National Science Week Programme 2016


Thursday 11 August, 6.30pm – 8pm

Microplastics in the ocean

With more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic estimated to already be in the ocean, and eight million tonnes more added each year, the level of microplastic pollution has reached a crisis point. UNSW ecologist Dr Mark Browne will discuss the action needed to reduce the impact of these pervasive materials on humans and wildlife at a Sydney Institute of Marine Science event. More details here.


Saturday 13 August, 11am - 3pm

Science in the Swamp

UNSW Science will be in Centennial Parklands for a fun, family outdoor festival. This free community event brings together all kinds of science demonstrations, exhibitions, experiments and ideas. Come along and say Hi to the UNSW Science team.


Saturday 13 August, 2 - 4pm

Meet your Microbes: The surprising world inside you.

There are roughly as many bacterial cells in your body as human cells, and they can control everything from your weight and your smell, through to your mood and your thoughts. Harnessing their power could be the next great tool in medicine. Come and hear about new findings revealing how the bugs inside you control your brain, as well as the role food and your appendix plays in controlling your microbiome.

UNSW Science is proud to co-host of this event with NewScientist. Use discount code "UNSW" when booking tickets online.


Saturday 13 August 9:30am - 4pm

Super Science Saturday Australian Museum Science Festival

An amazing day for the whole family, when science comes to life with hands on activities, talks and shows in a range of scientific fields. UNSW Science will be part of this fun family day. Details and to book here


Monday 15 August, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

A web of secrecy: how internet encryption works

Free lunchtime talk! Using only basic high school maths, Dr Randell Heyman will show you how encryption really works.This event will be held in the City Recital Hall 2-12 Angel Place Sydney. This event is made possible through the support of Inspiring Australia. More details here


Monday 15 August, 6pm - 8pm:

Star Power! Fusion energy scientific frontiers.

UNSW Engineering & Science present Ian Hutchinson, MIT Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Professor Hutchinson will discuss the challenges for scientists, including why fusion is so difficult and what still has to be learnt about harnessing this energy of the Sun for the benefit of the planet. Register your attendance here


Tuesday 16 August, 6pm – 9pm

How to make a quantum computer (and a great science documentary)

UNSW’s Professor Andrea Morello (quantum computing) and Associate Professor Darren Curnoe (human evolution) will join award-winning filmmakers including Sonya Pemberton and Isabel Perez to discuss how to craft entertaining stories out of highly technical scientific information. This special OZDOX/Sydney Science Festival event will be held at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. More details here.


Wednesday 17 August, 6pm - 9pm

Quantum Physics & Art.

Associate Professor Paul Thomas (UNSW Art & Design) and Professor Andrea Morello (Quantum Physicist, UNSW Engineering) will discuss and present their collaborative work demonstrating links between quantum physics, computing, consciousness and artistic expression. The session will be chaired by Professor Robert Clark AO (Chief Scientist in Residence, UNSW Art & Design). More details here


Wednesday 17 August, 6pm - 8pm

The Einstein Lecture

What have we learned about how the Universe builds planets? How common are so-called habitable environments like Earth’s? What does it even mean for a planet to be habitable? The coming decade is set to deliver exciting answers to these questions, as new generations of telescopes, satellites and exquisitely precise cameras are trained on the nearby stars. Join UNSW astronomer Professor Chris Tinney to find out what’s ahead. Bookings essential here


Thursday 18 August, 5:15 - 8pm

River Journey

This science-meets-art exhibition aims to stimulate a national conversation about the importance of rivers and wetlands. Led by UNSW ecologist Professor Richard Kingsford and UNSW curator Dr Felicity Fenner, the project combines the latest science with commissions from leading Australian sound and installation artists Andrew Belletty and Janet Laurence. Other participants include artists Nici Cumpston, Tamara Dean and Bonita Ely, and scientists Claire Sives and Kate Brandis from the Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW.

We follow a river's journey from source to sea, capturing its vibrancy in photography, video and sound, reflecting its incredible biodiversity but also illustrating the enormous management challenges and effects of competition for scarce water resources.

It will be accompanied by a panel discussion between participating artists and scientists, pitched at audiences from both disciplines, and an illustrated public talk by Richard Kingsford that invites attendees to see 'behind the scenes' of the data and imagery featured in the exhibition.

Exhibition open 18 - 20 August. More details here


More events here