Powerhouse Presents Sydney Science Festival 2024

July 5, 2024

In a pivotal moment aboard the Apollo 8 space mission in 1968, astronaut William Anders captured the iconic Earthrise photograph, a stunning image revealing our planet as a fragile blue marble set amid the vast blackness of space.

The historic snapshot marked humanity’s first glimpse of Earth in colour from space, forever altering our collective perspective.

Now, more than half a century later, Sydney Science Festival 2024 brings together leading creatives and scientists from around the world who are radically rethinking our understanding of sky, Country and each other.

Returning to Sydney for its tenth year from 10–17 August and coinciding with National Science Week, this year’s Sydney Science Festival program unites local and international speakers who are pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the skies above, our diverse landscapes and the intricate connections between us all.

Sydney Science Festival will feature a series of free and ticketed events that include talks, workshops and interactive programs throughout the week across Sydney including at Powerhouse Castle Hill, Sydney Observatory, Parramatta Town Hall, Parramatta Square and the University of Technology Sydney.

Renowned festival speakers include pioneering spaceship designer and space entrepreneur Dr Susmita Mohanty who will discuss the challenges of building sustainable habitats beyond Earth and the technologies driving space missions with Columbia University’s Physics and Astronomy Professor Janna Levin.

Space environmentalist Associate Professor Moriba Jah and artist Trevor Paglen will discuss our crowded skies.

Australia’s first female astronaut and Director of Space Technology at the Australian Space Agency, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, will be in conversation with artist Xin Liu about what zero gravity means for creative practice and space travel.

A festival highlight will be Sydney Science Festival Family Day at Parramatta Square on Saturday 17 August. Presented by Powerhouse in partnership with the City of Parramatta, it promises an action-packed day of hands-on experiments, demonstrations, coding and Minecraft workshops.

High-school students from Greater Sydney will be invited to participate in special programming featuring Bennell-Pegg, Jah and remote sensing scientist Dr Maya Nasr as part of the Lang Walker Family Academy program.

Sydney Science Festival 2024 is proudly supported by the NSW Government, affirming its commitment to connecting communities with science and innovation across Australia and internationally. The Festival’s Foundational University Partners include Western Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney.

NSW Minister for Arts and Tourism John Graham said, ‘The Sydney Science Festival plays a pivotal role in showcasing creativity and innovation in New South Wales. By bringing together leading minds in science and the arts, the festival inspires curiosity, fosters new discoveries, and celebrates our state’s commitment to scientific advancement.’

Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah said, ‘The Powerhouse holds Australia’s most significant collections of science, technology and design. The Festival represents our dedication to connecting industry and community to profile the extraordinary work and achievements of our science leaders.’

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