Science Week 2020

The events of 2020 have seen Science both scrutinised and celebrated in a more public way than ever before. At the launch of National Science Week broadcast from Questacon, Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Misha Schubert, expressed how important a strong scientific community has been. (Available on this link

“The expertise of Australia’s STEM sector in the fight against Covid-19 has been our best defence in the ongoing battle, drawing on decades of experience and research. Our experts in epidemiology, medicine, structural biology, physics, statistics, and other areas of crucial science have spent lifetimes honing the expertise we needed in this crisis. That capability wasn’t built overnight. It’s the product of decades of strategic investment in our scientific workforce, our major science institutions, our universities and medical research institutes.”

It reminds us that investment in STEM is crucial to ensure Australia’s preparedness for future threats. Later, Science & Technology Australia President, Associate Professor, Jeremy Brownlie, recognised that:

Expert scientific and medical expertise has steered Australia safely through the COVID crisis, now we must take that same approach for science and technology to shape the economic recovery and create new jobs, businesses and industries.”

The restrictions imposed by COVID- 19 shaped our Science Week celebrations this year. On Tuesday, an appreciative audience watched selected short films from the SCIENEMA 2020 competition. They saw films as diverse as Humans in Space, Fatburgs clogging up the sewer system, String Theory explained to a non-scientist and Animal Therapy scratching the surface; but the overwhelming crowd favourite was, How Deadly about Emu antics!

We also set up The Escape Room, which was so popular that we had to run it twice. Deep Blue is an immersive, hands-on experience centred around ocean exploration and innovations for the future of our oceans. Students had to solve challenges drawing on their scientific knowledge from a range of different disciplines to unlock a series of codes and complete their mission. The winners will be announced in the next newsletter. These activities develop skills that can be applied by students as they take their place in the next generation of Australian Scientists to protecting our health and developing innovations to make our lives better.

 

Mr David Little

Head of Science