Griffith Uni stars at World Science Festival

Griffith University is a partner of the inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane. Photo credit: World Science Festival New York.
Griffith University is a partner of the World Science Festival Brisbane. Photo credit: World Science Festival New York.

From tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges to acknowledging the unsung women in science and getting kids to become eco-warriors, Griffith University is sharing its expertise across all areas at this year’s World Science Festival Brisbane.

Held from March 22-26, the festival brings together great minds from around the world  in an annual week-long celebration and exploration of science.

Griffith is featured in several events in this year’s exciting program and will showcase its reputation for water knowledge on a global scale.

Professors Stuart Bunn and Poh-Ling Tan will start the festival with the insightful ‘Water: It’s not a Privilege‘ discussion which coincides with World Water Day on March 22.

Professor Bunn, director of the Australian Rivers Institute, says it is important to acknowledge water is a basic human right, while not destroying biodiversity in the process.

“It’s about how we do a better job, and we’ve got this double challenge of addressing sustainable development goals for water and meeting those basic human needs but at the same time not destroying the services which we depend on,” he says.

Griffith is also hosting a two-day workshop as experts discuss the need and vision for global water assessment, as well featuring in the ‘Water Talks ‘ conversation series.


To celebrate World Water Day, the festival will deliver a daily dose of water wisdom in a series that examine some inspirational successes as well as the current impediments to the United Nation’s Global Sustainability Goal #6 for clean, accessible and sustainably managed water for all by 2030.

Associate Professor Fred Leusch will get serious in ‘Water Talks: The inconvenient truth of bottled water‘  but also have some fun with students when they become an ‘Ecotoxicolgist Apprentice’ on March 24.

With a child dying from a water-related disease every 90 seconds, Associate Professor Anne Roiko will join a panel to discuss what governments and corporations are doing locally and abroad to provide safe sanitation systems to every person on earth in another of the Water Talks titled ‘Dirt on water and disease‘.


Delving into the solution side of water as part of the seriesDr Fernanda Adame will look at how ‘green engineering’ could influence modern water management and whether the concept of ‘used’ water is too difficult to swallow. Discounts are available for guests who want to attend the entire Water Talks series.

Professor Rod Connolly will feature on a panel of environmental experts examining how human ingenuity and innovation holds the key to preventing further damage in ‘Ocean Action: can science save this precious environment?‘.

Brisbane City Council’s Green Heart Schools program is another highlight, and on March 25, Brisbane River Resilience and Sustainability: Past, Present and Future will see participants will cruise down the Brisbane River on a chartered CityCat while exploring the history and future of Brisbane waterways.

Main stage presenters in the program include Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery’s director Jenny Martin who will share her insights into the role women play in science and Dr David Tuffley who will tackle the world of robots and how they fit in ours in Frankenstein Anxiety: Robotics and the replacement of ourselves.

The Queensland Conservatorium will host 100 Ways to Listen, a series of free events from March 24-26 that explore the art and science of sound, documenting a decade of innovative music making.  Read more about music meets science. 

The project includes performances, installations, sound walks, interviews and essays from national and international artists and scientists. These sonic experiments will culminate in a publication launching on World Listening Day 2017.

Griffith’s Science on the Go! team will also bring its ever exciting, dynamic and engaging demonstrations to Street Science held across the weekend of the festival.

To find out more about taking part in any of Griffith’s apprentice programs, visit here or here.

To view the full program and book tickets, visit

Join the conversation online #WSFBrisbane.

The Lab