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Sydney Science Festival 2017

August 8, 2017 - August 20, 2017

Ever wondered why male seahorses are the ones who get pregnant, or why women were used as human calculators in the 19th century? The Sydney Science Festival will bring to life all sorts of bizarre yet fascinating topics about our world and its history.

Our unique cross-disciplinary research in science, engineering, music, health and medicine will be highlighted across the two week festival, with free public talks, panels and workshops – and everyone’s welcome.

The University of Sydney’s Mathematics and Science Ambassador Adam Spencer is impressed with this year’s lineup.

“From the world’s greatest and funniest science quiz, to the neuroscience of fake news – from Dr Karl and Triple J to the incredible Dava Sobel and so much more, the festival will once again showcase the best of the University’s research and public outreach.”

Science communicator Dr Alice Williamson, who’s appearing in a number of events, notes that the range of events appeals to all audiences: “Thanks to the hard work done by producers behind the scenes, the Festival has something to offer everyone,” she said.

“It’s especially great to see so many University of Sydney staff and students involved in a program dedicated to sharing the beauty and importance of science with the public.”

This is the third year of the Festival, after being established in 2015 as part of National Science Week – Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology.

National Science Week is an initiative of the Inspiring Australia strategy, which was developed by the Australian Government to increase engagement and interest in the sciences.

Event Details

  • When:

    9.00am - 5.00pm

  • More info:


    A few highlights

    • (Science + Quiz) = Comedy

    Tuesday 8 August, The Great Hall, University of Sydney

    A special event to kick-off the festival, this panel show will nbring together the University of Sydney’s brightest science brains to battle it out with their quirkiest facts, most absurd analogies and funniest antics for a spectacular science quiz show. The line-up includes Dr Karl, Adam Spencer, Alice Williamson and more.

    • The Glass Universe

    Wednesday 9 August, Camperdown campus

    Acclaimed science writer Dava Sobel in conversation with PhD student in astrophysics and science communicator Jess Bloom about Sobel’s latest book, The Glass Universe, and the pivotal role of women employed as ‘human calculators’ by Harvard College Observatory in the late 19th century.

    • Stranger Things: The Uncanny World of Animal Pregnancy

    Wednesday 16 August, Camperdown campus

    In the annual JD Stewart Lecture, Dr Camilla Whittington will explain how her work identifies the fundamental processes of pregnancy in lizards, mammals and fish, including the world’s only male-pregnant animals – the seahorses.

    • Data Science: The Future of Better Health?

    Tuesday 15 August, Westmead campus

    Join us for an amazing night of discovery and exploration as data science experts and their partners in the health system discuss some of the early results and investigate the ways data science might further transform and improve healthcare for all.

    • Quantum Science Explained through Electric Guitar

    Monday 14 August, City Recital Hall

    Professor David Reilly takes the stage for this special lunch-time talk about how two of his great passions intersect.

    • Science of Sound

    Friday 18 August, Australian Museum

    This special event for school groups is managed and created by Victoria Pham, a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and current student of archaeology at the University of Sydney. It will introduce you to perceiving the science behind music-making through its history and future.

    • Night of Illusions

    Friday 18 & Saturday 19 August, 109 Projects, Redfern

    We invite you to step into a realm that will challenge your assumptions and mess with your perceived reality. Trust us – you will never see the world the same again.