21 things to blow your mind at World Science Festival Brisbane - Visit Brisbane

21 things to blow your mind at World Science Festival Brisbane

Get ready Brisbane, science is going to ignite when the World Science Festival Brisbane pops, rocks and sizzles into the city. From the arts to mathematics, to thought-leadership talks and hands-on activities, the 2019 festival will explore life on earth, advanced medical science, invention and the story of space.

World Science Festival Entrance

The best part? Some events are free, and ticketed events range from $10-35 a pop, so really there’s no reason to miss out on something that catches your eye.

And yes, our little flipper friends the turtles are back.

1. Is our future on the Red Planet?  | 24 March

Blast off and find out if Ridley Scott and Matt Damon were close to the mark in the Martian. Come and listen to the experts who will explore the technical, physiological, and psychological challenges of sending humans to Mars. The Space Elevator, the Space Fountain, the Launch Loop and the Skyhook, are these the ideas that will make space as accessible to humankind as the sky? 

2. TURTLES. That is all. | 20 - 22 March 

World Science Festival

An absolute festival favourite, the turtle hatchlings have been timed to emerge from their shells during the World Science Festival Brisbane in March. Go along to the Queensland Museum to view them before they get released offshore in North Queensland.

Hot tip: The queues to enter the Hatchery are HUGE, so try to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line. A limited number of tickets will be released each day for the morning. There are also afternoon sessions this year. Trust us, it’s worth it.

3. Splicing and dicing DNA| 23 March

From designer babies to preventing disease, from growing food to feed the masses to saving vanishing species, CRISPR-based gene editing is a contentious and exciting technology that will revolutionise our planet. But what are the ethical implications? What does this mean for future generations? What or who are we creating...

4. Future-proofing our jewelled seas | 21 March

Australia's own wonder, the Great Barrier Reef is an integral part of the global reef system housing 25 percent of all marine life and contributing 6 billion dollars annually to the economy. Bleaching events have compromised the reefs survival and more needs to be done. Help protect Nemo's home and join the panel of experts to explore the state of these fragile ecosystems and how science and innovation aims to limit and future-proof damage. 

5. Pandemics and Epidemics | 22 March

Pandemics & Epidemics: Preparing for the Ultimate Travel Bug explores what scientists are doing to improve prevention, prediction and response strategies against the ultimate travel bug. Pandemics are still a public health issue today and infectious diseases have significantly impacted and shaped human history from malaria, bubonic plague and swine flu. Find out how to prevent the spread.

6. Science in the streets | 22 - 24 March

World Science Festival

South Bank will transform into a science playground with dozens of hands-on and immersive activities that will explore the science behind robots, drones, augmented reality, solar energy, fossils, slime and so much more. Head to the Cultural Forecourt and get involved over two days – kids big and small will love it. Can't make it over the weekend? No worries, Ipswich Rail Museum will host a street science day a week prior on Sunday the 17, offering hands on activities that look at new technology and environmental conversation. 

7. Get social with Fermented Science | 23 March 

How will science and biodiversity assist with the growth and development of Australian vineyards? For wine aficionados and anyone who is a fan of Dionysus come and find out about the science of the grape and the future of our vino.   

8. Night at the Museum | 23 March

Even better than the movie! Little people can come and share in the magic of the museum as the sun goes downs with exhibitions such as NASA - A Human Adventure and SparkLab. If astronauts and science experiments are not enough there is also live music, dance, baby turtles and more. 

9. Let’s talk about… | 21 - 25 March

World Science Festival

From the Hubble Space Telescope to space travelsharks to a bugs life, gain a deeper insight in just 60 minutes into ecosystems, biodiversity and astronomy during the Let’s Talk Series.

10. Saving Australia's Wildlife | 22 March

Australia is known for its unique wildlife, from the cute and cuddly to the creepy and crawly, this island houses one of the most bio-diverse and unique collections of animals on earth. With environmental changes, introduced species and man-made impacts, now more than ever, science and technology is playing a vital role in helping to save Australia's unique fauna. 

