The ABC is celebrating Science and Science Week (12-20 August) with a range of dedicated programming and audience engagement initiatives that highlight its commitment to the genre. The ABC broadcasts more Science content than any other free-to-air Australian broadcaster and is proud to present this range of new offerings for audiences of all ages, across TV, radio, digital and online.
The ABC will be kicking off Australia's Biggest Smartphone Survey, working with researchers and audiences across multiple platforms and programs, to explore Australians' relationship with their smartphones – for better or worse.
Meanwhile, ABC Splash, the home of digital educational content, is calling on Australian school children to get involved with the War on Waste competition. Following on from ABC's hugely successful series and campaign of the same name, this competition asks children to identify a waste problem and a solution.
ABC TV's flagship science program Catalyst is back for a new series to inspire Australian audiences. And on ABC RN, season two of the new podcast and program Science Friction delves into artificial intelligence, medicine and bias.
Michelle Guthrie, ABC's Managing Director said: 'At a time when other media organisations are abandoning key genres like Science, the ABC is stepping up its commitment to providing distinctive, quality local programming. The ABC is committed to Science broadcasting and we look forward to delivering on that commitment to our audiences across all our platforms."
Education – ABC Splash
ABC Splash is running a competition asking students to use their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths) skills to create solutions to Australia's waste problems. Students need to research one waste problem identified in ABC's War on Waste television series and come up with a 90-second pitch for a solution that has been designed using STEAM thinking. For more information visit: http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/competition/2576886/war-on-waste-competition
ABC Science: Australia's Biggest Smartphone Survey
This Science Week, the ABC wants to know about one of the key relationships in your life – the one between you and your smartphone. These deceptively simple pieces of technology have transformed our lives. And we want to know how it's affected you – the good, the bad and the ugly! How has it changed your life for the better? Or for worse? How much time do you spend on it? What would you like to know about smartphones and smartphone use?
We'll use all this information to build a picture of the relationship Australians have with their smartphone. And we're doing this in the pursuit of science – your responses will help researchers paint a picture of smartphone use in Australia.
Radio National (RN)
All In The Mind
In a Science Week special on Sunday August 13, All In The Mind on ABC RN – one of the ABC's most popular podcasts, presented by Lynne Malcolm – delves into the relationship between your brain and your smartphone: is this technology genuinely addictive, and if so why?
ABC RN's daily program dedicated to living a better life will also explore how we use our smartphones. Life Matters will interview scientists and hear from its audience, learning all about the good and the bad of living such a highly connected existence.
In addition, Life Matters will expand on Australia's Biggest Smartphone survey by following a number of people as they experiment with a targeted -digital detox', exploring the good and bad effects it has on their lives.
ABC RN's Science Friction, hosted by Natasha Mitchell, is launching its second season in National Science Week. Season 2 dives into intriguing, surprising, sometimes chilling stories " from the bone wars to the drone wars, a body organ heist and real-life luddites. But we're kicking off with a special on sex, science and technology, over two episodes for National Science Week on August 12 and August 19. Does AI have a white guy problem? Is your digital life discriminating against you? And, from lab rats and beyond, has science turned a blind eye to female bodies?
Dr Karl will continue to grapple with life's scientific mysteries during his Science Week chat with Zan Rowe on triple j and his Great Moments in Science podcast.
More wonders of Science will be explored on ABC Local and Regional Radio, and Radio Australia with more details to be announced soon.
Catalyst – Series returns Tuesday, 15 August at 8.30pm on ABC TV and iview
We're living through a golden age of scientific discovery and Catalyst returns to take you to the heart of the biggest Science stories from Australia and around the world. The series is made up of hour long programmes, each one looking at the latest Science on single subjects from human health and medical breakthroughs to astronomy and technology. We're aiming to capture the wonder and excitement at the heart of these stories and meet the scientists and researchers working at the forefront of these fields.
Many of the films are hosted by presenters chosen for their expertise and ability to communicate the discoveries in their fields. We dive into the hunt for alien life beyond our solar system, investigate whether seaweed can help save the world, witness some of the extraordinary techniques used in operations to heal the human heart, and undertake a world-first experiment to understand how changing what's in your gut can radically alter your life. We're also working with international co-producers to bring some of the best filmmaking from around the world. It's a series that will surprise, delight and inform in equal measure.
The Farthest – 9.30pm Tues 8th August (Part 1) and Tues 15th August (Part 2) on ABC and iview
The Farthest tells the captivating stories of the people and events behind one of humanity's greatest achievements in exploration: NASA's Voyager mission, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this August. Still going strong four decades after launch, the twin spacecraft carries an iconic golden record with greetings, music and images from Earth – a gift for any aliens that might one day find it. It left our solar system and ushered humanity into the interstellar age in 2012, and is the farthest-flung object humans have ever created. A billion years from now, when our sun has flamed out and burned Earth to a cinder, the Voyagers and their golden records will still be sailing on – perhaps the only remaining evidence that humanity ever existed.
The A.I. Race – Tuesday 8th August at 8.30pm on ABC TV and iview
In a one-hour special we explore how humans are taking on the robots designed to replace us. Artificial intelligence is coming and the disruption will impact workers and our society far into the future. Get ready for The A.I. Race.
Throughout Science Week, ABC ME is celebrating by airing science themed programs to encourage an interest in science amongst Australian children.
ABC Education (10am-12pm) will be treating viewers to Physics House, Ecomaths, Full Proof, Nature's Microworlds, Take on Technology, an encore screening of Stargazing for Beginners and more.
From 2pm, ABC ME continues the science theme with Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom, selected episodes of Horrible Science, Annedroids, Brain Freeze, Backyard Science, Science Max: Experiments at Large, and premiere episodes of METV's Science Time.
Sciencey – coming soon to iview
Can you control your dreams? Why do we sound Australian? Can you 3D print another you? Why are things cute? Why do headphones get tangled? When will we go off grid? Sciencey is a new social series from ABC that delivers illuminating answers to some of the strangest questions in the universe. In the process of answering the seemingly unanswerable, the series showcases the latest in Australian Science and offers a platform for the best young minds and thinkers in the nation.
During Science Week, iview will also feature a curated collection of Science-themed programming, including Todd Sampson's Life on the Line, Stargazing Live, Brian Cox: Life of a Universe and Nano.
During National Science Week, and all year round, the ABC is home to fascinating stories and extraordinary achievements. Join the conversation: #ScienceWeek