast explores such topics as alternative food sources, extracting nutrients from food waste, sustainable fishing, and more. Agricutlure enthusiasts Kayla Evans and Lavinia Wehr speak to the people working on future-proofing our food and fibre.

Saturday 10 July to Tuesday 31 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Jane Goldsmith, or 0422 224 183.

Forgotten genius defends her life – Subiaco

Meet the 18th century woman deeply involved in laying down the laws of physics.

‘Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight’ by Lauren Gunderson is a fast-paced biographical play that delves into the heart and mind of forgotten scientific genius Emilie du Châtelet – gifted mathematician and physicist, and Voltaire’s lover.

Lead actor Kate O’Sullivan, director Michelle Ezzy, and producer Alan Gill – who also plays Voltaire – are available for interviews.

Wednesday 11 August to Saturday 14 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Lynne Burford,, 0417 921 038

Gut feelings: what to eat to improve your mood – Clarkson, Wanneroo, Girrawheen

Never mind weight loss, your diet can have a direct impact on your mental health. Learn how choose foods that boost your brain and fight off depression and anxiety in this series of events conducted across Perth’s suburbs.

Your intestines are home to a vast population of tiny organisms, known collectively as the microbiome. And the mix of your belly bugs strongly influences not just physical but emotional wellbeing – using an internal communications pathway called the Gut-Brain Axis.

Join Edith Cowan University PhD candidates Tina Yan and Jo Rees as they reveal the ways in which the food you eat can improve your microbiome – and the benefits that brings for health and happiness.

Saturday 14 – Wednesday 18 August. Multiple dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Pepita Smyth, or 0417 171 551

Tina Yan and Jo Rees are available for media interviews.

Make way for a new supercomputer – online

Setonix, a supercomputer thirty times more powerful than its predecessors, is about to arrive.

It will accelerate research projects and solve massive problems even quicker.

It will replace the Magnus Supercomputer, which is being farewelled at the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre. Meet Magnus via a virtual tour – the supercomputer that found gold, searched the stars, and made the first map of the quokka genome.

Pawsey Centre executive director Mark Stickells is available for interviews

Tuesday 17 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Aditi Subramanya,, 0415 077 266.

Future foods for sustainable suburbs – metro Perth

  • Cooking with a solar oven
  • Making food last
  • Could your nature strip become a veggie verge?
  • Community building through urban farming

These are some of the topics covered in the ‘Food for Thought’ series of events and workshops, run by Switch Your Thinking in Perth’s suburbs.

Saturday 14 – Saturday 21 August. Multiple events, dates and locations.

Media enquiries: Shelley Foster, or 08 9397 3208

A ‘mechanical stomach’ turning food waste into electricity – Spearwood

Electricity can be generated via methane capture from food waste.

Richgro Bioenergy uses a ‘mechanical stomach’ to turn food waste into enough energy that could power thousands of homes.

Find out how food waste is being used to create power.

Monday 16 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Clare Courtauld,

Unlocking the mysteries of Dark Matter – Wagin, Denmark, Mount Barker, Mount Clarence, South Bunbury, Dalyellup & Nannup

A team of experts are winding their way around the Southwest of Western Australia in a minibus, visiting schools to answer questions about the little-understood Dark Matter.

The eight physicists from the University of Western Australia will inform and entertain with their in- depth knowledge and insights.

Schools they will visit are – Wagin District High School, Denmark Senior High School, Mt Barker Community College, Albany Senior High School, Newton Moore Senior High School (Community STEM Fair), Nannup District High School and Dalyellup College

Dr Ben McAllister, Prof. Michael Tobar, Kristen Harley, Fleur Morrison are available for media interviews.

Monday 16 – Friday 20 August. Multiple events, dates and locations.

Media enquiries: UWA Media Office,, 08 6488 3229 or 0432 637 716.

Can you find the owls in the night? Researchers recruiting Hoot Detectives – online

Hark, is that an owl hooting?

Researchers are after volunteers to help map five native Australian owl species, by listening to short recordings made in the bush. 

The idea is to hunt for Powerful, Barking, Boobook, Barn, and Masked owls.

The results will provide important information about the range and numbers of these beloved birds of prey. They will also help researchers develop artificial intelligence (AI) systems to use in a new field of science, known as “eco-acoustics”.

This nationwide project is called Hoot Detective, and is produced by ABC Science in collaboration with the Australian Acoustic Observatory for National Science Week.

Tuesday 10 August – Tuesday 31 August. Visit:

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: