Monday 13 October, 2014

16 09 2014

365 14 Days of Science


You’re invited to an evening of science in the style of the great panel shows (think Good News Week and Spicks and Specks!), as BrisScience takes a lighter look at the top science stories of 2014 and the scientists behind them. It’s science as you’ve never seen it before, with this year’s panellists including world leading researchers, gifted comedians, and professional science communicators – all with a flair for the dramatic. Hosted by well-known figure of stage and science, Dr Joel Gilmore, you’ll be guaranteed a night of entertainment, competition and comedy – and perhaps even education!

Following the success of the 2014 The Storytelling of Science, featuring Tim Flannery and other guests, and the inaugural 2013 Science Comedy Debate, this is sure to be another sold out evening, so secure your tickets early!

  • Time: 7:30 – 9:30pm, Monday 13 October. Doors open at 7pm.
  • Venue: The EdgeState Library of Queensland, South Brisbane.
  • Tickets: $15 available online. Numbers are strictly limited.
  • Questions? For any further information please contact Andrew.

Meet our panelists, competing for scientific glory:

Dan Beeston 200x226Dan Beeston first treaded the boards at the Sit Down Comedy club in 1998. Since then he’s worked as a improvisational performer in comedy clubs all over Brisbane as well as in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and most recently at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. He works as a character host in everything from tiny seedy bars as well as grand theatres such as the Tivoli theatre and the Powerhouse. Dan is a keen science advocate and is currently a co-host of Smart Enough To Know Better – A Podcast of Science Comedy and Ignorance.

Tamara Davis 200x226

A/Prof Tamara Davis was raised on a Sydney beach, where she learned that the forces of nature powering the waves are often stronger than the swimmers immersed in them, especially when the swimmers were tourists wearing jeans. After watching the space shuttle Challenger explode when she was a small child, she decided she wanted to be an astronaut – which probably reveals more about her personality than you want to know – but discovering that she was deficient in appropriate citizenship for a career in space, she settled for the next best thing and has spent her career studying it.

Melanie McKenzie 200x226Dr Melanie McKenzie led a previous life as a physicist and engineer. She is now a science communication professional and academic who is interested in the features of good and bad science communication. As a freelance science communication consultant, Melanie writes for a variety of science related publications, runs presentation and media skills workshops for scientists, and designs and performs evaluations of science communication activities. Melanie is passionate about exploring, teaching, and supporting better ways for people to engage with science.

Andrew Stephenson 200x226

Dr Andrew Stephenson has been working as Science Communicator at The University of Queensland since 2009. In addition to organising BrisScience Andrew runs the Science Demo Troupe, and each year personally runs hundreds of science demonstration shows and workshops for thousands of students all over Queensland. Through his outreach, Andrew has shared his enthusiasm for science with kids in every corner of the state, and even took liquid nitrogen to the Simpson Desert. Andrew has helped produce several science-based television shows for the ABC, Discovery, and Channel 7.

Greg Wah 200x226 Greg Wah has been performing in comedy shows for over 15 years, in Brisbane and around the world. There is only one thing he enjoys more than hearing the audience be amused and that is an audience having the ‘light bulb’ moment when they ‘get it’. He has been a science communicator in one form or another for many years and is one of the creators and co-hosts of the popular Australian podcast ‘Smart Enough To Know Better’. Hilariously, he is bringing a knife to a gunfight by hoping to utilise his still in progress Masters against the PhDs arrayed against him

Andrew White 200x226Prof Andrew White enjoys communicating the weirdness of quantum mechanics while making sure people know just how much fun science really is. Over the years Andrew has conducted research on various topics including shrimp eyes, nuclear physics, optical vortices, and quantum computers. He likes quantum weirdness for its own sake, but his current research aims to explore and exploit the full range of quantum behaviours—notably entanglement—with an eye to engineering new technologies and scientific applications. Andrew is a director of not one, but two ARC Centres of Excellence.

And introducing our host for the evening:

Joel Gilmore 200x226Dr Joel Gilmore is a physicist, engineer, science communicator and entertainer – sometimes all at once. By day, he leads the Climate Policy team at ROAM Consulting and helps to transition Australia to a low emissions future. By night, he is involved in diverse events, ranging from public lectures on food science to stand-up comedy and theatre sports to television appearances, including on Catalyst and former kids’ show, The Shak. Well known for his enthusiastic approach to sharing his love of science, tonight he will be drawing together his many passions for an entertaining evening!

