This Sounds Like Science

Since 2016, Inspiring Australia NSW has presented This Sounds Like Science in partnership with City Recital Hall, a series of free lunchtime talks that brings scientists together with musicians to explore their research through the prism of music.

More than 5,000 audience members have enjoyed hearing from a diverse line-up of researchers and musicians. Thousands more have enjoyed listening back to broadcasts on ABC Radio’s Big Ideas program.

“The introduction of science into City Recital Hall’s annual program has added a thought-provoking dimension and we’ve had so much positive feedback from our audiences who value the opportunity to discover the connections between science and music – as well as becoming familiar with a huge range of research talent in Sydney,” said City Recital Hall’s CEO, Elaine Chia.

Curated by Inspiring Australia Manager Jackie Randles, the series brings leading scientists together with local musicians. Guest presenters have included quantum researcher Prof David Reilley, astronomer Prof Tamara Davis, mental health researcher Prof Katherine Boydell, AI researcher Prof Toby Walsh and physics expert Prof Joe Wolf have joined up and coming researchers A/Prof Muireann Irish (neuroscience), Dr Alice Motion (chemistry), Tom Gordan (science communication) and Dr Rebecca Gelding (cognitive science). They have shared research knowledge alongside talented musicians, delighting audiences with challenging new ideas.

The 2020 linup includes a family-friendly session space from Australia’s inaugural Women in STEM Ambassador and astrophysicist Prof Lisa Harvey Smith, a foray into environmental change at the ends of the Earth with explorer Prof Chris Turney and an adaptive journey with plant ecologist Prof Angela Moles – with key concepts for each presentation illustrated by musicians.

The popular series represents a unique opportunity to help promote Sydney’s research community by providing a new platform for musicians interested in science to collaborate.