UNSW launches National Science Week events

06 Jul 2022
Science Week

Discover what new scientific discoveries can teach us about the pursuit of pleasure and learn about how RNA technology could help fight hard-to-treat cancers as UNSW Sydney celebrates all things science and technology.

Learn about how the backyard bird count is helping safeguard the future of Australia’s feathered friends, what new scientific discoveries can teach us about the pursuit of pleasure, and the diverse uses of RNA technology for challenging health conditions, as UNSW Sydney’s world-leading scientists and researchers share their expertise for the 2022 National Science Week.

National Science Week, which runs from 13 – 21 August, is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. UNSW will host a range of in-person and digital events as part of its participation this year.

Professor Scott Kable, Interim Dean of Science at UNSW, said the University plays a key role in National Science Week.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to celebrate the contributions of our researchers, educators and communicators to the world of science. A highly-skilled and knowledgeable STEM society is critical to how our future is shaped and I invite you to explore what discoveries our scientists are making.”

Join a panel of experts on 17 August in Sci-Fi Series: Is RNA the answer to cancer? as they discuss how RNA technologies, combined with other drugs, can help in the fight against hard-to-treat cancers.

Led by the ABC’s Health and Science reporter Tegan Taylor, the panel will include Professor Pall Thordarson, Director of the UNSW RNA Institute, Conjoint Professor Maria Kavallaris AM, Head of Translational Cancer NanoMedicine Theme and UNSW Children's Cancer Institute and Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll, Team Leader at Children’s Cancer Institute and Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW Medicine & Health. Prof. McCarroll is a survivor of childhood cancer and understands better than most the importance of finding new cures and treatments for this most devastating of childhood diseases.

On August 15 in the online event Addicted to Dopamine, Stanford University psychiatrist Anna Lembke will be in conversation with the ABC’s Sana Qadar, discussing the neuroscience of addiction and how people can find balance in a world saturated with high-dopamine stimuli – drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, YouTubing, social media and more.

The Jack Beale Lecture: For the love of birds on 16 August, will delve through the latest bird discoveries, the impacts of climate change, and why birds hold such enduring allure.

As scientists and amateurs document worrying declines in bird populations, from climate change and development, there’s never been a more vital time to talk about what birds mean to the world and what can be done to protect them. The panel discussion will be hosted by Ann Jones, presenter of the ABC’s What the Duck?!, in conversation with UNSW ecologist Richard Kingsford, writer and birdwatcher Sean Dooley and bestselling author Charlotte McConaghy.

The Regenerating Australia event on August 18 will include a screening of the 17-minute film of the same name, which looks at what Australia could look like by 2030 if it commits to a fairer, cleaner, more community-focused economy.

Following the screening, UNSW Professor Ben Newell will host a panel discussion with fellow UNSW Professor Adriana Verges, indigenous scientist Gamay Ranger Robert Cooley, UNSW Science alumni, Nicola Saltman, and founder of Plastic Free July, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz to explore the theme of healing through the film and discuss Australia’s pathway for change that can lead to a more sustainable future.

In a night of short talks from UNSW scientists and researchers, discover the benefits of fighting fungus, the secrets of solar energy, the potential healing powers of ‘magic’ mushrooms in mental health, and how X-ray vision might help us transition to a renewable economy. This live event, What comes next?, on 23 August will explore how society can equip itself for a future plagued with uncertainty.

For more details about UNSW-related events see the UNSW National Science Week events website.

These events are presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine & Health and the Faculty of Engineering as a part of National Science Week.

Addicted to Dopamine and the Jack Beale Lecture: For the love of birds are also a part of Sydney Science Festival presented by the Powerhouse.