11. Meet people with cool jobs | 22 March

An Antarctic scientist with a focus on marine ecosystems, a bio-scientist studying the extinct thylacine (Tasmania Tiger), a Director of a Gene Editing Core Facility looking at kidney regeneration and a Genome Researcher looking at the underlying causes of melanoma. Take this opportunity to meet these incredible people – and many more – with the coolest jobs in science, to ask them questions and hear their stories. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in science, this is the event for you.

12. Expand your mind with stacks of talks

Discover new knowledge about scientific discoveries, ethical implications, medical advances and inventions through the many programmed talks and events. Listen in on panels made up of experts in their field discussing amazing inventions from Queenslanders in Making It Great: Celebrating Queensland Invention and hear how immune responses are not always protecting us in Tackling Immunity: Best Friend, Worst Enemy

Also worth checking out is the Pioneers in Science talk, which features the Director of the Global Change Institute and Deputy Director Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence and Coral Reef Studies Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg who is undertaking game-changing research regarding climate change, food security, clean energy and population growth.

13. Design + Science + Business = Sciencepreneurs | 24 March

A new and exciting type of collaboration known as sciencepreneurship has come about through the rise of start-ups and technological advances. Scientists, designers and businesses are working together to create a new 'normal'. Come and listen to inspirational speakers talk about smart fashion, wearable technology and engineering devices.  

14. Whose DNA is it Anyway? | 22 March

DNA profiling, genetic testing and genome experiences have become part of our everyday vernacular thanks to Ancestry.com and 23andme. But what does that mean for our genetic code? What really happens when you submit a DNA sample for analysis? What can it show about our health, past and future? What are the ethical and legal implications?? Come along and find out the place of DNA data in today's world.  

15. Feed your mind | 21 - 24 March

Go along to the Brain Food Breakfast series to see and hear scientists dropping knowledge and sharing their science-related stories and experiences. Learn about the Backyard Food Revolution and how we will feed future generations, In The Name of Science will reveal the ugly sides of scientific examination, An Army Of Perfect Soldiers will examine if designer babies are a real possibility thanks to CRISPR and Why The Facts Don't Matter takes an educational look at public opinion, personal beliefs and how to we decide what is real in our fast paced information saturated world. 

16. Extreme Moments in Science with Doctor Karl | 22 March

Doctor Karl will present Extreme Moments in Science. If you’re looking for answers to questions you’ve never even thought to ask, this is the presentation for you. Prepare to be amused and amazed and join Australia's favourite science guru as he delves into the bizarre and wonderful. 

17. Homeward Bound: Mother Nature needs her daughters | 20 March

Hear from a selection of kick-ass female scientists who are among the 80 selected to be a part of the project Homeward Bound. This dream team from across the globe went to Antarctica to take part in important and inspirational scientific planning to safeguard our global future and planet.  

18. Spot the second star to the right | 16 March

Stargaze at The Workshop Rail Museum in Ipswich and take in the beautiful night skies above Brisbane. Bask in the glowing light of the Milky Way and discover the stars names and the secrets to our observable universe. 

19. Become an apprentice | 20 - 22 March

You’re the apprentice – learn from the masters. Join real-life scientists in the lab: be a museum curator, try your hand at terrestrial biodiversity for a day. Places are limited in these sessions, so if you think this is a chance to find your calling, do not miss out.

20. Be apart of a live science podcast | 22 March

Get involved with the ABC's Ockham's Razor podcast which covers all things scientific. Come and hear stories, insights, arguments and tributes with inspiring guests that will leave you intrigued and excited about the future of our planet. 

21. Get in touch with the senses | 21 - 23 March

The Australian Cinematheque at GOMA will play a program of films that deal with space in celebration of 50 years since the moon landing. Full program here.

Discover more