Bananas about bananas

This May, the Northern Rivers Science Hub is going bananas about bananas! Join Matt Weinert from the NSW Department of Primary Industries as he peels back the skin on the humble banana.

Bananas are Australia’s number-one selling supermarket product (in volume), and with over five million of them eaten daily, chances are you’ve had one this week. But do you know what really lurks beneath that sunshine yellow skin?

With a menu jam-packed with a bunch of intellectually nutritious facts, Matt will cover everything from the evolution and domestication of bananas to pest and disease threats, banana industry development, tips for backyard gardeners, use of bananas worldwide and the latest exciting banana research.

Presenting the latest findings and pioneering local science, this event will answer questions like:

  • What percentage of DNA do we share with bananas?
  • What came first, the chimpanzee or the banana?
  • What’s the dish on Cavendish?
  • How many types of bananas are there?
  • How do I grow my own bananas?
  • What is bunchy top when it’s at home?
  • Are bananas really going to extinct?
  • What’s happening in the banana industry?
  • Why don’t we grow banana’s round here like we used to?
  • Why do they make our bodies sing?
  • Do bananas have seeds?
  • Are bananas really a berry?
  • Why do bananas wear sunscreen?

About Matt Weinert

Matt Weinert is the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ banana industry development officer based at Wollongbar. With 25 years’ experience in horticultural RD&E including experience across a wide range of scientific disciplines and industry development in a wide range of cropping systems, Matt is a plant pathologist by training. His desire to understand why growers don’t uptake R&D is what led him to industry development. Matt’s passion is fruit crops and he often (half-heartedly) jokes that his major interest in horticulture is culinary.

About this event

When: 5.30 pm, Thursday 10 May 2018.
Where: Lismore City Bowling Club, Molesworth St, Lismore.
Cost: Free.

With free finger food served at 5:30pm, there will be time to charge your glasses in the name of science before we unleash the banana bonanza.

This event is part of the Northern Rivers Science Hub’s ‘Science Walks/Science Talks’ program.  These regular science education events feature local science experts and address local issues to engage the community in innovation, education, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  ‘Science Walks/Science Talks’ harnesses the collaboration that forms the core of the Northern Rivers Science Hub.

About the Northern Rivers Science Hub

The Northern Rivers Science Hub is a regional focal point for science communication and engagement activities in the Northern Rivers NSW.  It is a collaborative network of partners from across community, industry and government who share a vision of “Science education to inspire sustainable futures and connected communities”.

Partners in the Northern Rivers Science Hub include Lismore City Council, Rous Water, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre, Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, EnviTE – Environment, Far North Coast Weeds, Richmond Landcare Inc., Friends of the Koala and North East Waste, North Coast TAFE, and Southern Cross University.

The Northern Rivers Science Hub is a part of Inspiring Australia, the national strategy for community engagement with science whose mission is to connect Australians with the science, technology, engineering and maths that are fundamental parts of our lives, our society and our culture.

This is a free event brought to you by the Northern Rivers Science Hub and Richmond Landcare, funded by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government, supported by Lismore City Council and NSW Department of Primary Industries. The coordination of this event is aided by the Community Capacity Support program, which is supported by North Coast Local Land Services, through funding from the National Landcare Program and from the NSW Government’s Catchment Action NSW.

Guest post by Hannah Rice, convenor of the Northern Rivers Science Hub. Illustration created by Kagan McLeod.