NATIONAL Science Week 2012 in gearing up in a fortnight with Western Australia boasting the highest number of events happening in the country.
Events celebrating science are set to occur throughout the state from as far north as Broome to the south in Esperance.
Chief Scientist of WA Professor Lyn Beazley says, “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate science, celebrate our achievement, celebrate how important it is for the community—socially, culturally, economically and of course, environmentally and to learn new things from each other”.
Prof Beazley was appointed as Chief Scientist in 2006 and has seen National Science Week grow in size and depth.
“It’s grown tremendously in terms of numbers of events. I think we have more events than any other state in the last few years and that’s a reflection of our commitment to science. I have seen the range increase so we’re looking from young people right through all age groups and increasingly reaching out across the regions too.”
“It’s great to see that it’s become more confident and all embracing and certainly embracing regional and metropolitan themes. It’s bigger and better every year.”
Prof Beazley begins National Science Week in Albany at the fourth Great Southern Great Science Conference on Friday 10 August. Topics this year include improving outcomes for rural cancer patients, sustainable management, and agriculture.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring together government, industry, academia and the community to look at national and international issues but also to have a very local context.”
Prof Beazley will be hosting 300 students and 80 scientists from around the state at the Science Café held at the University of Western Australia during National Science Week. The Science Café is a speed-networking event where students can speak one-on-one with scientists on career choices and find out what scientists really do.
“I’ve met students whose whole careers have been turned around by that experience. One young lady is currently doing a degree in metallurgy and mining and was planning to do something completely different but realised the opportunities and was inspired by the Science Café.”
“Let’s hope we get more young people interested in a science and engineering career. Even if they don’t to pursue a career in it, to have an awareness because that is key to the future of our planet.”