As the weather cools down in Canberra and we say goodbye to summer, many of…
Offering a buffet of events and activities, National Science Week is back for 2021 with a very special theme: food.
Following their out of space adventure with the Satellite Selfie in 2020, National Science Week has returned to Earth to focus on what we eat, including its past, future and the science that ties it all together.
The Science of Food festival is a collection of events held across the ACT, featuring a range of activities including a tour of an urban farm, workshops on Indigenous plant use or seed growing, talks about beekeeping, demonstrations on how to reduce food waste and more.
A delicious way to learn more about the importance of agricultural science, the food festival is an addition to the usual week-long program of exciting events.
Until 22 August, National Science Week is still offering their iconic real and online activities to inform, inspire and empower people of all ages and backgrounds.
One event, Diversity is the Bees Knees, is tackling the representation of the LGTBQIA+ community in science.
Beginning as an idea from ANU School of Culture, History and Language Fellow, Dr Simon Connor, Diversity is the Bees Knees is two National Science Week events serving a slice of science and nature to the young LGBTQIA+ community.
Introducing the students to the amazing ways in which plants share genetic information through pollination, PhD Scholar in Archaeology and Natural History Vicki Miller says the team behind the event hopes to show the students that there are people like them working in science, that they belong in the classroom, in the lab, and they belong in nature too.
“For us growing up, LGBTQIA+ people in sciences wasn’t something that was visible and still isn’t across many areas of science,” she says. “As the saying goes: you can’t be what you can’t see. By having our attendees meet LGBQTIA+ scientists, we want to show the students that a career in science is possible.”
Dr Kelsie Long, a Postdoctoral Fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, School of Culture, History and Language and a member of Diversity is the Bees Knees says that the event is about taking a closer look into the diverse lives of plants, showing ‘they are more complicated, multi-layered and beautiful than generally thought.’
“A key factor that provided the opportunity to make this event a reality, was also the ACT
National Science week having separate grants specifically targeting LGBTIQA+ people,” says Kelsie. “Simon had the idea to take his pollen and plant knowledge, teaching skills, and crochet magic, and create a wonderful day of activities for LGBTIQA+ young people.”
“He noticed that these types of events and workshops don’t really exist or don’t come about that often,” adds Vicki. “Inclusive workshops are super-important, because they create spaces where people feel comfortable to learn new things, and they also offer role models in the sciences – who may be more like you than you realise.”
As National Science Week offers their first in person events since 2020, the Diversity is the Bees Knees team is excited to meet the students face to face to share their passion.
With a veritable smorgasbord of events happening and the perfect combination of food and fun, this National Science Week is sure to be a hit.
What: National Science Week
When: 14-22 August
FEATURE IMAGE: Kelsie Long, Simon Connor and Vicki Miller. Image supplied.