National Science Week 2017

National Science Week week is Australia's annual celebration of science and technology. 

Now entering its 19th year, National Science Week 2017 will be held between 12 - 20 August. During the week, more than a thousand events will be taking place across Australia, with an array of activities on offer - from science festivals, music and comedy shows, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

National Science Week is designed to reach as many Australians as possible with positive messages about the impact that science has on our lives, economy, society and our world. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in.

Each year, our science communications competition, FameLab, aims to get people excited by and talking about science. Participants deliver three minute presentations about their scientific research, without the use of PowerPoint or jargon. Past FameLab participants have given TEDx talks, featured on radio and television programmes, and have become successful researchers who are better able to communicate their work effectively.  

Here are just some of the things FameLab Alumni are doing during Science Week 2017:

  • Microbiologist Nural Cokcetin, winner of FameLab Australia and runner-up of FameLab International 2017, is giving a free public lecture at the University of Technology Sydney on Tuesday 15 August about the incredible medicinal properties of honey, and how it can be used to treat skin infections.
  • Bronwyn Ayre from WA will be involved in Science Cafe, run by Scitech & the University of Western Australia - an initiative that brings year 10/11 students and scientists together for a morning tea.
  • Chaminda Ranasinghe and Leanda Mason will be presenting their FameLab talks, titled 'My Tangled Brain' and 'Trapdoor Spiders of Perth' respectively, at Perth Science Festival on 13 August. 
  • Narelle Dybing will be spreading the amazing world of parasites and science at the Murdoch University outreach tent at the Perth Science Festival on 12 and 13 August, and will be showing off her parasites at a citrus picnic community event in Whitby on 20 August. She and the outreach team at Murdoch University are also organising nightly screenings of Scinema International Science Film Festival films during National Science Week, with different themes (such as Primary School, Secondary School, 'Our Bodies', 'Animals' and 'the best of SCINEMA' being explored each night. Find out more here.
  • Tahlia Perry's citizen science project - EchidnaCSI - will be launching close to Science Week. The app will help Tahlia and her team piece together information about wild echidna populations to aid their conservation.
  • Erin Walsh is involved in the Shirty Science exhibition, which brings research out of the lab by sitting Canberran scientists down with local artists to come up with a shirt design that represents their research.
  • Samuel Hinton is taking part in a contest of intelligence and wit at Battle of the Brains - Brisbane on Sunday 13 August, attempting to prove that he's the best, brightest, and funniest physicist in the land.
  • Nicolas Molnar has been shortlisted for the Royal Society of Victoria Young Scientist Research Prize. He will present his research at a special event during Science Week and winners will be announced on 17 August.
  • Kelly Simpson will be giving a talk about the science behind a zombie disease outbreak as part of the Innovation Games at Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday 20 August.

 

What else is happening in my area?

There are more than a thousand events taking place across the country during National Science Week 2017. To find an event in your area, visit www.scienceweek.net.au.

SCINEMA is the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere; showcasing the best science features, shorts, documentaries, animated and experimental films from filmmakers around the world. There are lots of free SCINEMA screenings will be happening around Australia during National Science Week. You can even register your venue and pick from any of the 10 SCINEMA playlists available to host your own science film festival!  Find out more via Australia's Science Channel.

 

Find out more about our science communication competition, FameLab

FameLab is an annual competition sponsored by the British Council and held as part of the Cheltenham Festivals. Since its birth in 2005, it has grown into the world’s leading science communication competition and has seen more than 7,500 young scientists and engineers participate in more than 32 different countries.

The prestigious competition aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective in just three minutes. The winners of each country go on to present at the FameLab International final at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK each year, opening the doors to global opportunities in science communication!

This year, Australia's winner Nural Cokcetin from the University of Technology, Sydney, was runner up in the International Final in Cheltenham with her research into honey’s prebiotic value to human health. In her passionate and witty presentation, Nural explained how honey can improve the beneficial bacteria of the human gut After investigating 25 different Australian honeys, Nural’s research indicates that consuming just a tablespoon of honey a day is enough to have a positive effect on the digestive system and lead to improvements overall health and wellbeing.

“FameLab international has been an incredible experience. I am coming home with so many new friends, amazing science knowledge, and feel very much part of a wider scientific community reaching countries all over the world,” says Nural.

Meet the 2017 international finalists here or find out more about FameLab here.

Read about new perspectives on science in the British Council blog

For fresh perspectives on science, education and culture around the world, check out the British Council blog, VOICES.

Recent blog posts on the topic of science include: