What keeps scientists up at night?

The new Inspiring Science talks series presented by Inspiring Australia (NSW) in partnership with the City of Sydney gives Sydney’s early career researchers a chance to highlight the relevance of their science to everyday life. This monthly program is anticipated to spark community interest in and understanding of what scientists do while also promoting life-long learning through the City’s fabulous libraries.

While high profile events such as those arranged by university public engagement programs and the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer regularly provide a platform for leading scientists to speak publicly about their research, there are few opportunities for young and emerging scientists to share their knowledge with the community: to explain what they do and why it matters to audiences who may know very little about what goes on in scientific research.

The Inspiring Science series will fill this gap by providing Sydney’s early career researchers with opportunities to engage the public and also to develop their own presentation and science communication skills. In particular, the series will ensure strong representation of women to advance the profile of women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The series also provides an opportunity for lifelong learning. Sydney residents can attend these free, science-based events at the Customs House and Ultimo libraries each month as part of the City’s popular public programs.

All are encouraged to attend and early career researchers are welcome to suggest topics for upcoming events. Over time, Inspiring Australia NSW plans to ensure that researchers continue to have more opportunities to connect with the community through science talks to be held in libraries across the state in partnership with local councils and Regional Science Hubs.

Opening Night event:
Inspiring Science will be launched by the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 20 August as part of National Science Week with a panel discussion: What Keeps Scientists Up At Night?

Following a screening of the short film What Keeps a Climate Scientist Up at Night? a panel discussion with four Sydney scientists will be led by John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute.


  • Dr Chris Cazzonelli is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and is passionate about understanding the molecular nature by which plants acclimate and adapt to environmental change.
  • Dr Amy Reichelt is an ARC DECRA postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Psychology UNSW who is interested in memory, addiction and behaviour control
  • Dr Cameron Clark is a senior research fellow within the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, who seeks to apply technology in dairy farming systems to reduce repetitive tasks, monitor animal health and welfare and increase farmer profit.
  • Dr Vanessa Moss is a CAASTRO postdoctoral researcher in astrophysics at the University of Sydney, studying the hydrogen content and disk-halo interaction of galaxies on cosmic timescales.

The Climate Institute’s exhibition The Story of Our Planet Unfolds will be available for viewing prior to the event on the ground level at Customs House.

Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Register your attendance

Jackie Randles is Manager Inspiring Australia (NSW). To suggest topics for future events at the City’s libraries, please emailjackie.randles@sydney.edu.au