What is Fresh Science?
Now in its sixteenth year, Fresh Science is a national event, which brings together scientists, the media and the public. It is designed to:
- enhance reporting of Australian science
- highlight and encourage debate on the role of science in Australian society
- provide role models for the next generation of Australian scientists.
Previous Fresh Scientists have attracted national and international interest resulting in hundreds of media stories, including national television news. Details of previous winners, their press releases and media coverage can be seen on this website.
When is it?
Fresh Science state finals are held in the month of April. The national finals are held at the Melbourne Museum in late July.
Stories will be released to the media during and after the event. Fresh Scientists will be available for media interviews in the weeks immediately following the event.
Fresh Scientists will also have the opportunity to participate in science events and initiatives throughout the year.
Can I enter?
Nominations for 2014 will open in late January and close early March.
We are looking for early-career researchers who have a discovery that has not received any publicity. Read more about the 2013 selection criteria on the “How to nominate” page. And then follow the links to the online nomination form.
For more information, contact Tim Thwaites on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What sort of discoveries do we want to hear about?
Check out some of the stories from previous years by going through the “Alumni“.
How did Fresh Science start?
The original ScienceNOW! organising committee was concerned about the lack of an effective national forum to bring together scientists, the media and the general public, so, in 1997, they started one. It was based on a couple of simple premises: Australia needed to improve and expand its science reporting.
It also needed a way for its best young scientists to present their work before an audience much broader than their peers.
The founding chairman of ScienceNOW! was Ian Anderson: science writer, journalist and the first Australasian editor of New Scientist.
Fresh Science was originally part of a larger event – ScienceNOW! But it outgrew ScienceNOW! which ceased in 2001. Starting in 2002, Fresh Science has been held as a standalone event in association with National Science Week.
The aim of Fresh Science is to bring together scientists, the media, and the public. It is designed to:
- Enhance the reporting of Australian science;
- Highlight and encourage debate on the role of science in Australian society; and
- Provide role models for the next generation of Australian scientists.
ScienceNOW! (the forum)
ScienceNOW! (the forum) was held over four days at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre inside the Great Australian Science Show (GASS) in 1998 and 1999.
This non-profit event run was primarily sponsored by the Victorian and Federal governments and supported by Australia’s leading science organisations including the Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO, Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), and ANZAAS.
Hot science discussed
The ScienceNOW! forum held a series of free public forums with international and Australian speakers on hot science topics, for example:
In 1999 – The global fight against disease with Laurie Garrett, US author of The Coming Plague. The session, chaired by Sir Gus Nossal, explored the lessons from the collapse of public health systems in Russia where the next generation are being decimated by TB, HIV and other diseases. Garrett was interviewed on the 7.30 Report (by Kerry O’Brien) and elsewhere. The forum was supported by the Menzies Foundation.
1998 – Cloning – should it extend to humans – a forum chaired by Geraldine Doogue and broadcast as a one hour episode of Compass
Science in the media – an annual critique of science and science reporting
The public sessions at ScienceNOW! covered entertaining issues such as: Time and Time Travel; and Hollywood Meets the Labcoats – our annual irreverent look at science in the movies.
Other organisations also staged sessions at the ScienceNOW! forum – sharing venue and promotion costs. These events have included Science in the Pub, Women in Science (with Margaret Wertheim and Pru Goward) and Turning Smart Ideas into Smart Business (with Thinking Melbourne and Telstra)
The exhibition: Great Australian Science Show
ScienceNOW! was staged in a custom-built lecture theatre inside GASS – a free science show that featured exhibits from many Australian science organisations including CSIRO, Scienceworks, universities and research institutes.
GASS comprised a lively and interested crowd – 16,000 people in 1998 and 24,000 in 1999.
The legacy of the forum
ScienceNOW! was designed from the ground up to publicise Australian science. Each year the forum stories generated more than 300 media mentions including significant international coverage. We also invited a prominent international science journalist to participate in ScienceNOW! and then travel around Australia reporting on other hot science issues.
ScienceNOW! developed into a meeting place for Australia’s science journalism and science communication communities with special functions such as the ‘Fresh Science Dinner’.