Science in the grass

After its mind melting debut in 2017, the Science Tent returns to Splendour in the Grass this July with three days of rocket fuel for your brain. From 20-22 July 2018, festival goers can hear from Australia’s up and coming science talent and engage in slimy, stretchy and explosive encounters.

Drop in to the Science Tent to talk to experts about everything from what humans have in common with slime moulds, how we can learn from ants and bees and how sharks relate. Who said science and music don’t mix?

Expect to discover:

  • Serial killers lurking inside your body.
  • What you can do to avoid being a victim in a zombie apocalypse.
  • How dark energy is accelerating the universe.

Get hands on with:

  • Shark jaws.
  • Explosive chemistry.
  • A percussive thongaphone.

Feed your mind by:

  • Learning about swarm intelligence.
  • Visualising your voice.

The University of Sydney’s Dr Alice Williamson will liven up the 2018 Science Tent with chemistry.

Preliminary Science Tent line up

This year’s full line-up will be announced soon, with a number of high-profile special guests joining the Science Tent, including these rockstar researchers from Southern Cross University

    • Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau, a geochemist who’s passionate about protecting the environment through surfer citizen science. His Smartfin is a regular surfboard fin packed with technology including a GPS sensor, a motion sensor and a temperature sensor that records while you’re surfing.
    • Southern Cross marine biologist Sophie Pryor, who studies the very colourful and charismatic anemone fish and is all about saving Nemo from warming oceans.
    • Young emerging biogeochemist Laura Stoltenberg, who’ll bring science to the table by showing the neat reactions behind your favorite brew and fermented foods
    • Andrew Colefax and Deb Stokes who’ll bring in the drones and explain why they look to the sky for answers.

Video of last year’s Science Tent action including a ‘Breaking Bad Art Science’ performance led by Professors Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and Grayson Cooke from Southern Cross University.

From The University of Sydney you’ll meet:

  • Dr Alice Williamson who’ll talk about better living with chemistry.
  • Science communicator Tom Gordon who’ll explain how a pulsar can be used in music.
  • PhD candidate Adrianne Jenner who shows how a new mutant virus that’s been engineered to kill cancer cells has the power to potentially turn you into a zombie.
  • Dr Tanya Latty who’ll ask whether we are smarter than a slime mould.
  • PhD candidate Kate Leslie who’ll light up your night with fluorescent chemicals.

From Griffith University, be amazed by:

  • PhD candidate Celeste de Mezieres who’ll use physics to show you how your voice looks.
  • Marine researchers Mariel Familiar Lopez and Johan Gustafson who’ll bring you face to face with sharks.

From Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, catch the latest in cancer treatment with:

  • Dr Misty Jenkins who will show you how immunotherapy hijacks your own immune system to kill your own cancer.

From Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group, be informed and entertained by

  • Ruth Gordon, who’ll explain why it’s time to break the taboos surrounding women’s gynaecological health and what we can all do to Save the Box.


The Science Tent is produced by Inspiring Australia (NSW), Southern Cross University and Fizzics Education in partnership with Splendour in the Grass and with participation from dozens of research experts from universities across Australia.

The Science Tent full program will be announced in late June on the Splendour in the Grasswebsite. #scienceinthegrass #SITG18