Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Amongst much fanfare, last week, Australia’s first national science hub, The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus), was launched. Today, The RiAus proudly unveils its first-ever regional programme, The Free Range Science project, in Ballarat at the George Hotel on Wednesday, 21st October through support by the Victorian government.

The RiAus Free Range Science project will be bringing science and scientists out of the lab and into the towns of regional Victoria. Designed specifically for adults without a science background, Free Range Science puts locals directly in touch with the people who research, design, create and use the sciences and technologies which power our lives.

The first-ever event, “Nanotechnology- The Future is Small,” is free to the public and explores the science of really small things. Perhaps the simplest definition is that it involves engineering at the scale of billionths of a metre – a million times smaller than the head of a pin!

Nanotechnology is all around you if you know where to look; nature has utilised nano sized structures many times throughout evolution. Nanotech is already in everyday items such as car parts, cosmetics and sunscreen, tennis rackets and stain-proof clothes. Materials can take on unique properties at the nanoscale, such as carbon nanotubes, which are 1/50,000 the width of a human hair, but fifty times stronger than steel.

Join Francesca Calati (La Trobe University) and Dr Erol Harvey (MiniFAB), for an entertaining hands-on exploration of the real life science behind nanotechnology.

“This is an exciting initiative, and we encourage Ballarat locals to take part in the hands-on ‘Nanotube Challenge’ and discover the answers to some big questions about very small worlds,” said RiAus Inaugural Director, Professor Gavin Brown.

“We aim to engage communities about the science in everyday life, and are pleased to bring our first regional event to the people of Ballarat.”

Date and time: Wednesday 21 October 2009 7.00 pm–9.00 pm

Location: The George Hotel, 25-27 Lydiard St, Ballarat VIC 3350

Audience: Adults with no assumed scientific background. Under 18s will only be admitted with a parent or guardian.

This event is free of charge but booking is required- visit http://freerangesciencenanotechnology.eventbrite.com/ to book now.

Contact Profile

The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus)

Launched in Adelaide, South Australia, in October 2009, with both a national and international imperative, the RiAus concentrates on ‘bringing science to people and people to science’. It creates real and virtual spaces in which people can listen, talk and think about science in all its shapes and forms and develop innovative and accessible ways of engaging the general community, raising scientific awareness and lifting the level of debate on critical issues arising from science and technology. The RiAus strives to highlight the importance of science in everyday life.

Housed in the former Adelaide Stock Exchange Building, the RiAus provides a central hub for the exchange of ideas with a scientific theme. Boasting state of the art AV and IT technology, the “Science Exchange,” as it is now affectionately called, is a venue for public entertainment, teacher development, creative art exhibitions and industry representation, as well as a new home base for the Australian Science Media Centre. In addition to their base at the “Science Exchange”, the RiAus’s online presence brings the same level of dynamism, interaction and engagement to a national and worldwide audience.

The RiAus develops programs, both general and specific, which discuss the science that underpins new developments and challenges tackling ethical and risk consequences. With a special commitment to youth, the RiAus is also passionate about facilitating programs that provide practical resources to schools and teachers, not only to encourage career path choice, but to provide a basic level of appreciation in all students.

As a fully independent charitable body, the RiAus has received substantial support from the South Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government and a number of corporate supporters, including SANTOS, to aid in the development of executing Australia’s premier national science resource with an international presence.
Julia Loughlin
P: (08) 8114 6166
M: 0422 281 915
W: www.ppr.com.au


Australia's national science hub, the Royal Institution of Australia, is coming to Ballarat this Wednesday 21st October with their first ever Free Range Science project, where locals are invited to learn in a hands-on environment the wonders of science.


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