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Sydney Science Festival

Things to do, Fairs and festivals Your place , Sydney Saturday August 14 2021 - Sunday August 22 2021 Free
A close up of dreadlocked Jaron Lanier, co-creator of virtual reality
Photograph: Supplied/Powerhouse Museum

Time Out says

Discover something new in 13 days of talks, experiments, exhibitions and free events

The dream team at the Powerhouse Museum were determined not to let lockdown get in the way of hosting an exciting line-up of bright minds for this year’s Sydney Science Festival. So they’re going to livestream the whole thing online, totally free, from August 14-22, coinciding with National Science Week.

It all kicks off on August 14 at 1pm with Gadgets, Dreams and Dilemmas. Silicon Valley guru Jaron Lanier, credited as the co-creator of virtual reality will chat with the Powerhouse’s acting director of curatorial, collections and exhibitions, Matthew Connell. They’ll share ten technological objects from the museum’s computing science collection with audiences watching at home, including Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No 1, letters from Ada Lovelace to Babbage, the Apple 1 computer and the Enigma cipher machine. The session will prompt a discussion about opening up brave new worlds and the ethical quandaries they unleash.

Elsewhere in the fest you’ll be able to stream smart insights from First Nations leaders. STEM champion Corey Tutt, founder of educational charity Deadly Science, will host a session celebrating our first scientists and looking at bush medicine, astronomy, land management and more in Our Deadly Science on August 15 at 5pm. And the inimitable Karlie Noon brings her tenure as the Sydney Observatory’s inaugural astronomy ambassador to a close with whiz through the best stuff to see on winter nights in Southern Sky Livestream on August 18 at 7.30pm.

Some of the smoothest voices guiding us through these crazy days team up in Pandemics – Past, Present and Future on August 20 at 6pm, including ABC host Dr Norman Swan and the Kirby Institute’s Professor Raina MacIntyre. Brooklyn-based Urban Ocean Lab founder and marine biologist Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson calls for a Blue New Deal in Justice for the Oceans on August 21 at 3pm. And American cosmologist and activist Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein writes back in the voices that have been obscured in pioneering quantum and particle physics, in an introduction to her new book The Disordered Cosmos on August 22 at 11am.

And don’t worry if you miss any of these free but ticketed events, because you’ll be able to stream them on demand after the fact here. Lisa Havilah, Powerhouse chief executive says, “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.”

Love to learn online? Also check out the Maritime Museum's shipwreck game.


Venue name: Your place
Address: Sydney
Price: Free

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