The Sydney Science Festival is a meteor shower of marvelous and wildly diverse talks, workshops, exhibitions and events held at venues and locations around Sydney from August 8 − 20.
Everything from how to live on Mars, tips on baking cakes, understanding how your brain processes fake news and the botanics of distilling gin to planning the perfect murder, photographing the night sky and much, much more.
“I think they’ve done a really excellent job of getting this broad diverse range so there really is something for everyone,” says Professor Shari Forbes, world renowned forensic scientist and ambassador for this year’s festival.
Forbes will be the speaker at one of the festival’s highlight events, Cracking The World Of Forensics, in which she will provide fascinating and vivid details on her area of expertise – the decomposition of the human body.
On what is known as a body farm, a team of scientists lay bodies in a fenced off natural bushland area to simulate bushwalkers who have come to misfortune or victims of crime. They then observe and record the decomposition process.
Morbid as it sounds, the work is actually very interesting and, more importantly, very useful.
“I came to forensics because at high school I loved science and I wanted to study science that had a clear application,” explains Forbes. She has assisted police in solving and explaining many deaths, in turn helping families and friends find some degree of closure.
Her presentation goes into details and uses images, however Forbes assures those who are a little squeamish that it won’t be “too CSI.” Plus, there will be a Q&A session which will give audience members an opportunity to ask the things they’ve always wondered about. And no, it’s not true that you’re body won’t decompose after death if you’re on antibiotics at the time.
But if rotting bodies isn’t your thing, there is plenty else going on at the festival, according to Forbes:
“We just love engaging the public – and science is something that people often think is too hard to understand… so what we want to do is show people that science is something that you use everyday of your life and that it can be fun.”
Check out the program at
Sydney Science Festival 2017

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