More ways to connect with science

Eleven Regional Science Hubs across NSW have secured funding from Inspiring Australia NSW’s Year-Round Science Grants program to deliver exciting science events in 2019. The Science Tent will also return to Splendour in the Grass and This Sounds Like Science is set to present a third series of music and science talks at City Recital Hall.

Among the successful proposals are events that will consider environmental, Indigenous and technology themes, with topics as diverse as Ebola, Epigenetics and Trauma to Cultural Fishing, Cultural Burning and Trees as Sponges.

Several art-science collaborations are also in the mix.

The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and Penrith Regional Gallery will join forces to present a second season of Curious, including illustration workshops, a Science Artist in Residence program and a project uniting theatre makers and musicians with scientists.

In the Central West, the Orange Cowra Cabonne Science Hub will present Ecologies in the Landscape, a day of exploration of native grasses, fungi, bugs, beetles and insects that will include a botanical illustration workshop. The Science Hub will explore Cultural Fishing Techniques in a knowledge exchange designed to help foster cultural connections along the Lachlan River. It will also celebrate the region’s famous fossils in the creation of a Devonian Aquarium.

Other Science Hubs plan to present practical workshops, community conversations on topical themes, expert talks and demonstrations, always in informal and welcoming settings that enable public participation and discussion.

2019 Year-Round programs

  • The Sapphire Coast Science Hub will deliver a series of events across the Bega Valley on topics including Spatial Technologies and Sustainable Land Management; Women in Science; Indigenous Cultural Burning and Solar Farms. Science Hub members will also participate in the Festival of Open Minds to be held at the Bega Valley Civic Centre in October 2019.
  • The Orange Cowra Cabonne Science Hub is set to present several projects in 2019 including Ecologies in the Landscape, a day of exploration and presentations on native grasses, fungi, bugs, beetles and insects that includes a botanical illustration workshop. The Science Hub will  explore Cultural Fishing Techniques on in a knowledge exchange designed to help foster cultural connections along the Lachlan River. It will also celebrate the region’s famous fossils in the creation of a Devonian Aquarium using the Age of Fishes fossil collection as a guide.
  • The Northern Sydney Science Hub will continue to deliver a lively program of presentations in local libraries and pubs, including movie screenings and panel discussions at CSIRO’s Lindfield site. Researchers will share their passion for STEM and explain the science of everything from Aboriginal Astronomy and Epigentics to Blockchain, Big History, the Internet of Things and Australia’s role in Space. There will be a special celebration to mark World Metrology Day.
  • The Northern Rivers Science Hub will continue its popular Science in the Pub series in Lismore with 2019 topics including Reading the Weather; Biodiversity; Plant and Ocean Science and Landcare. Discussions are also underway to expand the series to Ballina, Byron and Tweed. Special events planned for 2019 include Women in the bush, a day of cultural learning and bush regeneration connections and a Trees as Sponges demonstration. The Science Hub also plans to present another Arts vs Science Festival to mark National Science Week in August.
  • Science at the Local will return to the Springwood Club in 2019 with another series of family-friendly events planned in the Blue Mountains. Confirmed topics include Ebola; Weeds; Epigenetics and Trauma and the Science of Selfies. A joint Science Week event will be presented with the Australian National Maritime Museum. The NSW Bushfire Research Risk Management Research Hub will also convene a forum in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
  • The Nepean Science Hub will present a second season of its thought-provoking art-science series, Curious, with events planned at both The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and the Penrith Regional Gallery. Exciting additions to the 2019 program include illustration workshops, the creation of an AV wall, a science and music theatre project and a Science Artist in Residence program. There will also be a public art-science event presented at Linden Observatory.
  • The North West New England Science Hub has another entertaining Science in the Club series planned for the Wicklow Hotel, Armidale, with the 2019 guest line-up including Dr Sarah McKay a neuroscientist, communicator and author and several UNE scientists including Dr Mary McMillan and Dr Debbie Bower who participated in Homeward Bound. The Science Hub will also deliver the national Pint of Science event in May on the topics: Beautiful Mind – neuroscience, psychology & psychiatry; Planet Earth – geosciences & palaeoscience; and Our Society – law, history, politics, policy, languages.


  • The Patterson Allyn Williams Science Hub has planned another entertaining series of community events in and around the Dungog region for 2019 on topics including: DNA, genetics & heredity; Astronomy; and Coding. There will be a debut performance of a commissioned soundwork to accompany Glenn Albrecht’s book New Words for the Imperilled Earth and a Geology Walk led by geologists who will introduce fossil specimens from the local area.
  • The Riverina Science Hub will present another diverse program in Wagga Wagga that in 2019 will include the Herstory Lecture at the Museum of the Riverina to coincide with an exhibition that showcases 50 influential women of the Riverina. Local Microscopist Dr John Harper will lead family-friendly microscopy sessions and mathematician Lily Serna will inspire children and carers alike in a session mathematical thinking. The Sustainabile+ series will continue in 2019 with several home sustainability workshops on offer at the library. Community members will also have a chance to visit the Carrathool FOGO processing plant to witness how organic waste is being recycled.
  • The Coffs Coast Science Hub will present a second event series addressing elemental themes including: Ocean; Fire and Mindfulness. There will also be an Air workshop looking at the region’s seasonal migratory birds – and humans. This event will provide an opportunity for participants to map both natural and personal migrations as part of The White Bluff Project, a multidisciplinary Art + Science collaboration.
  • The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will present a diverse mix of science events including An Evening With 500 Queer Scientists; Murder in the Garden; a series of Astronomy nights at The Calyx and opportunities for community members to participate in a science trail devised in partnership with Macquarie University science students.
  • The Macarthur Science Hub led by the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan will again join forces with the Macarthur Astronomical Society to present a series of astronomy nights. Also returning for the 2019 program is Secrets of the Seed Vault, an opportunity for the community to engage with plant science. There will be a Halloween-themed PlantBank Party and an Egg Hunt at Easter, both featuring science activities. In collaboration with Camden Council waste department, the Science Hub will also present a family fun day to showcase recycling through science activities and stalls.


Science and Music

Inspiring Australia NSW is pleased to continue to offer support to two unique initiatives that being science together with events and venues usually associated with music.

The Science Tent will return to Splendour in the Grass in 2019 with a 3-day line-up of well-known scientists joining early career researchers to present talks, demos and roving outdoor acts. The popular music festival held in July each year at the Byron Bay Parklands has a track record of bringing science, politics, art and culture together with some of the world’s best popular musicians.

This Sounds Like Science will return to City Recital Hall in 2019 to explore the inextricable link between science and music. A free lunchtime series, This Sounds Like Science brings leading Australian researchers together with musicians to lend their expertise to topics including music in relation to philosophy, periodic scales and the elements, music by robots, maths, feeling and emotion.

The Year-Round Science Grants program is managed by Inspiring Australia NSW with support from the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the NSW Department of Industry through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.