Astro-history, the human cost of climate change, and what on Earth (and in space) is dark matter?

Exclude from Home Page, National Science Week

Dozens of Science Week stories around Western Australia

  • What does climate change have to do with human rights? – Perth
  • Astronomy superstar’s journey through space and time – Crawley
  • Hack a webcam; see inside your cells – Crawley
  • In a pickle about how much food we waste! – Girrawheen
  • Unlocking the mysteries of quantum and dark matters – a WA idea goes national
  • A modern-day Noah’s ark: conserving Western Australia’s threatened plants – Kensington
  • Doing more with less: greener living in a regional centre – Geraldton
  • Wattle vs woollybutt: what is Australia’s favourite tree? – online

More on these highlights below.

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 –, 0404 083 863 or 03 9398 1416
  • Jane Watkins – or 0425 803 204

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

Media centre here. Images for media here.

National Science Week in WA: event highlights

What does climate change have to do with human rights? – Perth

The effects of climate change threaten a broad range of internationally recognised human rights, including access to food, shelter, and work. Some of the policies designed to address climate change are likely to further erode human rights, particularly of those who are disadvantaged.

Join Human Rights Watch researcher and former ABC Four Corners investigative reporter Sophie McNeill for an evening conversation at Boola Bardip museum asking, “Should climate change policies incorporate human rights principles?”

Alongside Sophie will be environmental and public health consultant Dr Helen Brown, who has widespread experience in climate change adaptation and health research, and artist and author-illustrator Sarah Davies, a participant in the project Connecting the Dots – Disability and Climate Change.

Thursday 11 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Robyn Ambrosius, or 0466 304 807

Astronomy superstar’s journey through space and time – Crawley

Aussie astrophysicist Dr Sabine Bellstedt uses large telescopes all over the world to learn about the billions of galaxies in our Universe, and how they got there.

She also deals with huge datasets, supercomputers and modern technology to expand the field of astronomical research, which began with the naked eye and simple lenses.

Sabine will give a talk about the history of astronomy, from the First Australians to Galileo to modern telescopes.

Thursday 18 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Cass Rowles, or 0420 976 086 

Sabine Bellstedt available for media interviews.

Hack a webcam; see inside your cells – Crawley

Hack a webcam to create your own light microscope. Homemade digital microscopes can photograph cell nucleus and mitochondria.

Hear from internationally renowned photographic artist Martine Perret and scientist Dr Jeremy Shaw from the UWA’s Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis.

See photographs from scientists who will also give microscopy workshops and talks.

Amateur scientists will make the microscopes by converting webcams and use them to take photos of the micro-world around them.

Saturday 13 August. Event details:

Media enquiries:, 08 6488 3229 or 0432 637 716

Dr Amanda Meyer, Dr Gavin Pinniger, Dr Jeremy Shaw and artist Martine Perret available for media interviews.

In a pickle: making food go further – Girrawheen, WA

On average, Australians waste about one in every five shopping bags full of food. How can science, microbes and glass jars help save food and the planet?

Perth sustainability educator Kath Moller shares her expertise in pickling, food safety, and preserving fresh produce in glass jars.

Discover the reasons for the steps involved, from selecting the produce to preserve, to hearing the jar lids pop down as a vacuum seal forms, keeping food safe and shelf-stable until opened.

There will be discussions about recipes, preparation of the food, and demonstration of filling the jars, and hot water bath processing to obtain a vacuum seal.

Monday 15 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Girrawheen Library, 08 9342 8844

Unlocking the mysteries of quantum and dark matters – national

Dark matter accounts for 85 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.

The National Quantum & Dark Matter Road Trip brings quantum and dark matter experts to cities and towns around Australia, travelling from Brisbane to Perth via Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Canberra, Bendigo, Stawell, Adelaide, Kalgoorlie and many more towns in between. This follows a successful tour of southern WA in National Science Week last year.

More information:

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 dark matter enlightener Jackie Bondell and UWA particle physicist Ben McAllister.

A modern-day Noah’s ark: conserving Western Australia’s threatened plants – Kensington

The south-west of Western Australia is renowned for its rich plant diversity. This diversity, combined with

the loss of a large proportion of the original vegetation, has led to this area being recognised internationally as a biodiversity hotspot. The Western Australian Seed Centre, Kensington, is a key pillar in conserving some of WA’s most threatened plants.

See inside this critically important seed bank at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to discover how biologists collect seeds of some of Western Australia’s most threatened plant species, prepare them for storage and – most importantly – retrieve stored seeds and get them ready for replanting back in the wild.

Monday 15 August. Event details:

Media enquiries:

Goodness Festival: Sustainable Living Expo – Geraldton

Can Geraldton go green? Experts are here to help, with practical science-based advice, workshops, guest speakers, and interactive displays to show locals the various ways to reduce their environmental footprints.

The inaugural Sustainable Living Festival is hosted by the Goodness Festival and Midwest Carbon Zero to explore sustainable daily living.

Find out about:

  • seed saving to preserve local plant biodiversity
  • edible seaweed and foraging
  • reducing waste when there’s limited local recycling options
  • permaculture design for the local environment
  • building more sustainable homes
  • bike repair and electric bikes
  • grey water systems
  • zero-waste hacks for the home.

A variety of stalls, workshops, panels, guest speakers, and interactive displays will demonstrate to the public the various ways their environmental impact can be reduced.

The expo will be held at the beautiful Geraldton Foreshore, highlighting the importance of caring for and securing knowledge about our local environment.

Saturday 20 August. Event details:

Media enquiries: Lara Sampson, or 0477 426 878

Wattle vs woollybutt: what is Australia’s favourite tree? – online

Do you love the water-bulging boab or the towering mountain ash, the world’s tallest flowering tree? Are you intrigued by the carbon capturing power of grey mangroves or the ‘living fossil’ story of the Wollemi pine?

The search is on to find Australia’s favourite tree. This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online to explore the wonder and science of the plant kingdom, and vote for their favourite tree.

33 different tree species have been long-listed by ABC’s resident tree-lovers in consultation with horticulturalists so that people can get to know our natives and vote for their favourites.

Monday 1 – Friday 26 August. Visit:

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, or 0408 166 426

Experts available for media interviews. Media kit at:

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—despite a global pandemic—1.3 million people participated in more than 1,750 events and activities.

National Science Week is proudly supported by the Australian Government, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association, the ABC, and Cosmos magazine.

National Science Week 2022 will run from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 August. Event details can be found at