Ever wondered how it’s possible to lay on a bed of nails? How human organs and cells compare in normal and diseased states? How baffling crime scenes are handled in the world of forensics?
Science is filled with questions, and over this 10-day festival held during National Science Week, visitors can find some answers. Presented by the Powerhouse Museum, the ABC, UTS and TAFE NSW, the Ultimo Science Festival has become a popular event in the public calendar.
Festival Manager, Tilly Boleyn, tells an interesting tale of its beginnings. “It was one of those wonderful things that was composed in a pub. There were a bunch of friends and colleagues from the different institutions. They were having a catch-up and discussing how they could do something that combined all of the cool things that happen within their institutions and they came up with a science festival. They put in for a Science Week grant and ta-da, as a result, we’re in the fourth year of all the science fun.”
The festival aims to bring science to the masses and generate talk in pubs, streets and family homes rather than just labs and lecture halls. This year the talk may be slightly hushed with the introduction of two adults-only nights at the Powerhouse Museum. Titled The Dark Side of Science, scientists and experts will come together, with the help of suspension and tattoo artists, to explore the areas of pain and perception, and fear and ecstasy.
Along with tours of UTS biology and forensic labs, exhibitions, artistic installations and a live stage show with the ABC cast of The New Inventors and Catalyst on the bill, the festival promises to be more successful than ever.
“It gets bigger each year as more people hear about it,” says Boleyn. “On one of our open days in the ABC last year we had over 5000 people attend. This year we’re lucky to have our ABC Family Science Fun Day coinciding with UTS Information Day, so we’re hoping to get even more people along.”
The Ultimo Science Festival runs from Friday 21 August until Sunday 30 August.
For more information visit www.ultimosciencefestival.com
Marketing and Communication Unit
Photographer: Joanne Saad