Monday 3 November, 2014

16 09 2014

Temperature: A Brief History of Imaginary Time

Dr Tom Stace, School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland

Tom StaceHeat powers your car, makes or breaks your BBQ, and drives the cosmos.  But how did we move from the primordial sensations of hot and cold to the Second Law of Thermodynamics – which many physicists regard as the most foundational law of the universe?  We will follow the history of temperature, from the big-bang, through the debates between our greatest scientists, and to the ultimate fate of our universe.  On the way we will find the seeds of Quantum theory and General Relativity, and answer the question: “why is Temperature stranger than Time?”.


  • Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Monday 3 November.
  • Venue: The EdgeState Library of Queensland, South Brisbane.
  • Arrangements: Doors open at 6pm. No need to book – just show up!
  • Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies following the talk, where Dr Tom Stace will be available to answer any questions.
  • Questions about this event? Contact Andrew.

Dr Tom Stace received a PhD on quantum computing the the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral positions at Cambridge and the University of Western Australia Tom moved to The University of Queensland in 2006, where he is now a key researcher at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Tom’s research has largely focused on applying methods from quantum optics to solid state devices for use in quantum information applications. He also works on high precision measurement in collaboration with experimental colleagues at UWA, in a project whose ultimate aim is to contribute to the international definition of Boltzmann’s constant - the physical constant that relates temperature and energy on the atomic scale.

6-9 November, 2014

16 09 2014

Journey Through the Cosmos

QSO12574-WebGraphic_QPAC719x281A four day celebration of music, science and the wonders of the cosmos exclusive to Queensland featuring international rockstar physicist Professor Brian Cox.

Outstanding performances, invigorating talks and unique experiences.

  • Immerse yourself in Holst’s The Planets Suite against a stunning backdrop of cosmic vision.
  • Join Brian Cox, the Australian Voices, legendary violinist Jack Liebeck and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra for an out of this world experience.
  • Hear the world premiere of Dario Marianelli’s Voyager Violin Concerto
  • Be part of the conversation with lectures including Composing for Hollywood with Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli, Einstein’s Universe with particle physicist Professor Brian Foster and The Physics of Time illustrated performance and talk featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with Professor Brian Cox

Find out more here.

Time: 6-9 November 2014

Venue: QPAC Concert Hall

Cost: Premium packages available as well as individual concert prices.

Tickets: QTIX 136 246


Monday 15 September, 2014 – UQ Research Week

15 09 2014

In September BrisScience will once again present The University of Queensland’s annual Research Week Public Lectures. This year’s talks are:

Why Groups are the Cornerstone of Mental Health

Prof Alex Haslam, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland

Mental health 300x198Joining just one social group today you will cut your risk of being diagnosed with depression in the next two years by 24%. Such statistics point to the fact that groups are as important for health as diet, exercise, and genetics. Yet their importance is rarely discussed, and far less explained.

This lecture, by Prof Alex Haslam, will discuss how social groups — and the identities they give us — are central to our psychology.  Not only are they a source of social support but they also imbue us with a sense of meaning, belonging, purpose, and agency. In this way, the talk makes the case for a radical change in public discourse about health and well-being and in the policies that service this.

Alex Haslam 1 201x250Alex Haslam is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at The University of Queensland. His research focuses on the study of group and identity processes in organizational, social, and clinical contexts.

Together with colleagues, Alex has written and edited 11 books. His most recent books are Social Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies (2012) and The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power (2011).

His work with Michelle Ryan on the Glass Cliff was identified by the New York Times as one of the ‘Best 100 Ideas’ of 2008. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and for the Association for Psychological Science, and on the editorial board of 10 international journals including Scientific American Mind for which he writes regularly.

Treating Arthritis and Diabetes in the Digital Age: A Personalised Approach

Prof Ranjeny Thomas, Diamantina Institute, The University of Queensland

The digital age has brought technologies streaming personalised information right into our hands, onto our wrists, into our wallets and our clothes. What if we could take an individual’s genetic and cellular information and use it to customise personalised smart therapies for crippling and expensive diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diabetes?

In this talk, Professor Ranjeny Thomas from the Translational Research Institute will demonstrate how she and her team have developed smart personalised therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, designed based on an individual’s genetic, antibody and cellular information, and their work towards similar personalised approaches in type 1 diabetes.

