Congratulations to Year 11 Wenonah van Damme and Chloe Lethbridge-Salt who have been successfully appointed as the University of Queensland Science Ambassadors representing QACI and raising the awareness of Science within the student body. Throughout the year Wenonah and Chloe will attend various events and facilitate talks and workshops to immerse other QACI students in the subject of Science.
Chloe and Wenonah recently attended the World Science Festival in their roles as ambassadors for Science and provide their reflection…
The World Science Festival takes place every year in Brisbane from the 21st until the 25th of March. It celebrates science advancement and allows the public an opportunity to appreciate its importance. As QACI’s UQ science ambassadors for 2018, we were fortunate enough to attend two events held as part of National Science Week.
The first event we attended was an exploration of Future Careers in Science. Presented by Karl Kruszelnicki, known for his show on Triple J. The talk was naturally engaging. In his presentation, he explored not only what careers students in science can expect in the next 30 years, but also the advancement in various science fields. Dr Karl, as he is more commonly known, examined the future of technology, genetics, engineering, environmental science and physics, and what extraordinary advancements we can expect in our scientific careers and lifetimes. Additionally, he presented on how our future work as scientists will affect generations to come and why it will become important.
Australia’s scientific future was discussed in depth, with questions raised such as: Will Australia ever be fully sustainable? Is there an Australian space program in the foreseeable future? Will we ever be able to fully recover from climate collapse? Not all of these questions can be answered, but we were led to think with a futuristic mind-set and encouraged to develop solutions.
The second event we attended was a talk by a panel of scientists working with Ancient DNA. The panellists were scientists Craig Millar, Sally Wasef and David Lambert, along with the moderator, Paul Willis. They each discussed how genetics can reveal the secrets of evolution through their own work, such as research on New Zealand’s extinct moa birds, and revealing the facts of ancient Egyptian history through the DNA of Egyptian mummies. The international panel discussed aspects of their research and the variety of work on ancient DNA, for instance working with ancient penguin bones in the freezing, dry climate of Antarctica. The panellists discussed how they decode DNA from specimens up to one million years old.
The events at the World Science Festival have inspired us further to pursue careers in scientific fields. We hope to share our inspiration and what we have learnt with our fellow QACI students over the coming year in engaging events and activities.
Article written by Chloe Lethbridge Salt and Wenonah van Damme.