In summary

  • National Science Week (12-20 August 2023) is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology
  • Swinburne is hosting a suite of free science events, including a costume competition with our Chief Scientist, a Burnley Brewing evening event where astronomy and craft beer collide, and public lectures on how to harvest materials on the moon, hunt for dark matter, empower women in STEM – and more!
  • Don’t miss your chance to learn from Swinburne’s renowned scientists and science communicators

National Science Week (12-20 August 2023) is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology.

As a leading university for science, Swinburne is proud to champion the outstanding contributions of our scientists to the global stage this National Science Week.

The university is hosting a suite of free science events throughout the week, with something for every science enthusiast.

On Monday, dress as your favourite sci-fi character or real-life scientist and find out why science is better than fiction with our Chief Scientist, Professor Virginia Kilborn.

On Thursday, taste a specially brewed Red Giant IPA at Burnley Brewing and discover the immersive SciVR app as astronomy and craft beer collide.

And throughout the week, learn how to harvest materials on the moon, hunt for dark matter, empower women in STEM and more in our free public lectures.

Don’t miss your chance to learn from Swinburne’s renowned scientists and science communicators! Read our quick guide below to learn more about our events and register your attendance.

National Science Week is held annually to encourage an interest in science pursuits, through more than 1,000 events across Australia.

Swinburne ranks in the Top 200 globally for physics (2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities), and leads ground-breaking research at OzGrav, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery.

In-person event: Science is Better than Fiction Panel & Costume Competition

When: Mon 14 August, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Where: ATC101 Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), 427-451 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Hear what Swinburne's astronomers and science communicators do day-to-day in their STEM fields, and what they think will be the next big thing in physics and astronomy. Dress as your favourite sci-fi character or real-life scientist!

Our panel of experts:

  • Professor Virginia Kilborn, Swinburne's Chief Scientist
  • Dr Rebecca Allen, Co-Director, Space Technology and Industry Institute
  • Dr Sara Webb, astrophysicist and Space Challenge Mission Director
  • Simon Goode, astrophysicist and Machine Learning Ethusiast
  • Lisa Horsley, science communicator

Register now!

Online event: Empowering Women in STEM for Sustainable Impact

When: Mon 14 August, 5:30pm-6:30pm

Hosted by Dr Bita Zaferanloo, lead of Shaping STEM (science technology engineering and mathematics) Futures at Swinburne, join us for a panel session focussed on STEM communication and leadership. 

Featuring STEM women panellists Dr. Emily Cook, Senior Lecturer in STEM Education teaching in the Department of Mathematics at Swinburne, Emily Zaborski, an Entrepreneur, Business Owner, and Manager Platform Services at IAG and our STEM student leaders, the discussion aims to inspire students to become STEM communicators.

The panelists will discuss:

  • Technology - What does the changing role of technology mean for women in STEM?
  • Women in STEM 2050 - What does the ideal future look like?
  • Contribution to sustainability - What will be the role of women in STEM?
  • Women as STEM leaders - What unique qualities do women bring to STEM leadership?

Register now!

In-person event: STEM Town Hall Meeting, with Dr Monique Ryan MP

When: Mon 14 August, 7:30pm-9:00pm

Where: ATC101 Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), 427-451 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Melbourne-based STEM professionals are invited to a Town Hall-style meeting with Dr Monique Ryan MP, the Federal Member for Kooyong. This is a fantastic opportunity to discuss matters of science and policy with a current policy-maker!

The Town Hall will generate connections and increase information exchange between people working in STEM and policy. Send in your agenda item suggestions to moderator Dr Ben McAllister, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dark Matter Detection at Swinburne's Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing (CAS). We’ll do our best to add it to the agenda, which will be circulated closer to the event.

This event is hosted by Swinburne University, as part of the National Quantum and Dark Matter Road Trip – a collaboration of scientists and science communicators organising STEM engagement events Australia-wide during National Science Week.

Register now!

Hybrid event: Making materials on the Moon

When: Tue 15 August, 4:00pm-5:30pm             

Where: TD121 Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), Park Street, Hawthorn or online

As we get ever closer to a future where humans live on the Moon and Mars, developing technologies to support the extra-terrestrial lifestyle is of increasing importance. In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) is an especially prominent strategy to use the local materials available in space, rather than transporting them from Earth. The most abundant local resource on the Moon – the lunar dust, or lunar regolith – is rich in oxides, and Swinburne is leading the way in developing technology to make use of these oxides to make ceramics and metals.

Belinda Rich (PhD candidate) and Professor Geoff Brooks will present an overview of current research in the Extra-Terrestrial Processing Group. The team are working to make sure that one day we can extract, refine and manufacture ceramic and metal products right on the surface of the Moon – minimal input from Earth required.

Register now!

In-person event: SciVR at Burnley Brewing

When: Thu 17 August, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Where: Burnley Brewing, 648/650 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC

Craft beer and astronomy collide in a fun and engaging talk featuring the immersive SciVR app. Explore the Milky Way and learn about the captivating realm of gravitational waves from Swinburne’s science communication experts Dr Rebecca Allen, Co-Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute. Made for this event, indulge in the flavours of a specially crafted Red Giant IPA.

No registration necessary, but it’s important you pre-install the SciVR app before arrival. SciVR is an app by OZGrav, the ARC Centre for Excellence in Gravitational Wave Discovery.

Find out more!

In-person public lecture: Darkness Visible Downunder

When: Fri 18 August, 6:30pm-8:15pm

Where: AMDC 301 Lecture Theatre (Level 3), 475 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Decades of relentless research has led astronomers to a staggering conclusion - the existence of a new, enigmatic type of mass, invisible yet surpassing everything we can see by an astonishing fivefold.

In this exciting public lecture, Swinburne’s internationally renowned astrophysicist Professor Alan Duffy, will explain what we know about this mysterious dark matter, a substance we are actually yet to find. He will also share how Australia is playing a leading role in uncovering the nature of dark matter with SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere located in the Stawell gold mine.

Join us for an inspiring journey as we explore one of the most profound challenges in the area of physical sciences this century.

Register now!

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