Pre-National Science Week Mixer – Victoria

Have you got an upcoming event to spruik as part of National Science Week? Or maybe you’d like to hear about the events happening in your area?

Join the Australian Science Communicators Victorian branch and other science-enthusiasts for an open mic and networking night. We’ll open the floor to National Science Week event-holders who’ll share what they’ve got planned for the big week ahead. There will also be door prizes up for grabs.

If you’d like to talk about your event in 1 minute on the night, please contact us via the link below. If you can’t make it along, we’ll be happy to show your promotional material.

The Wild Melbourne Journey – A case study in science communication

The Wild Melbourne Journey

Wild Melbourne

This is a FREE event but places are limited so register your attendance here and stay tuned for updates at the Facebook even page here.


You ask the questions… turning the tables on the media on 27 June.

·         Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in a newsroom?

·         Who decides what stories to cover and when?

·         Where do science stories fit in?

·         And how do you get your research in the news?

Join us on Monday 27 June to find out as the Australian Science Communicators, Royal Society of Victoria, and Science in Public team up to introduce you to our local Melbourne science (and science-interested) journalists.

We’ll bring together a panel of working journalists from print, TV, and radio to tell us about what they do, and what they look for in a story. 

The panel will give you an introduction to the needs and challenges of TV news, radio, and the daily press.

We’ll kick off with a few questions like:

·         What turns science into news for them and their audiences

·         What they need to tell your story

·         How you can help them engage their audience and stay true to the science.

Then you can turn the tables and ask them your questions.

This event is FREE, but you’ll need to reserve your place via Eventbrite.
: Monday 27 June – nibbles and networking from 6pm, forum to start at 6.30pm

: Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
Register at

Event reflection – ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’

As science communicators, when we write about scientific discoveries for public consumption, we often search for the ‘so what?’ in the story – what are the implications for human kind and how will this discovery improve our lives for the better? But for discoveries in pure mathematics, there is often no application at all. Or at least an application may not be known right away.

This month, ASC Victoria continued its series of science movie nights in Melbourne with the screening of ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ – a bio pic based on the short but incredible life of self-educated genius mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887- 1920).  It’s a story that explores the art and divinity of pure mathematics, as well as Ramanujan’s own struggle against British superiority and the rules of ‘empiricism’ or having to prove his mathematical theorems.

Dr Kevin Ormann-Rossiter – physicist, science historian and writer – primed us before the screening, giving some insights into Ramanujan’s world.  Ramanujan, he explained, was revolutionary not only for his mathematical discoveries but because he led the way for Indian academics to travel to England for study and to gain recognition on the world-stage. Much of what’s  known about Ramanujan’s journey from clerk in Madras to fellow of both Trinity College, Cambridge and The Royal Society, is through the accounts of Cambridge Mathematician GH Hardy – the man who brought Ramanujan to Cambridge, helped publish his work, and formed with him a kind of  ‘odd couple’ partnership.  Spoiler alert though:  Ramanujan’s life was cut unfortunately short when he succumbed to illness at only 32.

As someone who’s never been gifted in mathematics, I’m fascinated and awed by people with mathematical minds. The first time I ever heard about Ramanujan was actually via The Simpsons. At Simon Singh’s public lecture in Melbourne a few years ago ‘The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets’, Singh talked about the number 1729 and why it is slipped into the odd Simpsons episode by the show’s writers. It’s called the Hardy–Ramanujan number and the story behind it gives a small but compelling insight into the brilliance of Ramanujan’s mind. Hardy one recounted a visit to Ramanujan in a nursing home:

‘I remember once going to see him when he was lying ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one and that I hoped it was not an unfavourable omen. ‘No,’ he replied. ‘It is a very interesting number. It is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.’

It’s a key scene featured in the film that fans will likely anticipate.

For mathematicians and math fans such as those behind the Simpsons, using the number 1729 is a silent homage to Ramanujan and a symbol of love for his work. But for the rest of us, The Man Who Knew Infinity offers an accessible inroad through which we can gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of pure mathematics and the freakishly talented humans who are able to play with it.

By Victorian Committee Member – Laura Boland

ASC movie nights are back in 2016!

infinity email

Join us on Wednesday 11 May at Kino Cinemas to get the know THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY. Starring Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) and Jeremy Irons (Batman Vs Superman), it tells the life story of the extraordinary Indian mathematician and autodidact, Srinivasa Ramanujan. With no formal training in pure mathematics, he made extraordinary contributions to fields of mathematics, including mathematical analysis, number theory and infinite series. His life story was the inspiration for the academy award winning film, Good Will Hunting.

Prior to the screening we will hear from Dr Kevin Orrman-Rossiter, accomplished physicist, science historian, freelance science writer and reviewer.

As always, the cheap price includes popcorn.

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

When: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (AEST)
Tickets: $20, including free popcorn