The World Science Festival Brisbane, Regional Program provides communities the opportunity to explore and marvel at scientific processes and discoveries by highlighting research within the fields of Palaeontology, Parasitology, Marine biodiversity and Robotics.  Industry professionals will explain how their creative discoveries obtained through scientific research will lead to greater innovation for the future within their fields.

Speak with scientists to learn how across disciplines, research is applied to better understand the mysteries of the past, and help shape the future.  Get involved by learning how to identify a fossil, program a robot, or capture the beauty and intrigue of natural science through a camera lens.  This event allows people of all ages to engage with science in a real and practical way.

The community of Chinchilla and surrounding areas are invited to a free day of World Science Festival Brisbane activities to be held at:

Chinchilla Cultural Centre
68 – 86 Heeney Street, Chinchilla
9am – 4pm
Saturday 13 February 2016



DATE: Saturday 13 February 2016
TIME:  9am – 4pm
COST: Free

The Auditorium will be transformed into an exhibition showcasing images and objects which will spark your curiosity and desire to find out more.  Get involved by learning how to identify a fossil, program a robot, or explore the beauty and intrigue of natural science found in the Great Barrier Reef, while directing questions to Scientists and Researchers who are at the forefront of scientific discovery within their fields


DATE: Saturday 13 February 2016
TIME: 9am – 4pm
COST: Free

Q&A sessions

A series of presentations and Q&A sessions, providing opportunity for the Chinchilla Community to engage with the latest research and creative, innovative tools that help interpret and understand the world in which we live.

SPEAKER: Gary Cranitch, Science Photographer, Winner of 2015 Eureka Prize of Science Photography

Gary Cranitch will explain the importance of photography as a communication tool, illustrating its effectiveness in improving engagement in science education.  Gary will be showcasing his award winning images, along with some of his new work which will be exhibited for the first time!

Gary Cranitch is a wildlife photographer, recently awarded with the 2015 Eureka Prize for Science Photography.  He has captured images which have been published in Australian Geographic, Popular Science (US), New Scientist, and National Geographic, and has been fortunate to explore and experience intriguing locations, animals and plants in his endeavour to contribute to capturing and recording Queensland’s natural history.

Zana Williams, Geologist

Hollywood has long been predicting the end of the world by meteorite impact.  Anything from earth destroying big impact (Deep Impact and Armageddon) to the invasion of alien species (Evolution), through to the rise of killer plants (The Day of the Triffids) has been played out on the silver screen, with the demise of the human race always inevitable.  But what is the real science behind the asteroid theories played out in movies?  Should we be finding a friend for the end of the world?

Zana Williams is a geologist currently working in the Surat basin, building 3D geological models of the area.  Zana has a PhD in geology and geophysics from the University of Edinburgh.  Her PhD research involved the study of meteorite impact craters, which provided opportunity for her to visit impact crater sites around the world.  She is particularly interested in how extra-terrestrial material reaching the Earth’s surface has affected its geological history.

SPEAKER: Dr Marissa McNamara, Parasitologist

Are parasites our enemies? Some parasites have plagued humanity throughout recorded history, and cause millions of deaths each year. Others act as our allies in medicine and agriculture, sometimes in unexpected ways. Most parasites, however, are simply unknown to people. In this talk, Marissa McNamara will discuss different aspects of parasitism, the biodiversity of parasites, and some of the many ways parasites can affect our lives.

Marissa McNamara is a parasitologist with a PhD in marine parasitology.  She is a Project Manager on the Neptune Project with the Department of Agriculture, researching Australian aquatic animal diseases and parasites, and is also a Research Officer working with Queensland Museum working on an extensive mollusc collection recently donated to the Museum.  Marissa also assists with the Museum’s Molecular Identities Laboratory, collecting DNA sequences from new marine parasite species.

SPEAKER: Ruben Meerman, the Surfing Scientist

Join Ruben Meerman as he explains how two centuries of STEM gave us the transistor, the laser and the entire modern world. Using balloons, liquid nitrogen and laser beams, Ruben proves that quantum mechanics really is the closest thing to real, proper magic the human mind has ever created.

Starting with the 18th century discovery that electricity and magnetism are not separate phenomena but rather two sides of the same coin, Ruben retraces the major discoveries that took us out of the dark ages, when fire was the most sophisticated form of artificial light, to the magnificent human achievement of using light not just for illumination but for the transmission of information.

Ruben Meerman is best known as the Surfing Scientist. A surfer with a physics degree, he has presented science experiments and stories on ABC television programs since 2004 and has appeared on Catalyst, Sleek Geeks, Studio 3, Sunrise and Roller Coaster. In 2012, he became the first ever resident scientist on Play School. If he’s not blowing things up or filming a new science segment, you’ll find him adrift on a fiberglass plank, somewhere around the coast of Australia.

SPEAKER: Dr Scott Hocknull, Vertebrate Palaeontologist, Senior Curator, Geosciences, Queensland Museum

Using new and accessible technology there is opportunity to create amazingly detailed virtual worlds of our past and present, whether it’s an ancient site, an extinct dinosaur, or even favourite childhood toys. Scott will help you discover that the virtual world is the best way to learn about our past, capture our present and imagine our future.

Scott Hocknull is a vertebrate palaeoecologist, passionate science communicator and 3-D digitisation and virtual technology advocate and practitioner in the museum community. He has over 20 years of experience in palaeontology having published his first paper aged 16, at the time Australia’s youngest scientific author. Scott has developed numerous multifaceted projects that bring together industry, philanthropy, multidisciplinary science and local communities to form long-term projects in palaeontology.

SPEAKER: Dr Paul Muir, Collection Manager/Researcher – Corals, XL Catlin Seaview Survey Team Member

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system on earth, stretching along much of the Queensland coast and comprising of around 3000 coral reefs, however what we see is just the tip of the iceberg. Join Dr Paul Muir to discover extraordinary and abundant coral life and learn how ROV robot technology is being used to explore deep reefs located 30mto 130m  below sea level, the last great unexplored habitat of Queensland.

Paul Muir is the Collection Manager and Research for corals at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville.  In collaboration with the XL Catlin Seaview Survey (“Google Streetview goes Underwater”) and University of Queensland, Paul is investigating Queensland’s mesophotic (deep reef) coral reefs – those at the limits of coral growth at depths of 30 to 130 metres. These deep reefs are Queensland’s last great unexplored habitat, covering an area approximately half the size of the “known” Great Barrier Reef, and only now are new and unusual coral species being documented which persist on the reefs at such depths.  Paul’s research is currently centred on ‘Corals at the Limits’.  The limits to coral growths in terms of depth, latitude and environmental extremes are very topical given climate change and its predicted effects on coral reefs.


PRESENTER: Steve Liddell
DATE: Saturday 13 February 2016
TIME: 10.45am and 2.15pm
COST: Free

An explosive science show suitable for all ages, which will leave you in awe at the wonder of science, and intrigued to find out more about the concepts behind each demonstration.

Steve Liddell is a qualified science educator with an immense passion for bringing science to life.  Working full time as a high school teacher, he had a vision; to take his engaging style of science education out of the classroom and on tour around the state – Street Science! was created.  Steve travels around the state providing educational services designed to excite, engage and inspire Australia’s youth.
Supported by World Science Festival Brisbane Community Partner, QGC through the Future Makers Partnership.

Sign up to our eNews
Be the first to hear about WSFB news and events