This National Science WeekThe Australian Museum and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will be hosting a series of virtual panel discussions featuring a selection of Australia’s pre-eminent scientists from Aug 17 – Aug 21 as part of the Sydney Science Trail (15 August – 15 September).

From the ethics of artificial intelligence to the emergence of cyber terrorism, overcoming the gender disparity in STEM, analysing the interconnectedness of science and the arts, deconstructing global climate change and an in-depth exploration on the ecological impacts of Australia’s bushfires – each panel traverses a contemporary issue in science. 


  • The Big Questions of Science, hosted by University of Sydney’s, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki. From the portrayal of science in the media to the cutting-edge technological innovations reshaping society and the ethical issues surrounding cyber security and artificial intelligence – join Australia’s brightest scientists as they tackle some of science’s biggest questions of 2020. Panelists include UTS Professor of Forensic Science Claude Roux, Macquarie University Computing Professor Dr Deborah Richards and Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) science strategist Dr Richard Garrett.

    Live for schools Monday August 17, 11AM:
  • Australian Fires – Impacts and Opportunities (Tuesday 18 August), hosted by Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s Science, Education and Conservation Director Jo White. In the aftermath of one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons in in recorded history, Sydney scientists discuss the intricate relationship between native ecosystems and wildfires, revealing why fires are friend and foe. Panelists includeDirector of the Indigenous Working Group at the Forest Stewardship Council of Australia Rachael Cavanagh, Research Scientist at the Centre for Accelerator Science, ANSTO Professor David Cohen and UNSW Senior Research Fellow Dr Mark Ooi.

    Live for schools Tuesday August 18, 11AM:
  • Climate Science in 2020 (Wednesday 19 August), hosted by Australian Museum Manager of Climate Change Projects, Dr Jenny Newell. From examples of climate change throughout history to its impact on future generations and Australia’s response to the global climate crisis – an expert panel of Sydney scientists shed light on sustainable ways for us to go forward. Panelists include Royal Botanic Gardens Chief Botanist Dr Brett Summerell, Senior Lecturer, UTS School of Life Sciences Dr Katherina Petrou, Analytical Experimental Officer, Institute Environmental Research, ANSTO Brett Rowling.

    Live for schools Wednesday August 19, 11AM:

  • Women in STEM (Thursday 20 August) hosted by University of Sydney Academic Director of SAGE Professor Renae Ryan. A panel of pioneering women scientists share their journey into STEM and discuss ways to combat the gender disparity in science. Panelists include Lecturer at the Australian Astronomical Optics, Macquarie University Dr Tayyaba Zafar, Research Program Manager in Human Health, ANSTO Dr Katie Sizeland and UTS PhD stem cell researcher Dr Naomi Koh Belic.

    Live for schools Thursday August 20, 11AM:
  • Why Science and Art Can’t Live Without Each Other (Friday 21 August) hosted by ABC Documentary Manager Stephen Oliver.Scientists and artists join forces to discuss the interconnectedness of art and science and how creativity and precision overlap in the creation of innovative work in both fields. Panelists include natural history illustrator Sami Bayly, Senior Scientist at the Australian Synchrotron ANSTO Dr Daryl Howard, UTS visual artist Joyce Hinterding.

Live for schools Friday August 21, 11AM:

Register for Sydney Science Trail and join the mission to help planet Earth today. Visit

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