Science Tent 2023 Wrap Up

The Science Tent made a triumphant return to 2023 Splendour in the Grass (SITG) offering festival-goers an exhilarating journey through the realms of science across three exciting days at Ngarindjin/North Byron Parklands.

Marking its fifth installment, the program featured over 30 scientists and science communicators hailing from 22 institutions and organisations on the stage, accompanied by an additional 20 experts engaging visitors through activities scattered around the Tent.

The 2023 Science Tent featured a captivating program of popular and cutting-edge science, presented by exceptionally talented researchers and science communicators who pushed the boundaries of contemporary science communication to captivate and inspire the festival crowd. Drawing in over 1,000 enthusiastic attendees during the three-day extravaganza, the event also managed to reach at least 1,000 more individuals through the roaming demonstrations orchestrated by Science on the Go!, the Cybersecurity Tune Up team, and UTS DGBH Green Light startups.

The program kicked off on Friday with an intriguing exploration of human genitalia in ‘Genitally Speaking’, followed by a captivating journey through the animal kingdom hosted by Science’s favourite drag queen, Diva Attenbra, and an in-depth delve into the intriguing world of forensic science. Saturday featured long-time Science Tent contributor A/Prof Alice Motion, delivering a fascinating presentation on the science behind music hooks. Next up were the Cybersecurity team who shared a terrifying tale of how they came scarily close to stealing Adam Spencer’s identity just a few days prior (with his consent, of course!). The day closed with an enlightening exploration of previously illicit drugs for the treatment of various ailments, pushing the boundaries of traditional medical knowledge.

The program culminated on Sunday with a Vaping focus group led by Dr. Emily, followed by “Climating,” a dating show for the climate, a compelling exploration into the realm of Wellness, and a wonderful tribute to the brilliant Women in Science.

The Science Tent at Splendour in the Grass proved to be an exceptional showcase of scientific wonders and a testament to the prowess of science communicators in engaging and inspiring audiences. With anticipation brimming, we eagerly await the next installment, envisioning even more awe-inspiring science adventures in the future.

Thanks to all of our rockstar presenters who joined us across the three days:

A/Prof Alice Motion, Dr Naomi Koh Belic 許佳丽, Dr Haylo Roberts, Diva Attenbra, Dr Phoebe Meagher, Dr Isabelle Capell-Hattam, Bridget Thurn, Dr Rachel Berry, Alexis Weaver, Dr Tim Byron, Dr Jadey O’Regan, Dr Suelette Dreyfus, Shelly Mills, Troy Hunt, Chris Gatford, Adam Spencer, Emily Rigby, Dr Vince Polito, Dr Jack Wilson, Dr Emily Stockings & Isabella, Dr Karl, Wendy Zukerman, Zoe Catterall, Luka Miller, Ida Tornvall, Vicky Sullivan, Julie Marsh, Michelle Hobbs, Kataya Barrett, The Science on the Go! Team, The AISA Cyber Security Tune Up Team, UTS Deep Green Biotech Hub, Phycologic and East Coast Algae and Byron Bioreactor Technologies.

The Science Tent at 2023 SITG was supported by Inspiring Australia (NSW), UTS Deep Green Biotech Hub and Australian Information Security Association.

Guest blog by Holly Kersahw, producer of the 2023 Science Tent program, with Quill Darby and Alex Thomson. Images by Carlotta Schäfer & Luisa Steinkolger.