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Sydney Science Festival 2022

Mechanical bird model held by a handJuly 19, 2022


It is critical now, more than ever, to look to science to explore methods to repair, revitalise and work towards a better future,” Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Sydney Science Festival 2022 Ambassador.

Powerhouse has today announced the program and ambassador for its flagship annual science event Sydney Science Festival, running from 12 – 20 August 2022. The nine-day program will explore the theme of ‘Revival’ led by 2022 Sydney Science Festival Ambassador Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor. Coinciding with National Science Week, and in collaboration with Principal University Partner Western Sydney University, a curated program of free and ticketed events including talks, workshops and activities will be presented across Sydney.

Leading scientists, academics and researchers will investigate how science and technology intersect with the biggest challenges of our time, from environmental renewal to rebounding after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining Professor Sahajwalla on the festival program are Stanford University Professor of Psychiatry Anna Lembke; former Google engineer Dr James Williams; Director of the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Professor Jon Iredell; Indigenous astronomer Karlie Noon; marine ecologist Dr Maria del Mar Palacios; UNSW Scientia Professor specialising in photovoltaics Martin Green AM FRS FAA; ABC weather presenter and meteorologist Nate Byrne; Co-Director of the WIMR Centre for Virus Research Professor Sarah Palmer and Firesticks Alliance co-founder Victor Steffensen.

“The Sydney Science Festival provides a fantastic avenue for our city to discuss and explore these issues together. Science and technology are vital lifelines for the health of our community and our planet. We look forward to presenting Sydney Science Festival 2022 and expanding the program throughout Western and Greater Sydney, engaging with the local community through a variety of curated talks, workshops and family friendly events,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.

2022 NSW Australian of the Year and Founding Director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Professor Sahajwalla will deliver the Ambassador Keynote Address on 14 August at Powerhouse Ultimo, exploring the science of micro recycling and developing innovative environmental solutions for the world’s biggest waste challenges.

Ethics in the Attention Economy on 19 August, delivered by Dr James Williams at Powerhouse Ultimo, will examine the manipulative tactics of big tech companies in the ‘attention economy’, drawing on his seminal book Stand Out of Our Light.

Addicted to Dopamine on 15 August, in partnership with UNSW Centre for Ideas and Faculty of Science, will see Dr Anna Lembke appear in an online event discussing the science of addiction, delving into her New York Times bestselling book Dopamine Nation.

Also presented in partnership with UNSW Centre for Ideas and UNSW Science, a panel of experts headed by ABC’s Dr Ann Jones will discuss humans’ powerful relationships with birds, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, in For the Love of Birds at Sydney Town Hall on 16 August.

To Boldly Go will feature former NASA astronaut Dr Mary Ellen Weber sharing inspiring recollections from an outstanding STEM career and insights into the new era of commercial space at Powerhouse Ultimo on 12 August.

ABC’s Nate Byrne will join leading climate innovators on 12 and 19 August as part of Powerhouse’s 100 Climate Conversations, including solar-power trailblazer Martin Green, marine ecologist Maria del Mar Palacios, Sustainable Projects Lead for Logan City Council Johanna Johnson and leading First Nations voice on cultural burning practices Victor Steffensen.

Family Science Day at Parramatta Square, Western Sydney University on 20 August, in partnership with Western Sydney University and City of Parramatta Council, is a free day of family-friendly science talks, stalls and activities.

The Invisible Revealed Symposium on 12 August, in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, is a full day symposium at Powerhouse Ultimo investigating the benefits of applying nuclear technology to explore cultural heritage objects from the Powerhouse collection.

The Space Imaginaries Symposium on 18 August, in partnership with Western Sydney University, brings experts in planetary sciences, space exploration and social and environmental justice together for a full day symposium at Powerhouse Ultimo on rewriting colonialist legacies in space affairs.

A series of talks presented at, and in partnership with, WIMR on 19 August will include Repairing the Heart with Dr Zoe Clayton, a scientist on the frontier of stem cell research, Superbugs with Professor Jon Iredell on solving the looming superbug crisis, and Viruses and Variants with Professor Sarah Palmer, the Co-Director of the Centre for Virus Research at the forefront of COVID-19 related research.

Powerhouse Late: Sydney Science Festival on 18 August will celebrate Eucalyptusdom, headlined by the climate activist collective Dirt Witches, multi-disciplinary artist Janet Laurence and an expert panel discussion, Sentinels of a Changing Climate.


International Guest Keynote Address: Dr James Williams
6pm Friday 19 August
$30 adult, $25 concession, $20 child

All other events free, registration essential.

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Siân Davies | Articulate PR | 0402 728 462

Kym Elphinstone | Articulate PR | 0421 106 139

Header Image:
Mechanical Flying Bird by Lehmann, Germany, c. 1895. Photo by Zan Wimberley.