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HPS at UniMelb's Science Festival

Next week we welcome back the UniMelb Science Festival as part of National Science Week. The festival is celebrating its ninth year as an event which brings together the faculty of science to showcase the wonders of science as it is studied at the University of Melbourne. The HPS faculty celebrates collaboration with the sciences, as it improves the work of those in both disciplines. At this science festival there are a few events which appeal to the more history and philosophy minded students and staff at the university.

Below, find information about the HPS highlights of the events of the Science Festival. This is not, however, all that Science Week has to offer. The Science Festival at UniMelb is hosting many more events which are bound to appeal to those in HPS as well as in science. You can find a full programme of the events here on their website. The Science Gallery is also hosting its own series of Science Week events, which focus on the celebration of the human side of science.

Arts and science collaboration in the research landscape

Date: Wednesday 16th August, 12pm-1pm
Location: Old Arts, 149

This event is a special seminar in collaboration with the ongoing UniMelb HPS Seminar Series, organised by Martin Bush. HPS is a curiously case, part of the arts faculty, yet dealing with the sciences. This panel takes a look at how these two disciplines collaborate in the research landscape.

Collaborations between scientists and artists are increasingly a feature of research projects in Australia. Such partnerships can add richness to both practices, allowing important phenomena to be seen from different perspectives, and thus providing more socially relevant research outcomes and a deeply grounded artistic practice.

This panel discussion will present two different collaborations and explore their benefits. The Smallest Measure is an ongoing collaboration between artist and writer Jesse Boylan and atmospheric scientists at the CSIRO led by Zoë Loh, which focuses on the Kennaook/Cape Grim Air Pollution Monitoring Station in north-west lutruwita/Tasmania, Australia, as a site to explore global atmospheric change through mixed media art and hybrid non-fiction writing approaches.

Where Lakes Once Had Water is an immersive long-form video artwork by collaborating artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, commissioned by ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) and filmed on the lands of the Mudburra, Marlinja, Jingili, Elliot, Jawoyn and Larrakia communities in collaboration with teams of Earth scientists, including Cassandra Rowe, Tim Cohen and Michael-Shawn Fletcher, and First Nations Elders and rangers.

All panelists will reflect on working in these environments and on the value of collaboration.

Click here for more information about the event and the panelists.

Should we care about science denialism?

Date: Wednesday 16 August, 6pm-7pm

Location: Woodward Conference Centre, Law Building, 106

Many HPS scholars work on the problem of how science interacts with those outside of the discipline. In recent years, there has been a focus by some in the public on trying to reject scientific findings, or on twisting science to fit their own agenda. HPS’s own Fiona Fidler is one of the panel who discuss why such science denial is a problem which affects us all, not only those in science.

Some say climate change isn’t happening or isn’t driven by human activities. Some worry that vaccines cause autism or are a lethal conspiracy. Only two-thirds of Americans aged 18-24 believe the Earth is round.

Have you faced difficult conversations on these topics with family or friends? How concerned should we be about the unscientific opinions of social media influencers? If distrust in scientists, governments, and mainstream media is growing, what should we do?

Click here for more information about the event and the panelists.



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