Ep 26. Semantic gravity and the March for Science with Tom Gordon

The March for Science was a global event to raise awareness of the role of science in policy and society. In Sydney, on the 22nd of April 2017 over 5000 people ascended on the CBD to make their views heard. One of those science advocates was scientist and science communicator Tom Gordon. Tom returns for the second time as a guest of In Situ Science to chat to us about the success of the March for Science and why it was such an important event.

We also chat about his new research project investigating how educators can most effectively transmit information. Tom is using this information to help refine how he teaches complex concepts in physics education. We also take time out to test Tom’s trivia knowledge in preparation for the upcoming STEMpunk quiz nights.

Follow Tom on twitter @Gordeauz and check out the STEMpunk Facebook page.

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Ep 25. Car trips, conferences and sweaty mammal boxes with Christine Cooper

A life in science can mean living a life on the road! Or on planes, or buses… Travel comes with the territory as there are ongoing lab visits, field trips and conferences, not mention relocating for job opportunities. For some scientists living out of a suitcase can get frustrating, but scientists like Dr Christine Cooper embrace the opportunity to see the world and experience new things.

Christine Cooper from the Curtin University travels across Australia studying the biology of Australian mammals and birds. By visiting different habitats all across the country she can study the physiology behind how animals adapt to different climates and environments.

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Ep 24. Dung beetles, climate change and fake caterpillars with Nigel Andrew

The media has gone crazy the past week, enamoured by a team of scientists across the globe that put out plasticine caterpillars to see if they get eaten. This episode we talk to a member of this team Dr Nigel Andrew, about how such simple techniques can be used to conduct high impact, fundamental research.

Dr Nigel Andrew heads the Insect Ecology Lab at the University of New England where he studies the responses of insects to climate change. In the interview he talks about the importance of insects such as dung beetles in supporting ecosystems and modern agricultural practices.

Visit the Insect Ecology Lab website or read about global predation patterns in Science.

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Life vs Science

Life vs Science: Live Podcast Recording

When: 16th of August 7pm

Where: Camelot Lounge, Railway Parade, Marrickville NSW

Bookings: TBC

It is the searing agony you feel when you find inaccuracies in science fiction movies. It is checking your pedometer hourly, not because you have to, but because you want to. Being a scientist is not just a profession, it is a way of life.

Join us in celebrating the Sydney Science Festival with a live podcast recording.  A panel of Sydney scientists and podcasters will take us on a comedic journey through the passions and pitfalls a life in science. It will cover important topics such as the imminent uprising of introverts, and why you shouldn’t refer to your first born as a ‘pilot study’ in public.

Featuring Shane Hengst (UNSW, STEMpunk), Leigh Nicholson (USyd), Alice Williamson (USyd, Dear Science) and James O’Hanlon (UNE, In Situ Science).

Bookings available soon!

Keep up to date by liking the In Situ Science Facebook page.

Ep 23. Sneaky skinks and things that are pink with Julia Riley

Reptiles are not usually considered the friendliest of animals, nor are they generally considered ‘social’ animals in the same way mammals and insects are. But recent research is showing us that we have underestimated our cold-blooded companions, and that lizards can form complex social networks.

Julia Riley from Macquarie University talks about her PhD research on Egernia skinks and the social groups that they live in. We meet her dog Dundee and chat about how a childhood fear of snakes gradually morphed into a fiery passion for all things herpetological! Along the way we get a tour of Julia’s house and garden and find all sorts of shenanigans along the way.

Follow Julia on Twitter @jr4science or visit her website https://www.rileybiology.com

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

Follow us on twitter @insituscience

Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Ep 22. Slime moulds, robot swarms and renaissance men with Chris Reid

The living world provides endless inspiration for the development of new technologies. Dr Chris Reid from Macquarie University is a research scientist that is studying how groups of organisms work together to make decisions, solve problems and build structures. He says that this information on ‘collective behaviour’ can inform the development of modular robots and automated systems.

In an interview with In Situ Science Chris describes how a “childish” fascination with ants led him to a career studying the natural world and the complex biology behind social behaviour. We also discuss the intersection of scientific enquiry and creativity, and managing a life and career in science.

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com

Ep 21. Analytics, Academia and Alternative Careers with Mezo

Its all about data! With advances in technology and computing the amount of data avaiable to scientists is mind boggling. However it is not just scientists that are dealing with data now. Businesses are able to collect masses of data on their products, markets and consumer base. Handling this data then requires the quantitative skills of highly trained scientists.

We talk to Dr Athol Whitten and Simone Stuckey who have started Mezo to help businesses utilise their data. Both Athol and Simone have backgrounds in ecology and throughout their careers transferred these skills to the private sector. We talk openly about some of the career challenges facing scientists and how transitioning to the private sector can be rewarding, exctiting and prolific!

Visit Mezo on their website or follow them on twitter @mezoresearch

Find out more at www.insituscience.com

Follow us on twitter @insituscience

Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper – www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com