National Science Week 2021

By Emeric Brard
on 13 August 2021

National Science Week was born in 1997 and serves as a celebration of science and technology. With over 1000 events spanning across Australia, it provides an opportunity for millions to participate. 

Fast-forward to 2021 and National Science Week is preparing itself for its 24th year, running from the 14th-24th of August  – and it’s set to be HUGE. 

From entertainment, business, environment, food and wine, Indigenous, the Arts, health, sport, technology, farming and agriculture, lifestyle, education, and disability media, there are stories for every subject and every person. Recently, National Science Week highlighted some unmissable events ahead of August.

The future of food


With the planet’s population reaching upwards of 10 billion, the question is: how do we feed everyone? If you too are asking this question, National Science Week is offering a number of events covering this issue including: 

  • Getting our protein from edible insects – Kim Johnson (Melbourne).

  • Improving food crops grown in hostile soils – Peter Ryan (Canberra).

  • Making self-fertilising legumes – Ulrike Mathesius (Canberra).

  • Making nitrogen nutrition in plants less expensive – Brent Kaiser (Brisbane).

  • Plants for good guts and industrial hemp – Rachel Burton (Adelaide)

  • Adapting rice, wheat and other crops to cope with more frequent flooding due to climate change – Timothy Colmer (Perth).

Indigenous health

80% of the mortality gap between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders, and other Australians are due to chronic diseases. To try and prevent this, the Menzies School of Health Research is educating people about the effects of these kinds of diseases. The HealthLAB, as well as the Time Machine app, makes all of this possible, from ‘alcohol goggles’, ultrasounds, and more. 

Ocean health

National Science Week will also host events on the future of our beloved ocean. Oceanographers Lachlan McKinna and Ivona Cetinić deep dive into the workings of the ocean as a ‘climate machine’ and explain whether or not ecosystems continue even with warming waters. 

Ocean, National Science Week

And for those wishing to just go fishing for fun and uncanny facts, there’s that too. Do male sharks really have two penises? Ask away. 

Science for everyone 

A large part of this event is to promote science, not exclusively for scientists, but for everyone interested in it. National Science Week 2021 is going to include events that make science accessible for people with disabilities. 

  • A legally blind artist introduces sensory books that can be read with your eyes closed 
  • Erica Tandori, who suffers from vision loss, creates tactile displays and multi-sensory artworks
  • My Goodness exhibits 10 interactive multisensory ‘books’ specially made for low-vision, blind, hearing-impaired, and deaf audiences done through large print text, braille, tactile artworks, haptic and 3D audio, and more.

More about National Science Week

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals – from students, to scientists to chefs and musicians – get involved, taking part in science events across the nation.

Science Week is designed for everyone – it’s definitely not restricted to schools and universities – with events and activities and talks and shows for every age group.

It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists’ to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in.

Want to stay in the loop ahead of National Science Week?  Click here.

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