NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer launches National Science Week 2013

With 300 events on offer in NSW to celebrate National Science Week, and more than 1700 around Australia, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane today urged everyone to enjoy and explore the wonders and benefits of science. The annual celebration of science kicks off this Saturday 10 August and Professor O’Kane promises there’ll be something for everyone.

“National Science Week, now in its 16th year, is all about raising community awareness about the importance of science in our everyday lives and celebrating some of the outstanding scientific work being done across many disciplines,” Professor O’Kane said.

“There are dozens of interactive events planned right across the state during National Science Week, including everything from an electric vehicle grand prix in Newcastle, to a science circus at Castle Hill and a laser light spectacular in Wollongong.”

Earlier this year, the NSW Government established eight Regional Science Hubs to deliver events and activities outside Sydney, adding to the number of National Science Week events in 2013.

Highlights include workshops on smart trees and using biodiversity mapping tools and free public talks about sustainability, astronomy and marine biology.

“These types of science outreach initiatives are wonderful, and I encourage experts in science, professional organisations and educational institutions to join with industry and community groups across New South Wales to further engage the community through innovative science experiences,” Professor O’Kane said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, said the NSW Government’s ongoing support for National Science Week plays a critical role in raising the profile for the state’s outstanding credentials as Australia’s leading science and research hub.

“National Science Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements and advances made by the state’s best scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” Mr Stoner said. “I encourage everyone in NSW, particularly younger people and the next generation of NSW science minds, to get involved in the many events taking place during National Science Week.”

Professor O’Kane launched the NSW celebrations for National Science Week at the Australian National Maritime Museum this morning as part of its Endeavouring Science program that explores the science of weather and navigation, biology and botany, signals and communication via a 2-hour cruise aboard the tall ship HMB Endeavour.

Passengers participating in this special National Science Week journey will discover how science techniques have changed over the last 200 years. Director & CEO of Australian National Maritime Museum Kevin Sumption said this is the first time the Australian National Maritime Museum has taken part in National Science Week.

“Australia’s maritime history is steeped in the tradition of exploration and scientific discovery,” he said. Today we will bring 18th century maritime history and modern day science together with the aim of inspiring a whole new generation of maritime explorers.”

Over the next two days, NSW school children will have the opportunity to participate in a series of scientific experiments on board the replica of James Cook’s famous vessel of discovery, HMB Endeavour.

“This project allows them to explore how science has evolved over two centuries and experience the spirit of maritime adventure and curiosity,” Mr Sumption added.

The original Endeavour made scientific history tracking the transit of Venus and charting the east coast of Australia nearly 250 years ago. Endeavouring Science cruises depart 1pm, Friday 9 August and 1pm & 3pm, Saturday 10 August ($75/$85).

NSW event highlights