Data Intensive Science: from Astronomy to Zoology

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Join us for a fun and thought provoking family evening as we explore how science has changed with four notable scientists!

Anyone with a curious mind for science is welcome to attend this public seminar on
‘Data Intensive Science: from Astronomy to Zoology’

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Join us for a fun and thought provoking family evening as we explore how science has changed with four notable scientists.

From empirical, to theoretical, to modern computational and data exploration techniques; each change has led us to an increased understanding of the world around us, and has driven the development and use of revolutionary technologies.

We will talk about how vast amounts of scientific data is being captured using drones and advanced sensors, that are then translated  into valuable, curated scientific data collections, and how carrying out scientific research on these huge data collections requires the use of novel analysis methods that challenge even advanced supercomputing facilities.

Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018

Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Venue: Level 1,
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Cost: $5 per person

Meet the team from Pulse@Parkes – As seen on ABC’s Stargazing Live

In this session the team will demonstrate the setup for PULSE@Parkes, discuss the systems involved then let participants control the Dish to observe a variety of pulsars.

This special opportunity is free to attend and open to the public from 5:00pm – 6:00pm on Wednesday 30 May.

Then grab some food before joining us for a family friendly science discussion (including AstroDuffy) starting at 7:30pm

Test the knowledge of our expert panel and
find out the answers to your most mystifying scientific quandaries!

  • Ever wondered how black holes are formed or when Halley’s comet will swing past planet earth again?
  • What is invisible dark matter (and why does it matter!?)?
  • How do I become an astrophysicist or Victoria’s lead scientist?
  • What are modern computational and data exploration techniques and how do they impact the world?
  • Apple or Android – which is better for a scientist!?

Come up with your own question and
be as creative as you like!

Questions can be submitted above. The best questions will be asked live on stage during the night!

We will try to answer questions from the youngest members of the audience first. However we don’t know who turn up so at some point the discussion will move on to more challenging topics.

We know the event finishes late on a school night so nobody will take offence if you leave when the going gets tough!

MC – Chris Krishna-Pillay

Science Communicator and Performer

ChrisKP2 (002)

Chris Krishna-Pillay is one of Australia’s most accomplished science communicators and performers. His writing and performing credits include, Howard Florey – a Tale of Tall PoppiesSomnium, Pre-Coital and Dante’s Laboratory. He also directed Faraday’s Candle and performs with science-inspired rock band Ologism.

Chris has appeared on television on Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science, as well as TodayScope and Totally Wild. He is a regular panellist on popular Triple R radio program Einstein A Go Go, and was science consultant for children’s television series Wicked Science.

Chris has worked for CSIRO for more than 20 years in education, community outreach and employee engagement. Chris was a member of the Victorian Science Drama Awards Committee for more than 20 years and is a member of the National Science Week Victorian Coordinating Committee. He has presented at education, communication and performance conferences in Australia, the UK, the US, South Africa, Japan and New Zealand.


Dr Amanda Caples

Victorian Lead Scientist
Victorian Lead Scientist

Amanda Caples

Dr Amanda Caples BSc Hons PhD GAICD was appointed to the Victorian Lead Scientist role in mid-2016. The Lead Scientist works across the Victorian Government to foster linkages and identify opportunities for economic outcomes by engaging with business, the research sector and the Australian government. Amanda brings to the role broad experience in technology commercialisation, public policy development and governance of public and private entities.

Previously as Deputy Secretary Sector Development and Programs, Amanda was responsible for the development of Future Industries strategic sector growth plans and for support of the Victorian science, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Dr Alan Duffy

Swinburne University astrophysicist and
Lead Scientist of Australia’s Science Channel

Alan Duffy high res 2 (002)

Associate Professor Duffy is an astrophysicist at Swinburne University creating baby universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter.

He is attempting to find this dark matter as part of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere at the bottom of a gold mine in Stawell, Victoria.

He is also an Associate Investigator in two ARC Centres of Excellence investigating the origin of matter (CAASTRO-3D) and seeing the Universe with gravitational waves (OzGrav).

When not exploring simulated universes Alan lectures in physics as well as science communication at Swinburne University of Technology.

Every fortnight Alan tries to explain breaking science from UFO sightings to the latest NASA discoveries on his space segment with ABC Breakfast News TV, ABC Radio Sydney with Robbie Buck and ABC Radio Melbourne with Clare Bowditch. He is also a regular on Ten’s The Project, Nine’s Today Weekends as well as TripleJ’s Hack show. Most recently Alan presented an episode of ABCs Catalyst and has another episode being released in 2018.

You can hear Alan on ABC Radio National Cosmic Vertigo, see him the in Todd Samson science show Life on the Line or catch him at any number of public speaking events. Everything from the Sydney Opera House with TEDx Sydney, to opening in front of 5000 Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s fans. He’s even toured Australia with the BBC’s Science of Doctor Who show.

In his spare time, you can find Alan speaking around the country at various conferences and corporate events.

Dr Linda McIver

Executive Director
Australian Data Science Education Institute

Linda McIver

Dr Linda McIver started out as an Academic with a PhD in Computer Science Education. When it became apparent that High School teaching was a lot more fun, Linda began a highly successful career at John Monash Science School, where she built innovative courses in Computational and Data Science for year 10 and year 11 students.

Nominated one of the inaugural Superstars of STEM in 2017, Linda is passionate about creating authentic project experiences to motivate all students to become technologically and data literate.

While Linda loves the classroom, it was rapidly becoming clear that teachers in the Australian School system were keen to embrace Data Science, but that there was a serious lack of resources to support that. That’s why Linda created ADSEI – to support Data Science in education.

Dr Amy Heffernan

Analytical Chemist and Researcher
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Amy Heffernan

Dr Amy Heffernan is an applied chemist and early career researcher at the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre. Her research combines chemistry, bioinformatics and statistics to solve complex problems in the environment and human health.

Amy received her PhD in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Queensland in 2014. Her early research focused on environmental and health monitoring of common chemicals including pesticides, plasticisers and flame retardants in the Australian population, and much of this research has been used to inform national policy.

With the award of a prestigious NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship in 2016, Dr Heffernan moved to the field of neuroscience, bringing interdisciplinary expertise in quantitative mass spectrometry. Her current research investigates metal-binding proteins for therapeutic application in neurodegenerative disease.

She is a strong advocate of evidence-based policy and public engagement with science, and is especially passionate about supporting and promoting women. In 2017 she was named a Superstar of STEM by Science & Technology Australia.

You can follow her on Twitter @DrHeffo


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