Monday 25 November, 2013

BrisScience Debate

Join BrisScience and the Australian Institute of Physics to finish off the year with our inaugural Debate on Science. Join us as two of Queensland’s great science communicators battle against two of Queensland’s foremost scientists in a light-hearted debate that will explore what makes “science” science, and seek your help in deciding which is the tougher sell: the age-old theory of gravity, or the cutting edge of climate science?

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

  • Time: 7:30 – 9pm, Monday 25 November, 2013
  • Venue: The EdgeState Library of Queensland, South Brisbane
  • Tickets are $10 and available online. Numbers are strictly limited so get in quickly!
  • Questions? For any further information please contact Andrew.

A/Prof Tamara Davis, School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland

Tamara Davis 208x250

Astrophysicist 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.

These days with the universe as her laboratory, she uses the stellar and galactic experiments that the universe naturally performs to learn about the nature of gravity, spacetime, and our fundamental laws of physics.  She’s part of the Aussie group that made one of the largest ever maps of the distribution of galaxies in the universe, and also used supernovae to detect dark energy by measuring the acceleration of the expanding universe.  Her ultimate aim is to use dark energy to make those hoverboards everybody’s being demanding, because she strongly believes that science shouldn’t let anyone down.

Dr Joel Gilmore, ROAM Consulting

26 - Joel GilmoreDr Joel Gilmore completed a PhD in physics at the University of Queensland in 2007. He then spent two years as a full time science communicator, managing  a group of physics performers that he co-founded in 2002 and doing public lectures, radio and television appearances. In 2008, he joined ROAM Consulting where he is now the Principal of the Renewable Energy & Climate Policy team, providing advice to industry and government on transitioning Australia to a low emissions future.

As a great lover of cooking (and even more so of eating) Joel has begun applying his physics background to understanding food and cooking. In his spare time, he likes swing dancing, theatre sports, travelling (43 countries so far), stand-up comedy, learning new musical instruments and, occasionally, unicyling to work.

Dr Andrew Stephenson, School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland


After studying astrophysics in his undergraduate and honours degrees, Andrew switched focus to studying superconducting plastics for his postgraduate degree and received a PhD from The University of Queensland in 2010. During his time as a student Andrew was very active in science outreach, winning several awards/competitions.

Since the beginning of 2010 Andrew has been working full time as Science Communicator for the School of Mathematics and Physics at The University of Queensland. In addition to organising BrisScience Andrew also runs a science outreach group called the Demo Troupe, which shares enthusiasm for science. Through the Demo Troupe’s outreach tours of regional Queensland Andrew has shared science with kids in every corner of the state, and even took liquid nitrogen to the Simpson Desert.

Prof Andrew White, School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland

Andrew White 197x250Andrew was raised in a Queensland dairy town, before heading south to the big smoke of Brisbane to study chemistry, maths, physics and—during World Expo 88—the effects of alcohol on uni students from around the world. Deciding he wanted to know what the cold felt like, he first moved to Canberra, then Germany—completing his PhD in quantum physics—before moving on to Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico where he quickly discovered that there is more than enough snow to hide a cactus, but not nearly enough to prevent amusing your friends when you sit down.

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.

This BrisScience event is brought to you by the Australian Institute of Physics.



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