Humans are a species of creative thinkers, problem solvers, and ambitious dreamers. Together we have achieved the seemingly impossible from curing diseases, extending the average lifespan, inventing air flight, harnessing the power of the Earth’s resources to connect people all over the world, to sending people into space. What does the future hold? Will we resurrect extinct species, figure out the hard problem of consciousness, and primarily eat lab grown meat? Are time travel, invisibility, telepathy, and suspended animation ultimately possible? Will climate change, ageing, waste, and food insecurity be oh so 21st century?
Welcome to an online series of events and activities where we explore the frontiers of possibility, and ask what’s next for the human species.
Wild speculation! Educated guess making! Join us this National Science Week for Possible Impossibles, where the boundary between the possible and impossible blurs.
Possible Impossibles Q&A with experts
Read about geneticists working on resurrecting extinct species, and biologists working to prevent species from becoming extinct in the first instance. Technologists creating an enhanced future reality and friendly robot assistants, or nanotechnologists discovering new treatments for chronic pain and devices that will allow us to get just the right amount of sun to keep us healthy. Agriculturalists growing the food of the future, and sports scientists using technology to create super human athletes. Climate scientists mapping our climate past to help us predict our climate future, or material scientists ensuring that future generations can colonise Mars.
We asked a selection of scientists and other experts what impossible challenge they are working to solve, and what’s next for their field? Read More
Immerse yourself in the wildest places on earth and meet the humans protecting our most precious wildlife. Explore the great savannahs of Kenya, discover the ancient jungles of Borneo and dive into the rich coral reefs of Raja Ampat. Encounter elephants, orangutans, manta rays and some incredible humans, all in stunning cinematic Virtual Reality (VR).
ecosphere is a VR nature documentary series by award winning studio PHORIA. Produced in partnership with Oculus, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Silverback Films Ltd, this groundbreaking series is narrated by Emmy Award winning actress Anna Friel. More information and free download.
More activities coming soon ….
PI Bake Off!
All ages (parental supervision recommended for young bakers)
Fancy yourself a wizard with the spatula, or a budding kitchen chemist?
Take up our Possible Impossibles challenge of creating a Science Week morning tea treat without wheat flour, eggs, dairy, or sugar. Can you bake an eggless pavlova, or a cheeseless cheese cake? How about a deliciously light sponge minus wheat flour? We promise it can be done! Read More
Rosetta Tomorrow Challenge
Once upon a time the Rosetta Stone gave western scholars a key to unlocking the writings of ancient Egypt. Now the Whittlesea Tech School is running a competition for students to create the next legendary artefact to help future generations understand the world we’re living in today. You can design it by yourself or join the Tech School on Wednesday the 19th of August for a live-stream introduction to TinkerCAD to help you on your way. More information and to enter the Challenge.
Making For All
All people in Australia should have the opportunity to take part in scientific activities in a creative and hands-on manner, including people with disabilities. Delight your budding maker with a Making For All kit produced by Dr Kirsten Ellis from Monash University, which is custom-designed to engage participants who have sensory disabilities, significant motor or cognitive disabilities in the fun of science. More details will be available shortly on how to order a kit.
More activities coming soon ….
Fake Out: citizen science challenge
Do you believe what you see? Did Obama really say that (he probably did but not on video)? Deep fakes are getting better and better and humans remain the best judges of the truth despite the efforts of AI. Can you tell real from fake? And if you could, would you share it? Take the ‘Fake Out’ challenge and find out.
Fake Out created by neuropsychologist, Dr Simon Cropper from the University of Melbourne, and citizen scientist responses will help inform Dr Cropper’s research into deep fakes. More information and the challenge available shortly.
A Taste of Tomorrow: fake meat, sautéed spider and lobster lollies?
This series of events by our friends in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Nutrition and Physics at La Trobe University will explore what foods you might eat in the future, how they will be produced, and showcase both the technologically enhanced and the downright bizarre.
Are you willing to try fake meat, insect flour, seaweed snacks, farm-to-plate disease-free animals or bioengineered crops? Then sign up for the Taste Tomorrow taster box!
For more information and to register your interest in receiving a taster box visit the Taste Tomorrow website.
Adults – strictly 18+
Join us from the comfort of your living room as Jon Seltin, Head Brewer from Brick Lane Brewery, winds the clock forward on beer brewing. How will climate change and advances in sensory science affect beer production? How might our beer tastes change in the future?
On this behind the scenes brewery tour, bring your curiosity and engage your palate to discover emerging brewing technologies and trends while sampling some great brews and important brewing raw ingredients.
This is an online event only. Tickets available soon, and include a Brewing Futures tasting kit which will be posted to you prior to the event for consumption during the event.
A speculative algal bloom of ideas! Has the pandemic lockdown got you rethinking how we live our lives more sustainably? Well, seaweed could be the answer!
Join us for Seaweed Salon – a two-part workshop series by the Seaweed Appreciation Society International and presented by Science Gallery Melbourne that invites you on a field trip to another world – an alternate seaweed reality, where edible algae bioplastics are mixed up alongside refreshing seaweed cocktails.
By speculating on a radically sustainable seaweed future, we will be asking if you can welcome this delicious solution into your everyday life. Dive into the videos available all through National Science Week, and join the artists Lichen and Jessie on Science Gallery Melbourne’s Instagram account for special Q&A sessions @scigallerymel
Proudly supported by BASF. Image credit: Jessie French.
Ever wanted to dance like a stick insect?
Activators 2 is a movement experiment between Prue Lang’s choreography, artist Mathieu Briand’s androids and a Phasmid (stick insect). The work explores the body/androids/artificial movement/intelligence on the one side and the body/human instinct/natural movement/nature on the other.
Videos available all through National Science Week, and join the artists Prue and Mathieu on Science Gallery Melbourne’s Instagram account for special Q&A sessions.
ACTIVATORS 2: Prue Lang & Mathieu Briand is presented by Chunky Move in association with Science Gallery Melbourne. The ACTIVATORS program is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program. With thanks to Professor Mark Elgar, Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behaviour at University of Melbourne. Image credit: Mathieu Briand.
More activities coming soon ….
Possible Impossibles is presented by the Royal Society of Victoria for National Science Week 2020 in collaboration with: Brick Lane Brewery, Parliament of Victoria, PHORIA, Scienceworks, Science Gallery Melbourne, Whittlesea Tech School, and scientists and experts from CSIRO, La Trobe University, Monash University, RMIT, Swinburne University, the University of Melbourne, and Victoria University.