Media Hub


July 23, 2021

Image: Corey Tutt by Dan Boud

View the media release here

The Powerhouse has today announced Sydney Science Festival will be free and online from 14-22 August 2021.

Coinciding with National Science Week, Sydney Science Festival 2021 will present a series of live panel discussions and talks online. Leading Australian and international scientists will join the Powerhouse in conversation to discuss First Nations sovereignty in science, the ecosystems of our oceans and the origins of COVID-19.

Corey Tutt, Kamilaroi man and Founder of Deadly Science, is Sydney Science Festival’s ambassador for the 2021. Joining Tutt in the program is Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Emma Johnston, Karlie Noon, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Dr Norman Swan and Jaron Lanier.

Sydney Science Festival launches with American technologist and author and Jaron Lanier, who joins Powerhouse Director, Curatorial Matthew Connell in conversation on Saturday 14 August. Credited as being one of the creators of Virtual Reality, Lanier will connect the Powerhouse collection to latest emerging technologies to discuss ethical quandaries of social media and the ideology of Silicon Valley.

2021 Sydney Science Festival Ambassador and NSW’s 2020 Young Australian of the Year Corey Tutt will deliver a keynote address, Our Deadly Science on Sunday 15 August. With knowledge acquired through community consultation and celebrating the breadth and depth of knowledge of Australia’s first scientists – from bush medicine, astronomy, engineering and forensic science to chemistry, land management and ecology, Tutt will introduce the audience to leading First Nations scientists (15 August).

Pandemics: Past, Present and Future will investigate the learnings from the pandemics humanity has faced throughout its existence and the different responses to COVID-19 from around the world. Professor Dominic Dwyer, an Australian representative on the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19, will be in conversation with Global Biosecurity expert at the UNSW Kirby Institute Professor Raina MacIntyre, co-director of the Centre for Virus Research at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research Professor Tony Cunningham AO and Physician, Journalist and Broadcaster Norman Swan (20 August 2021).

Two leading ocean scientists share solutions to the biggest challenges threatening the vitality of Earths ocean ecosystems in Justice for the Oceans. UNSW Dean of Science, Emma Johnston, sits down with American Marine Biologist and policy expert Ayana Elizabeth Johnson to share solutions to protect and maintain a critical global ecosystem. Presented by the Powerhouse, UNSW Centre for Ideas and UNSW Science (21 August 2021).

Broadcast alongside live footage from the Sydney Observatory, Gomeroi Astrophysicist Karlie Noon will journey through multiple deep-sky targets in the Southern Skies highlighting nebulas, stars, planets, distant galaxies and more, for her final live stream as Sydney Observatory Astronomy Ambassador (18 August 2021).

American cosmologist and activist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein will join Karlie Noon in conversation to discuss her first book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter. Pairing her love for physics and the latest theories of dark matter with her lived experience of prejudices within the academic system, Prescod-Weinstein discusses her journey from inspired child to cosmologist (22 August).

Lisa Havilah, Powerhouse Chief Executive said: “The Powerhouse has transformed Sydney Science Festival 2021 into a free online program that everyone can engage with no matter where you are. The last 18 months have continued to reinforce the vital role that science plays in our everyday and we are committed to providing a platform where audiences can engage with science leaders from across Australia and around the world.”

Sydney Science Festival
14 August 2021 − 22 August 2021
Events will be available to stream and then online at



Sasha Haughan
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Kym Elphinstone
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