August 7 - 13, 2022: Issue 549


science week 2022: august 13-21
School theme this year - Glass: More than meets the eye

'Careel Bay' by Adriaan van der Wallen

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Running each year in August, it features more than 1000 events around Australia, including those delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres. These events attract a wide audience from children to adults and science amateurs to professionals. Over one million people participate in science events across the nation.

Established in 1997, National Science Week 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 be fascinated by the world we live in.

National Science Week will run on 13-21 August in 2022 all over Australia.

The school theme for National Science Week in 2022 is Glass: More than meets the eye.

The theme is based on the UN International Year of Glass and will celebrate the many roles that glass plays in our lives – from phone screens to optical fibre to glassware in labs – plus investigating glass as a part of our sustainable future. 

For example, glass has been traditionally used for fishing buoys. Some deepwater buoys are still made of glass as they are incredibly resilient to pressure encountered in the deep sea.

National Science Week was launched in Parliament House on Thursday morning, August 4th, with MPs and senators from all sides of politics attending.

A special surprise guest was Deputy Prime Minister (and science graduate) Richard Marles MP, who spoke passionately about science, and National Science Week.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic MP congratulated the members of the science community who were present for their contribution to society, and acknowledged the focus of First Nations people in Science Week this year: 

“our First Nations people as the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet to survive here learnt a lot about the way this country works, the way it lives and breathes. We have not previously acknowledged that.”

Minister Husic also thanked Questacon’s Director Professor Graham Durant for his long service, wishing him well in retirement (starting next Friday!).

The Shadow Minister for Science Paul Fletcher MP also spoke at the event, showing the high level of bipartisan support for science and science engagement in Australia.

The panel of Indigenous scientists were brilliant – thanks to Associate Prof Bradley Moggridge, Dr Chris Matthews and Krystal DeNapoli for their contributions.

Science & Technology Australia hosted the event, while The Australian National University provided financial support.

Each year the National Science Week website hosts information about events, teachers resources for the annual theme, and this year is no exception. A few examples are:

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

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.

After whittling down to the top 10, the winner will announced on Friday 26 August.


Old man banksia (Banksia serrata) - in the list!

Sydney red gum (Angophora costata) - in the list!

Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography documentary available online from libraries

Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography, directed by Daniella Ortega and Niobe Thompson, is a spectacular and surprisingly unorthodox documentary that reveals the paradoxical story of the element that builds all life, and yet may end it all.

Narrated in first person by Sarah Snook, Carbon tells of her birth in the violent core of an exploding star and of turbulent sagas through the fabric of our evolving Earth. Accompanied by celebrated scientists, unique animations and a stunning orchestral score, Carbon reminds us of our humble participation in the most extraordinary story in the universe.

Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography is available online for FREE with a participating library card, or it can be rented for 48 hours.

In addition to the film, there’s an official study guide, and there is also an interview with the Australian director, Daniella Ortega.

Beamafilm, is an Australian-owned streaming service for libraries as well as the public.

Australian Seashores

Saturday 6 Aug - Thursday 22 Dec
12:00pm - 5:00pm (AEST)
Chau Chak Wing Museum
University Place, The University of Sydney 

Coastal areas are some of the most highly impacted and vulnerable environments in the world, particularly in Australia.

This exhibition utilises stunning material from the Museum's historic photography and natural history collections related to Australian Seashores, a landmark textbook published by three biologists, Professor William J Dakin and Dr Isobel Bennett from The University of Sydney (and Pittwater), and Elizabeth Carrington Pope from the Australian Museum. 

First published in 1952 for the general enthusiast and academic audience, the book was not only influential in educating the Australian public about local seashores, it also trained and inspired several generations of marine scientists and helped direct their research.

The Coastal Environment Centre at Narrabeen was the recipient of many of Dr. Isobel Bennett's vast catalogue of materials and is a great resource for HEAPS of information. 

Local youngsters are also lucky to be able to explore their own Australian Seashores - as seen in the 2013 Narrabeen Learn To Swim Coastal Platform Tour.