Belvedere Ampitheatre image

Belvedere Ampitheatre will come alive at dusk on Saturday. Photo: Peter Solness

National Science Week is upon us and it’s being celebrated locally as the inaugural Sydney Science Festival.

Naturally there are the big-name events, such as singing astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield, US “celebrity” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki​.

But there are plenty of other events that you should put into your diary.

Here are some that are well worth catching.


1…Field of Orbs
Saturday, August 15, 5.30pm, Centennial Park.

Field of Orbs image

Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park. Photo: Centennial Parklands

Be part of a light painting extravaganza in Centennial Park as the sun goes down on Saturday evening.

2…100 years of Einstein’s gravity revolution
Monday, August 17, 6.30pm, University of Sydney.
A handwritten detail from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity image

A handwritten detail from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Photo: David Silverman

Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915. The world has never been the same since. Sydney University’s Professor Geraint Lewis will discuss how his theories of space-time, black holes and expanding universes have changed our world.

3…Lloyd Godson, Undersea Survivor
August 18-23, Maritime Museum.
Underwater living enthusiast Lloyd Godson image

Underwater living enthusiast Lloyd Godson. Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust

Lloyd Godson is passionate about the human potential for living under the sea. Using technology from Google Lloyd will be streaming from his prototype underwater habitat. Check it out.

4...Kinda Thinky panel discussion on ‘Excess’
Wednesday, August 19, Powerhouse bar.
Kinda Thinky panel discussion image

Kinda Thinky is an irreverent theme-driven live chat show.

How much stuff is too much? And why do we all want to live longer? Featuring Father Rod Bower, the Gosford Anglican priest behind the provocative political church signs, with recycler David Singh, longevity expert Dr Samantha Solon-Biet, and architect Melonie Bayl-Smith. It’s adults only, with a cash bar. Hosted by Will Grant and Rod Lamberts. Should be fun.

5…Know your own genome
Thursday, August 20, 5pm, Garvan Institute, Darlinghurst.A replica of the human neuropeptide Y gene at the Garvan Institute image

A replica of the human neuropeptide Y gene at the Garvan Institute. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Do you really want to know your own genome? Discover what genetic testing might reveal and the ethics behind finding out. With world-renowned genetic counsellor Professor Kelly Ormond.

6…Particle Fever
Thursday, August 20, 6pm, University of Sydney.
Particle accelerator switzerland image

The Large Hadron particle accelerator at CERN, Switzerland.

The story behind the Large Hadron Collider and the hunt for the Higgs boson. With a special live introduction by Associate Professor Kevin Varvell​, Sydney director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics.

7…Quantum computing and teleportation
Thursday, August 20, 6.30pm, Footbridge Theatre, University of Sydney. 

An atomic-scale transistor image

An atomic-scale transistor. Photo: UNSW

Will quantum computers really allow us to teleport objects including ourselves? Join world-class physicists Professor Michelle Simmons, University of New South Wales, and Professor Ping Koy Lam, Australian National University, for a discussion about teleportation and other strange properties of the quantum world.

8…Family day: Indigenous science experience
Saturday, August 22, 10am-4pm, Redfern Community Centre.
Emu in the Milky Way image

Emu in the Milky Way, courtesy Barnaby Norris. Photo: act\ian.warden

A hands-on exploration and celebration of Aboriginal and European science, demonstrating the value of traditional knowledge. Hosted by the National Indigenous Science Education Program, Macquarie University, Inspiring Australia, Redfern Community Centre and the City of Sydney.

9…SMH Live: Science and Innovation
Thursday, August 27, 6pm, Australian National Maritime Museum.

science-SMH team image
Can we ever be the clever country? While the rest of the world is embracing science and innovation in the hunt for new jobs and greater economic opportunities, Australia is at risk of lagging behind. Join SMH’s Science Editor, Nicky Phillips, and our expert panel of commentators as they unpick the challenges that stand in the way of us being a truly, science and innovation-led nation.
Henry Sapiecha

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