Science & Medical |
National Science Week

Nudibranchs, exploding watermelons, NASA missions, and more

Nudibranchs, exploding watermelons, NASA missions, and more

Great National Science Week stories and talent up for grabs around Brisbane and regional Queensland, including:

·         Discover the factories of the future

·         Can Gen Z rescue humanity?

·         Make a melon go boom

·         What’s the connection between NASA and phytoplankton?

·         How to use your panic-bought food stash

·         Brissie Science Festival kicks off

·         Roo or beef? Become a Carbon Counter and cut your contribution to climate change

More on these highlights below, and others at, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, artists, performers and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Tanya Ha: or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: or 0417 131 977

Individual event details and media contacts

Future Earth conversations: future factories, pandemic proofing, and Gen Z to the rescue:

Join in with some of Queensland’s sharpest minds for three live-streamed events:

·         Factory of the Future: where technology meets the everyday, with Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp, Cori Stewart from the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub, and strategic foresight scientist Stefan Hajkowicz from CSIRO Data61 – Tuesday 18 August.

·         Pandemic Proofing: facing the new normal, with ABC Health journalist Tegan Taylor, HPV vaccine co-inventor Ian Frazer, and virologist Kirsty Short – Wednesday 19 August

·         The Future is in Their Hands: tread softly, with purpose and courage: Generation Z change-makers discuss climate change, eco-anxiety, and creative solutions for surviving and thriving. With entrepreneur and ‘tech-head prodigy’ Scott Millar, and Global Shapers Gold Coast Hub leader Rachell Angeles Hansen – Thursday 20 August

Media enquiries: Carolyn Cooke, or 0421 069 740

Several panellists are available for media interviews.


Science of the Sea: whale sharks, climate change, nudibranchs and Tim Flannery

Ask Tim Flannery how climate change is affecting our oceans and what can we do to help. Learn about nudibranchs – the sea slugs that look like they’re dressed for the carnival. Perhaps go on a virtual rock ramble, or hear from experts about humpback whale calving, marine animal rescue, and saving the Great Barrier Reef.

Gold Coast Libraries’ ‘Science of the Sea’ is a program of free online events, including ‘Luminary Lectures’ from high-profile scientists, focused on the ocean, coastline and marine life.

Luminary Lectures:

·         Samantha Reynolds: The impact of climate change on whale shark movement and behaviour – Monday 17 August.

·         Dr Olaf Meynecke: Whales in the City: Humpback whale resting and calving on the Gold Coast – Wednesday 19 August.

·         Prof Tim Flannery: Science and Sustainability of the Sea, in conversation with journalist Nicole Dyer – Thursday 20 August.

·         Prof Peter Mumby: How to keep the Great Barrier Reef great – Friday 21 August.

Other events include:

·         The secret life of a nudibranch – learn about these brightly-coloured sea slugs from Ocean Connect Marine scientists – Saturday 15 August.

·         Get the Gold Coast reef lowdown – Saturday 15 August.

·         Explore marine science with Sea World – Sunday 16 August.

·         Marine biologist field day online workshop – Monday 17 August.

·         Sea World rescue animal video diary – Monday 17 August.

·         Rocky shore explore: Ocean Connect scientists reveal the life amongst among the rocks surrounding Burleigh Headland – Wednesday 19 August.

Media enquiries: Danica Revis, or 0435 160 910

Samantha Reynolds, Olaf Meynecke, Tim Flannery (limited availability), Peter Mumby and Ocean Connect scientists are available for media interviews.

The Big Watermelon Experiment: physics, forces and flying fruit

How many elastic bands will it take to make your watermelon explode? The Big Watermelon Experiment is a mass science experiment for school students. It has just one aim: to make melons go boom.

This nationwide event is guided by Dr Rob Bell, the former Scope TV presenter. See how to take part here.

Monday 20 July – Sunday 23 August Event details

Media enquiries: Rob Bell, or 0438 387 019

Rob is available for interviews. Photos and vision available.


Brisbane Science Festival

Join Australia's leading scientists and educators as they explore the latest in scientific research, technology and innovative ideas during the annual Brisbane Science Festival. 

Dubbed “A Slice of Science”, this year’s program sees daily events designed to get neurons firing with clever ideas and DIY projects.

Check out the range of 60-minute sessions geared to students, teachers and community members across the whole of Australia. Watch teaser video.

Check the Festival’s Facebook page for daily updates.

Monday 17 August - Friday 21 August Event details

Media enquiries: Kim Liddell, or 0432 647 702

Reducing food waste

Got food still hanging around from that supermarket panic-buy you did earlier this year? Find out how to put it to good use – and reduce your weekly grocery bill, to boot – with Dr Polly Burey, a food science expert from the University of Southern Queensland.

Even before the pandemic hit, Australians on average wasted about 300kg of food each year. Dr Burey will share tips, experiences and practical ideas for using food better, including what to do with scraps and veggies past their use-by date.

Thursday 20 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Leigh Hills, or 07 4631 2487

Actually, it's Phytoplankton! Ocean Ecology & NASA's PACE Mission Podcast

Whale poop? Oil slick? Actually, it's phytoplankton. Visible from space, these marine microorganisms are integral to all life.

Go2Qurious presents a new science and oceanography podcast designed especially for middle schoolers. Join host Dr Jamie Coull, and oceanographer co-hosts Dr Lachlan McKinna and Dr Ivona Cetinć  to explore ocean ecology and NASA's Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission.

There are fantastic science prizes to be won, and the podcast can be enjoyed by students, teachers and families alike.

More information:

Saturday 15 August - Saturday 26 September.  Event details.

Enquiries: Jamie Coull, or 0403 486 570

Jamie Coull, Lachlan McKinna and Ivona Cetinć are available for interview.


Carbon Counter: cut your contribution to climate change—online

How much carbon will you pledge to save this National Science Week? Put on a jumper when you’re cold, cut your shower time, eat roo or fish instead of beef, cycle instead of driving. These are some of the small changes that you, your household or your school can adopt to reduce your carbon footprint.

Join in at Carbon Counter, a countrywide challenge produced by the ABC. See what savings your lifestyle hacks will make and pledge to make a difference.

The Carbon Counter project invites individuals, households and schools to make small changes to day-to-day energy, food and transport use with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas production.

A running tally of the tonnes of carbon saved shows the collective impact of you and your fellow challengers.


Researchers and science communicators available for interviews.

Media enquiries: Andrew Masterson,, 03 9398 1416 or 0488 777 179

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year 1.5 million people participated in more than 2050 events around the country, in metropolitan, regional and remote locations.

In 2020, the festival is almost entirely virtual, online, DIY and well-spaced. This means most events, large and small, is open to anyone, no matter where they live.

National Science Week 2020 will run from 15 to 23 August. Media kit at, public event listings at