National Science Week has plenty to offer from August 14 to 22

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How to grow space food and meat in vats with a look at agriculture in a warming world and ways to take care of your soil

Kayla Evans and Lavinia Wehr speak to the people working on future-proofing our food and fibre during National Science Week

Here is a snapshot of just a few of the events happening during this year’s National Science Week running from 14 to 22 August 2021.

▪ Plants in space
▪ Will climate change kill our crops
▪ How much food does the world need?
▪ Bury your undies for science
▪ The beauty of bush tucker
▪ Cellular agriculture: meat grown in vats

The Generation Ag podcast explores topics such as alternative food sources, extracting nutrients from food waste, sustainable fishing, and more.

Agriculture enthusiasts Kayla Evans and Lavinia Wehr speak to the people working on future-proofing our food and fibre. Join the Podcast at: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/generation-ag-national-science-week-season-special-podcast/

Here is a selection of some the events and topics you should watch out for:

Bush tucker 101

What you need to know about Indigenous food and agriculture – join the online link here.

Native foods have unique and distinctive properties and tastes. But what’s the nutritional value of bush tucker, and what’s safe to eat.

Ask the experts about Indigenous food and agriculture:

            ▪          Gumbaynggirr descendent and RMIT PhD candidate Luke Williams is working with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand and Aboriginal businesses and organisations to research the dietary safety of traditional food items.

            ▪          Kamillaroi/Gomeroi woman and bush tucker expert Kerrie Saunders knows how to prepare native foods, where to source them and what not to eat.

            ▪          Joshua Gilbert is a Worimi man, farmer and academic, who shares the stories of Indigenous identity through agricultural.

They’re sharing their knowledge in an online panel event presentation by the ACT National Science Week Coordinating Committee and the Royal Society of Victoria, hosted by Gamilaraay astrophysicist Karlie Noon.

Tune in on Friday 13 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/indigenous-food-and-agriculture/

Growing food in space on the way to Mars

Join the online podcast via ACT onSaturday 14 August on this link.

Growing foods in space aims to provide nutritious meals to astronauts and future space travellers.

Part of the plan is to use a tested and engineered protein called Aquaporin – that turns bodily waste into drinking water. It also helps grow plants in space.

How will this be accomplished. Ask the experts:

            ▪          Dr Caitlin Byrt, an ANU Institute for Space Mission Specialist based in the Research School of Biology

            ▪          Dr Jacob Humpal, an agricultural engineer developing automated plant monitoring systems for growing plants in space

            ▪          NASA space crop production project manager Ralph Fritsche

            ▪          Mt Stromlo Astro-guru Brad Tucker.

Saturday 14 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/growing-food-in-space/

Secure the future of coffee and kombucha

Become a yeast wrangler – online, via SA on Saturday 14 August to Wednesday 31 August on this link.

What role do microbes have in the flavour and production of fermented foods and beverages.

Citizen scientists are being sought from schools around the country to become yeast catchers for the Australian Wine Research Institute.

Over the next four years, participants will hunt down and catch native Australian yeast as part of a research project.

Saturday 14 August to Wednesday 31 August. Event details:  www.scienceweek.net.au/event/yeast-catchers-needed-join-the-hunt/

The science behind Central Queensland’s great foods 

Catch this podcast online, via QLD from Monday 16 to Friday 20 August at this link.

Central Queensland is a rich source of a wide range of food from beef to black sesame seeds, and even Bundaberg ginger beer. The region ships mangoes and market vegetables around the country and beyond.

But the growth and sustainability of the region’s agricultural economy relies heavily on science and innovation.

The CQUniversity Festival of Food highlights what is being done through a series of engaging scientific experiments for students and the broader community. Industry, the education sector, and university experts will work together to develop the content.

It will give people a unique opportunity to explore the science behind Bundaberg food production, Gladstone’s fisheries, the Rockhampton beef industry, Mackay sugar production, and more.

Runs from Monday 16 to Friday 20 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/cq-festival-of-food-the-scientific-processes-involved-in-food/

Bury your Undies for better soil

Direct from Murraylands and Riverland SA from Saturday 14 August to Monday 4 October at this link.

An experiment asking people to bury their undies is being staged to help determine what’s in different soils.

The observations will help determine what’s active in soils across locations such as farms, gardens, compost and crops. The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is asking people in those regions to take part.

Runs from Saturday 14 August to Monday 4 October. For event details see:  www.scienceweek.net.au/event/soil-your-undies/

New ways to feed ten billion people 

Direct from Bundoora VIC, this event starts Sunday 15 August, on this link.

Researchers are re-designing plants to help feed the world.

Future foods could include the mega mung bean, an outstanding oat or the ultimate superfruit.

Catch the event on Sunday 15 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/plants-for-food-security-the-future-is-green/bundoora/

Growing no-kill meats 

Catch this online podcast direct from NSW talent on Monday 16 August at this link.

Scientist are turning to no-kill or cruelty free meat to help feed the world.

Researchers are helping farmers pivot, with cells grown in vats creating cultured meat.

UNSW food science researcher Johannes le Coutre and food journalist Joanna Savill are experts in cellular agriculture.

Ask them how meat is grown in vats, who’s going to eat it and what it tastes like.

Starts on Monday 16 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/the-future-of-food/

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals, first held in 1997.

In 2020 about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events, despite a global pandemic.

It is proudly supported by the Australian Government; and partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC.

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 22 August 2021. See more information at: www.scienceweek.net.au