ET, Wombats, & Crime Scenes

Rebecca Varidel
5th Aug 2018

What do ET, wombats and crime scene investigations have in common?

They’re all up for discussion across Western Sydney University campuses from August 17 - 19 during Sydney Science Festival

The University is welcoming science enthusiasts from all walks of life to participate in lively discussions, workshops and learnings to help celebrate the wonder of science and the world.

Key Western Sydney University events include:


• Searching For ET: Are we alone in the universe? Western Sydney University astronomer Dr Ragbir Bhathal discusses the latest developments in the search for life outside our planet and his work on the longest search in the Southern Hemisphere for signs of ET life.

• Astronomy Night At Penrith Observatory: All ages are invited to discuss the universe with the team at Western Sydney University’s Penrith Observatory, enjoy a short 3D astronomy movie, tour of the Observatory’s dome area, and view the night sky through a variety of telescopes.

• Protecting our Hawkesbury-Nepean River System: The region’s lifeblood for food, agriculture, and quality of life in the Hawkesbury, the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system needs protection from population growth, further urban runoff and sewage disposal. Dr Ian Wright searches for answers in this important discussion.


• Is Bilingualism Good for your Child’s Brain? An intriguing talk on the science of language, Dr Mark Antoniou from The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development explores the influence of bilingualism on brain growth in children.

• Feel the Groove: Sync with the Musical Beat: Join Western Sydney University’s Music Cognition and Action Research Program Leader, Professor Peter Keller and Research Assistant Eline Smit, as they explore the limits of how well humans can synchronise with music and with one another.


• It’s All About Wombats! Associate Professor Julie Old chats wombats and her extensive research into these incredible native animals and takes the lead on the very special #WombatWednesday.

• Focus on Photosynthesis: Enter the hidden and fascinating world of plants and plant research through a photographic exhibition that will take you from the leaf to the field. Some of the images will open a window to the microscopic realm of structures inside the leaf that are responsible of producing the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat.

• Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation: Interested in studying forensics? Tour the Crime Scene Investigation Training and Research Facility that is used by the NSW Police Force to train their crime scene examiners, and learn from Professor Chris Lennard about cutting-edge finger print technology.

• Travel Space and Time with Virtual Reality: Western Sydney University researchers from the Digital Humanities Research Group have recreated places of the past for you to experience in virtual worlds. Using state of the art Virtual Reality headsets, explore ancient Mesopotamia, walk through Parramatta as it was before Captain Cook’s time, traverse the Pacific islands listening to languages of the region, or step into the Rocks in 1901.</