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Australia in space; fish on drugs; women in science; and our huge national science festival

March 10, 2018 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Key dates and ideas for science stories in 2018

Coming up this year in science…

Here’s our overview of key dates and interesting people. Consider running calendar notes or science-themed stories. We can put you in touch with talent who can talk to the science, ideas and issues behind these dates.

8 March—International Women’s Day
These top Australian scientists and innovators would make great profile subjects or science-sector inclusions in features on Australia’s female leaders.

· Distinguished Professor Jenny Graves is unravelling the secrets of sex chromosomes in marsupials, shedding light on sex determination in humans. In October 2017, she won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

· Award-winning innovator and audiologist Dr Elaine Saunders developed a more affordable and flexible hearing aid that has changed the lives of tens of thousands of Australians. She wants to help millions more.

· Ecologist Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes is one of the Climate Council’s counsellors and was a lead author for UN IPCC climate change assessment reports. Now she’s shining a light on the forgotten women of science.

August—thousands of events, scientists and stories in National Science Week
NASA scientists and Australia in space, Australia’s lost beasts back from the dead, the doctor’s diet, the search for Australia’s next top junior weather presenter, and more.

It’s all part of National Science Week, with about 2,000 events and activities held throughout Australia—from HealthLab visiting the Tiwi Islands to corals in the outback to astronomy in the Apple Isle. Activities include festivals, music and comedy shows, panel discussions, film nights, open days, interactive displays, and online activities.

Key events include the Perth and Sydney Science Festivals, the Festival of Bright Ideas in Hobart, Science in ACTion, Adelaide’s Science Alive!, desertSMART EcoFair in Alice Springs and the Innovation Games at Sydney Olympic Park.

National Science Week 2018 runs from 11 to 19 August. Visit

The National Science Week media centre and image library are online at

October—Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science
The winners of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science will be announced at a black-tie dinner in October in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Find out more about past prize-winning scientists, innovators and science teachers—including the geologist turned rock star science teacher, the reptile researcher saving Aussie animals from cane toads, and the innovator creating manufacturing jobs in South Australia by replacing mirror glass with metal and plastic. More online at

Year-round—meet bright young Fresh Scientists
· A wee problem: drugs from our urine are making fish less scared of predators—Jake Martin (Melbourne).

· How dragonfly wings might lead to bacteria-killing surgical instruments—Annalena Wolff (Brisbane).

More about our Fresh Scientists and their discoveries here:

Media contacts

· Niall Byrne,, 0417 131 977, 03 9398 1416

· Tanya Ha,, 0404 083 863

Other dates of note in 2018
· 8 March—International Women’s Day:

2018 theme: Press for progress

· 21 March—International Day of Forests:

2018 theme: Forests and sustainable cities

· 22 March—World Water Day:

2018 theme: Nature for water

· 23 March—World Meteorological Day:

· 24 March—World Tuberculosis Day:

2018 theme: Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world

· 2 April—World Autism Awareness Day:

· 7 April—World Health Day:

2018 theme: Health or all (universal healthcare)

· 12 April—International Day of Human Space Flight:

· 22 April—Earth Day:

· 24-30 April: World Immunization Week:

2018 theme: Protected together, #vaccines work

· 31 May—World No Tobacco Day:

2018 theme: Tobacco and heart disease

· 5 June—World Environment Day:

· 8 June—World Oceans Day:

· 18 June—Sustainable Gastronomy Day:

· 30 June—International Asteroid Day:

· 11-19 August—National Science Week:

2018 schools’ theme: Game changers and change makers

Information for media:

· 29 August—Australian Museum Eureka Prizes announced:

· October—Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science announced:

Exact date to be confirmed

· 2 October—World Habitat Day:

· 10 October—World Mental Health Day:

· 13 October—International Day for Disaster Reduction:

· 16 October—World Food Day:

· 1 December—World AIDS Day:

· 5 December—World Soil Day:

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