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Dr Karl and Adam Spencer hosting a special Science Festival event in 2017

Sydney Science Festival events 2019

National Science Week & Sydney Science Festival 6–18 August 2019
We're shining light on the wonderful world of science once again as University of Sydney researchers get involved in a range of public events for National Science Week.
Sydney Science Festival logo

2019 events

During National Science Week and the Sydney Science Festival, the University of Sydney is represented at or hosting these exciting events:


Launch event: How science is transforming NSW

Sun 4 August, 2:30pm, Blue Mountains Theatre

A free family event will feature NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte and University of Sydney's Professor Salah Sukkarieh, Digital Farmhand robot demonstration and expert talks on how technology is transforming NSW.

The ambidextrous brain: the neuroscience of imagination & creativity

Wed 7 August, 12:30pm, The Studio, Sydney Startup Hub, Sydney

Join us as part of the Sydney Science Festival 2019, as The Studio hosts Professor David Alais, from the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Getting the most out of your brain’s extraordinary powers requires understanding its cognitive cycle. Recent neuroscience findings have revealed new insights about the brain’s creative network and useful hacks for developing it.

A Night of Illusions

Sat 10 August 7pm, The Giant Dwarf Theatre, Redfern

Leading sensory scientists present their favourite illusions and explain some of the weird and wonderful ways that our brain shapes our perceptions and memories of the external world, as well as our own bodies. Try out our interactive exhibits to experience a dazzling array of visual and tactile illusions, and see for yourself how your brain constructs your experience of the world.

The Hidden World of Math with Eddie Woo

Sun 11 August, 3pm, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo

Hear from the Education Ambassador the University of Sydney and Ambassador for Sydney Science Festival, STEM superstar Eddie Woo! Discover how he brings maths to life inside and outside of the classroom. Learn about Eddie’s mission to inspire and increase society’s appreciation of maths, as he uncovers the hidden world of maths that we interact with daily.

STEMpunk Podcast Live: Trivia

Tues 13 August 6.30pm, Wayward Brewery, Camperdown

Fans of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) – come down to a live recording of the popular STEMpunk podcast at Wayward Brewery for a mix of science and trivia, a quiz and live experiments. It’s just like a regular trivia night, but with more science!

ABC Science Live on Stage - Ockham’s Razor

Thurs 15 August 6pm, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo

Be enthralled as brilliant scientists tell stories of their cutting-edge work. Real science told by real scientists with no notes, no slides – just great stories. It’s all part of Ockham’s Razor – the ABC podcast for anyone with a compelling story of science. Expect a jam-packed evening of short talks to intrigue, excite and inspire. Professor Geordie Williamson (Professor of Mathematics, University of Sydney) asks, “where do ideas come from?”

Insights from neuroscience

Wed 14 Aug, 6:30pm, Centenary Auditorium, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art and science are often seen as unrelated endeavours, yet recent advances in neuroscience are shining new light on the mysteries of creativity and aesthetics. Presented by University of Sydney's Professor David Alais, this presentation will review recent advances in the scientific understanding of the creative and artistic brain, including ways to better tap into your own creativity.

Poggendorff Lecture with Professor Robert Park

Administration Building (F23), Level 5, Function Room, University of Sydney

Professor Robert Park will reveal how plant diseases affect our very existence and the work his team do in developing new genetic approaches for sustainable and environmentally friendly crop disease control.

Sleep tight

Thurs 15 August, 6pm, Five Dock Library

Why is it so important to get a good night’s sleep? University of Sydney sleep researcher Dr Camilla Hoyos explains the benefits of sleep, from wellbeing to healthy brain ageing and dementia prevention.

The Colour of an Electron

Sun 18 August, 6:30pm, Giant Dwarf Theatre, Redfern

Join Dr Karl and Astrophysicist Prof Geraint Lewis as they take you places you’ve never been. Come on an electrifying journey that will join the astonishing (and often tenuous) dots between light, electrons and the workings of our colourful universe. Showtime runs 45 minutes, with another 45 minutes for Q&A.

This Sounds like Science: Why Music is Maths

Wed 7 August 12.30pm, City Recital Hall

Join Professor Geordie Williamson for a journey into the shape of sound and sound waves, to explore the fascinating world of timbre, overtones, modes and frequencies – ideas among the most fundamental tools of modern mathematics and physics.

Medicinal Cannabis: From Criminal to Clinical

Wed 7 August 6.30pm, Max Webber Library, Blacktown

How did medicinal cannabis go from being illegal to a prescribed medicine improving lives? Hear the story of how one young girl’s struggle with severe epilepsy is changing the cannabis research landscape. Dilara Bahceci, a researcher from the University of Sydney's Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, will discuss the development and delivery of cannabis-based medicines targeting a variety of conditions.

Soapbox Science Sydney

Sat 10 August 12 – 3pm, Circular Quay Western Promenade (outside the MCA)

Soapbox Science Sydney is a free, interactive, public event showcasing the cutting-edge Australian research carried out by aspiring and established female researchers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine disciplines. Featuring University of Sydney’s Ruddhi Gupta presenting “Machine Learning and Quantum Control Using our engineering past to navigate a quantum future” and Dr Emi Tanaka presenting “Is diversity important? What we can learn from plant breeding.”

From Reef to Harbour: The Hidden Wonder of NSW Corals

Sat 10 August, 6pm, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Mosman

Explore the underwater wonders of the coral reefs up and down the NSW coast with leading researchers at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Featuring researchers from the University of Sydney, UNSW, University of Newcastle and Macquarie University.

The Decline of Insect Populations

Mon 12 August 6.30pm, Stanton Library, North Sydney

The worldwide biodiversity of insects is in peril, a review of 73 historical reports from across the globe has shown. 41% of the world’s insect species are in dramatic rates of decline, while a third of them are threatened and may become extinct over the next few decades. Discover some of the disastrous consequences of climate change, pollution and intensive agriculture on nature’s ecosystem, as Dr Sánchez-Bayo discusses the global decline of insect populations.

The Al-Zr of the Periodic Table

Wed 14 August, Doors open: 6.00pm, The Great Hall, The University of Sydney

Our ensemble of scientists – including Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Adam Spencer and Dr Alice Motion – uncover weird and wonderful tales of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Join us for an entertaining night of science and get up close with the chemical elements to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table this National Science Week.

Complex Systems: Computer Modelling of Epidemics

Thurs 15 August, 6pm, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts 280 Pitt St, Sydney

Professor Mikhail Prokopenko from the University of Sydney Centre for Complex Systems reveals how the development of very realistic computer models of our world helps us better understand and better deal with complex problems like flu epidemics.

Operation Earth: A Conservation Mission – Family Day

Sat 17 August, 10.30am, Taronga Zoo, Mosman

Mobilise the mission operatives in your family and get involved in the University of Sydney’s hands-on science challenges to learn about the conservation strategies in place to ensure a future for Earth’s magnificent wildlife. The mission is followed by exclusive behind the scenes tours of the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning science labs, where you’ll hear about key wildlife conservation science projects that are contributing to saving planet Earth.

Bird evolution: from dinosaurs to DNA

Tues 20 August, 6pm, University of Sydney

Professor Scott Edwards from Harvard University deciphers the language of DNA to reveal the origins of birds unique traits, such as feathers and song, providing clues to their stunning diversity and survival in the face of global environmental change and their dinosaur ancestry.


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