Science of sex tackles the hard questions

Natasha Mitchell from ABC radio’s Life Matters will touch on everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask with panellists Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, evolutionary biologist Professor Rob Brooks and marine biologist Professor Emma Johnston, both from UNSW, for a smorgasbord of sex and reproduction science.

According to Professor Emma Johnston, whose talk will focus on why marine environments are so diverse and how sex in the ocean differs from sex on the beach, says people like to think they are great at sex but animals are much cleverer about it.

“Have you ever wanted to just sit on the couch and have sex at the same time? Marine animals do just that. Take the barnacle for example, all they need is an incredibly long and flexible penis. It also helps to be a hermaphrodite – that makes every single one of your neighbours a potential partner for life,” says Johnston. “For every wild and wacky sexual activity that humans have dreamt up, there’s an animal or plant that’s taken it one step further.”

On display for the night are “Sex Objects”, a curated exhibit of intriguing items from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection including historical sex education pamphlets and unusual, gasp-worthy ‘devices’. The Mystery Investigators will also be on hand to bust myths and trash pseudo-science, whilst a live jazz-trio will be playing at the bar from 5.30pm.

The Ultimo Science Festival is brought to you by the Powerhouse Museum, the University of Technology Sydney, the ABC and Ultimo TAFE. The Festival is also supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer of NSW, the City of Sydney and the Australian Government through the Inspiring Australia Program.

When: 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start, Friday 5 September
Where: The Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
Cost: $15, $12 students. Bookings essential
Ages: Recommended for 16+. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Join the festival conversation #usfsyd14 on Facebook and Twitter (@ultimoscience). For a chance to win a double pass to this event, consider what the object in the picture above might be, and enter your answer on the Facebook page.