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Social Animals is a series of special events held at Science Gallery Melbourne in collaboration with the Royal Society of Victoria as our State’s main program for National Science Week.

Young people interviewing academics, a scientific showcase, speed networking, open studio, comedy debates and a banging party; everything we are doing is about bringing us back together to socialise and have fun. After all, we are Social Animals.

All events are free and open to everyone.

Kids vs Science

Date: Saturday, 12 August, 2023
Time: 11:30 – 3:30pm

A panel of young people aged 8-16 years interview a revolving door of acclaimed scientists about their research and passions. Sparks fly and views collide as the tough questions are asked that can only come from a generation born with mobile phones and access to early stage AI. Expect fresh conversations, honest encounters and lightbulb moments as the scientists are challenged to dispense with the jargon and explain themselves. This experience might just be a pivotal moment in these scientists’ lives.

Featuring Saskia Ellis-Gardam, Ned Foletta, Hugo Lethbridge-Ford, Spencer Maxwell, Harriet McNicol and Zara Nawaz.

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STEMX Speed Networking: For Women and Gender Diverse Humans

Date: Tuesday 15 August, 2023
Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm

This event supports diversity and inclusion in the STEM fields by focusing on connecting women and gender diverse people together. This event is a speed-meeting event where you’ll have the unique opportunity to connect with industry-leading women working in STEM in direct conversation.

The event will bring together people from research, major technology companies, engineering firms, media, and academia with young people from across Melbourne for intimate conversations on their careers.

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Social Animals Party: National Science Week

Date: Wednesday 16 August, 2023
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

There will be late night exhibition viewing of our latest exhibition DARK MATTERS, some naughty zebras from Born In A Taxi, talks, wild decorations, live music, food, drinks and a toast to celebrate being together again.

If you work for a Victoria-based university, institute, museum, garden, zoo, or for STEM industries & government agencies, this is a great opportunity to socialise, have fun and get to know each other!

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Citizen Science and Art Collide with Muon Open Studio

Friday, 18 August @ 11:00am
Saturday, 19 August @ 5:00pm

Join DARK MATTERS artist  Jon Butt and collaborator Lewis Gittus as they develop a live-sound lab at Science Gallery Melbourne, using Jon’s DIY particle detector as an adaptive musical instrument.

The duo will create a soundtrack using muon detections made onsite, allowing interstellar particles to form musical passages.

The Muon Sound Lab creates an open studio space, occupying an intersection between science experimentation and creative studio practice. Visitors can watch live sound creation, talk with the artists and engage in conversations around the opposing forces of science research and poetic intuition to better comprehend the mysterious and incomprehensible.

The final work will be pressed into a vinyl record as a residue of the experiments. A live playing of the vinyl record will accompany a performance work for Science Gallery’s Friday performance series in November.

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Sci Fight Science Comedy Debate: “We Should Embrace Our Animal Nature”

Date: Saturday 19 August, 2023
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join six human animal scientists and debaters as they wrestle with this existential question of who we are, and how we can be happy.

We are animals. We may have pulled ourselves out of the primordial muck by our bootstraps. We may have invented sophistications such as chess, quantum mechanics and the Nutbush. We may have developed consciousness, closely followed by curiosity, hope, and existential despair. But have we forgotten our roots?

Many of the things that bring us misery in the current day are constructs we invented. Inflation. The 5-day work week. Brexit. You’ve never seen a bonobo stressing over whether their stock portfolio offers an adequate return on investment. Would we be better off if we shrugged off our fictional fetters and returned to a simpler, more primal existence?

Sci Fight is a quarterly Science Comedy Debate where scientists and comedians come together to debate serious issues in a ridiculous manner.

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