Leading scientists explore ‘possible impossibles’ at Science Week forum

The Victorian Parliament will partner with the Royal Society of Victoria to host a live online community forum exploring how science can help create the sort of future Victorians want.

To be held on Sunday 23 August 2020 as part of National Science Week, the Possible Impossibles online forum will be hosted by award-winning ABC journalist Natasha Mitchell.

Four scientists working at the forefront of environmental science, new technologies, medical science and space exploration will answer questions from an online audience and reflect on the way science can respond to community demands to improve people’s lives.

“The Victorian Parliament has been finding new ways of connecting with people online,” said Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Colin Brooks.

“This event is a way for people to contribute to a broader discussion about what the future should look like and how scientific exploration can help us get there,” he said.

The forum will be streamed live from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on the Facebook pages of the Victorian Parliament and the Royal Society of Victoria.

Members of the public will be invited to submit questions for the panellists during the Facebook live stream and to comment or share their ideas throughout the discussion.

“Science contributes a great deal to our economy and our state,” said President of the Legislative Council Nazih Elasmar.

“During National Science Week the Parliament is keen to recognise our many scientists whose work today will lead to a better future for all Victorians,” he said.

People who wish to participate in the discussion can register their questions in advance by emailing them to [email protected].

“Whether Victorians imagine landing on Mars, reducing the impact of climate change or improving the health of all living things, the Possible Impossibles forum invites an exchange of ideas and asks, ‘What’s next?’” said Dr Renee Beale, Science Week Curator and Producer at the Royal Society of Victoria.

Scientists featured at the Possible Impossibles forum include:

  • Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of the School of Engineering at Monash University and a leading expert on artificial intelligence and human-robot interactions whose research is helping to create socially aware robots;
  • Dr Kudzai Kanhutu, an infectious diseases physician and a research fellow at The Doherty Institute whose research on digital translation seeks to improve health outcomes for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds;
  • Associate Professor Dr Julie Mondon, head of the marine sciences program at Deakin University in Warrnambool whose work is focused on reducing the impact of human generated waste on marine organisms and habitats; and,
  • Dr Gail Iles, senior lecturer in physics at RMIT, a leading expert on space flight and exploration and a former astronaut trainer with the European Space Agency.

The complete series of Possible Impossibles online events and activities is listed here.

Further information about National Science Week can be found on its website.