Garvan scientists Drs Ebru Boslem, Paul Baldock, Andrew Burgess and Darren Saunders, who participated in the event.
25 August 2014
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research participated in Space Oddity, a special public science event held as part of National Science Week, at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney on Saturday. Between talks and performances from guest speakers, including astronaut Chris Hadfield, four Garvan scientists discussed some of the most interesting aspects of their research with attendees.
Physiologist Dr Paul Baldock demonstrated bendy and brittle bones; cell biologist Dr Ebru Boslem took people on a jellybean journey to understand diabetes; Dr Andrew Burgess used his mitosis game to mimic cell division; and Dr Darren Saunders shared mitochondrial marshmallows to help explain how cancers can use our cellular machinery to grow.
“The event was a great opportunity to talk with science and social media enthusiasts about current medical research,” said Dr Saunders, Lab Head in Garvan's Cancer Division. “We encouraged people to participate in some fun scientific activity and discussion, while showcasing some of the work the Garvan Institute does in major diseases.”
Headlining the event was Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who rose to fame when his recording of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in zero gravity was viewed 22 million times on YouTube. He appeared alongside a number of other science focused social media personalities: Derek Muller, ABC TV presenter and creator of Veritasium, an educational science YouTube channel; Canadian biologist and online/TV host and producer Dr Carin Bondar; and American aerospace and mechanical engineer Destin Sandlin, who created the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel.
The Space Oddity event was part of National Science Week, Australia's national celebration of science and technology. Now into its sixteenth year, National Science Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists' to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to be fascinated by the world we live in.