4 mins read 27 Jul 2021

Bright ideas at National Science Week

National Science Week is set to commence next month, with the inclusion of lots of online events for communities around the country. There's lots of space and astronomy-related events this year for everyone to get involved with. 

Credit: National Science Week.

Every year, Australia celebrates all things science and technology with National Science Week in August.  Across the country events and activities are run by universities, schools, research institutions, science centres, museums and more. Over a million people take part in National Science Week events across Australia.

Since 1997, National Science Week has provided an opportunity to encourage science and technology-based activities for the general public with a focus on inspiring our younger Australians to be curious, fascinated and captivated by the world around us, from the depth of our oceans to the outer edges of the universe.

This year there is a myriad of space and astronomy-related events, most of which are online and able to be accessed from wherever you may be. 

Science Week kicks off on 14 August and runs until 22 August.

Support and funding

National Science Week runs from 14 - 22 August 2021. Credit: National Science Week

National Science Week is supported by the Australian Government with grants from \$2,000 up to \$500,000 for science engagement activities as part of the Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Programme. 

When announcing the grant winners back in March (2021), then Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Federal Government was proud to support inspiring, innovative and accessible projects as part of National Science Week.

“Science is everywhere, and National Science Week is for everyone,” Minister Andrews said.

“Even in the midst of last year’s lockdowns, more than one million Australians took part in events across every state and territory. This year, we’re looking to boost those numbers even higher.

“From concerts to VR tours and everything in between, this year’s National Science Week grant recipients have something to offer every Australian.”

Partners of Science Week include the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA).

A taste of some events

Don’t forget to check out our Events section for more online National Science Week events.

Science Week 2021 + The Science of Recovery, Resilience & Renewal

Science week officially launches with the free online session Science Week 2021 + The Science of Recovery, Resilience & Renewal on Thursday 12 August at 11 AM AEST.

Following the launch, an online panel event discusses the path forward as the nation navigates its way out of the challenges of bushfires, the ongoing pandemic, a changing climate and extreme weather events.

Panel members:

  • Dr. Virginia Marshall - Inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow, RegNet & Fenner Schools, Australian National University
  • Professor Sharon Lewin - Director, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
  • Dr. Ruth Vine - Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health
  • Dr. Harry Al-Wassiti - Research Fellow, Drug Delivery Disposition and Dynamics, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Sally-Ann Williams - Executive Chief Officer of Cicada Innovations
  • Chris LeBlanc – 3M Australia Managing Director
  • Moderated by Misha Schubert - CEO of Science & Technology Australia

Mid-Afternoon Masterclass: Lighting the dark universe

The University of Melbourne is holding a week-long Science Festival with a series of free science events and activities for both students and the public. In the talk Mid-Afternoon Masterclass: Lighting the dark universe on 18 August at 2:00 PM (AEST), William Dix and Madeleine Zurowski explain how dark matter might interact with the world of physics, and how scientists might try and spot it. They address the challenges of searching for such a rare signal, and the local effort to detect it that is ramping up deep underground in Victoria. 

The Lives of Stars

Meanwhile, over in Western Australia, Rick Tonello, the Chief Astronomer of the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Gingin will present a free virtual astronomy session The Lives of Stars on 19 August at 6 PM AEST. 

Rick's talk will cover universal questions such as why stars are different colours and how stars are born, live and die. 

Find a National Science Week event near you