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A Spectacular Line Up of Events At Sydney Science Festival 2017

July 4, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

The Sydney Science Festival 2017 program has been released, featuring a stellar line up of science events for all ages in venues across Sydney from Tuesday 8 to Sunday 20 August 2017.

An action-packed 13 days of events, Sydney Science Festival is a hands on science experience featuring some of the most exciting names in science today, including Sydney Science Festival Ambassador and UTS forensic scientist, Professor Shari Forbes, U.S. climatologist Michael E. Mann,climate advocate Anna Rose, wildlife forensic scientist Rebecca Johnson, and an exciting line-up of NASA experts including astrobiologist Dr Abigail Allwood and Mars Exploration Program scientist Dr Mitch Schulte.  

“The 2016 Festival attracted over 60,000 participants, reflecting growing public interest in science. With a range of international and Australian experts on this year’s extensive program, and 175 registered events – an increase of 50 from 2016 – the Festival just gets bigger and better each year and I encourage Sydney to get involved in the activities and learn more about the wonderful world of science” said Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Don Harwin.

Now in its third year, Sydney Science Festival is produced by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and the Australian Museum as part of National Science Week, in partnership with Inspiring Australia. The Festival aims to encourage an interest in science among the general public and young people, and provides an opportunity to highlight Sydney’s scientific credentials and foster partnerships between the community, research organisations and industry.

“Each year the Sydney Science Festival brings together experts from all disciplines to explore what new things we’re learning about the world around us. I’m also very pleased that this year the Festival will be co-produced by MAAS and the Australian Museum for the first time, allowing us to reach more visitors of all ages,” said MAAS DirectorDolla Merrillees.

The future is here, and we need to increase our knowledge and understanding in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM),” saidDirector and CEO of Australian Museum, Kim McKay AO. “Those who understand science are more productive, and think critically. We’re committed to helping students discover just how exciting, interactive and practical science can be.”

There’s so much to do for school groups at the Australian Museum where students will take a hands-on approach to science as they meet the experts, ask the hard questions, try some experiments and get excited about the future of science. The Science Festival Schools Expo takes over the Australian Museum from 8–11 and 15–18 August.

On Thursday 10 August, celebrate the launch of the Festival after-hours at MAASive Lates: Science at the Powerhouse Museum. This free event is your chance to see the Museum in a whole new light and tour exhibitions, speed meet scientists, drive a Mars rover, escape into virtual reality and more.

Program Highlights

Is Mars our first step out into the galaxy? Life on Mars: NASA’s 2020 Rover Mission brings an incredible panel of NASA experts including Australian astrobiologist Dr Abigail Allwood, Mars Exploration Program scientist Dr Mitch Schulte, theoretical physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist Professor Paul Davies, and astrophysicist MC Dr Graham Phillips. Listen as they discuss the potential for life on Mars and get an insight into what the future may look like on Thursday 17 August at the Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall.

Get set for some outdoor fun with Science in the Swamp at Centennial Park. The FREE family day includes lots of hands on science experiments, life-size roaming dinosaurs, experiments, shows and demonstrations.

Discover the role plants play in your favourite alcoholic drinks, and learn how science, plants and booze collide in Botany Distilled.

Watch U.S. climatologist Michael E. Mann, psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and advocate Anna Rose discuss government’s role in climate change in The Madhouse Effect: What is Stopping Action on Climate Change?  Hear interesting perspectives and share suggestions on the much debated topic Wednesday 16 August at the Sydney Opera House, Drama Theatre.

Baffle your senses with tactile and visual illusions and immerse yourself in the bizarre sensory world of animals in A Night of Illusions at 107 Projects, Redfern.

Bring the whole family along for an awesome day out and expand your wildlife knowledge at Taronga Zoo’s Wild Science Race. Explore current research projects with real scientists, test your scientific skills and compete in challenges around the Zoo. The family fun continues at Science in the Wild at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan where little ones (and big ones too!) can pet a dinosaur, listen to a tree, feed a snake and more. Plus get hands-on at the Australian Museum’s Super Science Saturday or the Powerhouse Museum Family Fun Day.

If visiting the Powerhouse Museum during Sydney Science Festival, you’ll be able to get hands on with forensics in The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes and contemplate the evolution of speech in This is a Voice.

The full Sydney Science Festival program is available online at For more information about National Science Week events visit

Science fans can make the most of the Festival by purchasing one of two Festival Passes:

  • Science Festival Pass allows science lovers to enjoy free entry to other events worth over $200, for only $35.
  • Science Festival Premium Pass boasts additional benefits to events worth over $370, for only $60.

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