Bringing science to Splendour in the Grass

Published 18 July 2017
splendour-science-2017 Professor Peter Harrison (main); (clockwise from top left) Dr Debra Stokes - drones; Dr Lachlan Yee - good plastics; Dr Barry Hill - SCU Sunflower; Dr Kirsten Benkendorff - medicines from molluscs.

Music? Check. Art? Check. Science? Check! Southern Cross University is bringing some of its leading and most exciting scientists and communicators to Splendour in the Grass for the festival's inaugural Science Tent.

The Science Tent is designed to connect festivalgoers with science in fresh ways through presentations, musical performances and interactive experiences, hands-on demonstrations and incredible visuals across the festival weekend, from Friday July 21 to Sunday July 23.

Best of all, the Science Tent provides an opportunity for the local science community to get involved, including world renowned researchers at Splendour's neighbouring Southern Cross University, a founding member of the Northern Rivers Science Hub.

Look out for these Southern Cross University presenters and explore how science influences our everyday life:

• Professor Peter Harrison, who, as well as being a coral sexpert, is also a world renowned whale researcher. He will present on how citizen scientists are saving whales with their cameras.

• Professor Isaac Santos, who will take you on a science journey to unique places showing how his science of improving water quality has taken him from rural Brazil to the USA and eventually to Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour.

• Associate Professor Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and Associate Professor Grayson Cooke, who will blind you with their own amazing brand of art and science, presenting a workshop on how to generate chemical reactions - known scientifically as redox reactions - on printed images, working with members of the audience to monitor the effects of the reactions closely.

• Dr Barry Hill, who will show how mobile solar-powered generators can be used to power sound systems at festivals, and how festivals and artists have a role in educating the community about sustainable power systems.

• Dr Danny Bucher, who will outline his thesis that the biggest myth about the shark debate is that it's a people versus animal argument. He believes there are more effective methods of reducing the risk to beachgoers that do not involve lethal approaches.

Plus our other researchers will be talking: drones for coastal research; frog songs; plastics that are good for the environment; and making medicines from molluscs.

“Curiosity and inquiry drive passion,” said Mr Ben Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor (Engagement) at Southern Cross University.

“These qualities are at the heart of our learning and research as a committed, progressive and young University renowned for its world-class research. It is our pleasure to showcase this research in a way that sparks a curiosity about our world and importantly, a passion to want to improve it.”

Thanks to Splendour in the Grass, Future Crunch and Inspiring Australia.

Let's not forget about the music!

WHARVES kick off the Splendour weekend at the Amphitheatre stage at midday on Friday July 21. Band members are graduates of the contemporary music program here at Southern Cross University.

And head across to the Global Village to lose yourself in the Silent Disco which is being solar-powered by SCU Sunflower, the University's solar-powered audio system.

Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349 or