Ranjeny Thomas 1 200x250Prof Ranjeny Thomas is clinical Rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital and head of the Immunology programme at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute. Her research is focussed on the study of autoimmune disease and restoration of tolerance. Through this work, she developed and tested the first rheumatoid arthritis vaccine.

Ranjeny has also contributed major insights into the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathies and autoimmune diabetes, leading to the development of disease biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. Ranjeny is founder and a director of the spin-off company, Dendright, which is developing vaccines to suppress autoimmune diseases.

  • Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Monday 15 September.
  • Venue: The EdgeState Library of Queensland, South Brisbane.
  • Arrangements: Doors open at 6pm. No need to book – just show up!
  • Refreshments: There will be complimentary drinks and nibblies following the talk, where Prof Alex Haslam and Prof Ranjeny Thomas will be available to answer any questions.
  • Questions about this event? Contact Andrew.

 Follow this BrisScience event on Facebook.

This BrisScience event was proudly sponsored by  The University of Queensland.
UQ Logo C


Monday 18 August, 2014 – National Science Week

18 08 2014

Cosmic Connections

Prof Lawrence Krauss, Arizona State UniversityLawrence Krauss 204x251

Internationally renowned physicist and science populariser Professor Lawrence Krauss is coming to Brisbane for an evening of science at a very special BrisScience National Science Week event! His talk, “Cosmic Connections”, will touch on some of the deepest questions of physics, after which Lawrence will be joined on stage by other world-leading physicists – each representing a different field of physics – for a panel discussion driven by questions from the audience. With a cast of experts for you to question at will, this event will cover everything from sub-atomic particles to galaxy superclusters, from the big bang to the death of the universe – and everything in between.

If you ever wondered how the universe works or what makes a physicist’s mind tick then this is an event not to be missed. Prof Krauss’s talks are always sold-out events, so secure your ticket quickly through the details below – the evening will also include complimentary food and drink for a truly cultural experience.

Please note that this is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased online.

  • Time: 6:30 – 9:30pm, Monday 18 August. Doors open at 6pm.
  • Venue: The EdgeState Library of Queensland, South Brisbane.
  • Tickets: have sold out.
  • Refreshments: There will be an intermission where food and drink will be served.
  • Questions? For any further information please contact Andrew.

This BrisScience event was proudly sponsored by The Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland
UQ Logo C

Sunday 3 August, 2013 – International Biophysics Conference

3 08 2014

What is X-ray crystallography and how did it transform our view of the world

Prof Stephen Curry, Imperial College, London

There will be a free public lecture to commemorate the International Year of Crystallography immediately preceding the official opening of the 18th International Biophysics Conference in Brisbane on the 3rd of August. The lecture will be held from 2:30-3:15 pm in the Great Hall of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in South Bank, Brisbane.

The lecture, which is entitled “What is X-ray crystallography and how did it transform our view of the world“, will be given by Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology at Imperial College, London. Since 2008, Stephen has been writing regularly about his research and the scientific life past and present on his Reciprocal Space blog and the Guardian newspaper. Stephen has a particular interest in the history of X-ray crystallography and he has made several short films on the subject in collaboration with the Royal Institution.

  • Time: 2:30pm to 3:15pm, Sunday 3 August.
  • Venue: Great Hall, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank.
  • Registration: Click here to register for this free event.
  • Information: Click here for more information.

Monday 28 July, 2014 – Qskeptics

28 07 2014


Prof Matt Cooper, The University of Queensland

MattCooper 200x250An antibiotic is an agent that either kills or inhibits the growth of a microorganism. Bugs however are alive ……… and they evolve.

The range of antibiotics we have had available to us is shrinking, not only because of ‘overuse’ but simply because we ‘use’ them at all. We are looking down the barrel of humans dying of infections caused by simple wounds like a graze on the knee. Many strains of known diseases like TB are now multiple drug resistant (MDR), and many other diseases are well on their way to being MDR. Where to from here??

  • Time: Dinner 6pm, Meeting 7:30pm.
  • Venue: The Redbrick Hotel, Cnr Annerley and Stephens Rd, Woolloongabba.
  • Arrangements: Doors open at 6pm. No need to book – just show up!
  • Questions? For any further information please contact Bob.


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