The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000 [View map]

Being Human

Chuckles, Chortles and Giggles

Chuckles, chortles, giggles - we are all familiar with the experience of laughter. It is an involuntary physical response to happiness and humour, with the ability to cross cultural and language barriers. Laughter is one of the first ways that we learn to interact with the world, with babies developing ... Continue Reading »

Be Careful What You Eat

If you like this, then you should tune into ABC radio every second Thursday to hear Paul discuss science (and whatever else he's interested in). What is it with fad diets and quack remedies? While both have been around for as long as people want a quick fix for ... Continue Reading »

World Down Syndrome Day

The blueprint for a human, the DNA is packaged in a specialised way. These packages are called chromosomes. Human beings have 46 chromosomes in every single cell, containing all of the information needed for cell growth and function. Down syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome number ... Continue Reading »

Brittany Wenger: A Young Scientist

Entries to the Google Science Fair are now open! It was in 1915, that a 25-year-old Australian-born physicist named William Bragg Jnr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the field of x-ray crystallography. At the time, he was the youngest scientist ever to receive the honour. Flash ... Continue Reading »

Bad News, I’m Afraid

I've never met a stage that I would not gladly strut. Performing is my thing, when that performance is based around discussing the ideas of science. But there is something disheartening walking on stage knowing that all you have to deliver is bad news. And so it was at Womad last ... Continue Reading »

My Favourite Women of Science

Tell me who your favourite women of science are in the comments below and look out for the follow up blog on YOUR favourite women of science! In honour of International Women’s Day today (March the 8th), I wanted to look at the top ten women whom have inspired me to ... Continue Reading »

The First Woman in Space: Valentina Tereshkova

Usually when people think of astronauts we think of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. We might even think of the Space Race that began in 1955 and the USSR’s launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. What we might not realise, and what certainly wasn’t a part of my school education, ... Continue Reading »

A Brief History of Puns: An Evening with Flacco and the Two Pauls

Last week saw another fabulous event behind the doors of The Science Exchange. For long-time fans of Flacco, What's funny about science? A brief history of timing was as strange, eloquent and entertaining as could be hoped for. For fans of science, there were more science references and painful puns ... Continue Reading »

Losing Weight

Today I officially became unobese. For most of my adult life I’ve been fighting the onset of extra flab, a battle I’ve consistently come second in. A few years ago my Body Mass Index slipped over the uninspiring figure of 30; I had moved from ‘overweight’ to ‘obese’. Now I’ve ... Continue Reading »

Australia’s First Kidney Transplant

Saturday 21 February 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the first successful kidney transplant in Australia – a breakthrough made in the University of Adelaide’s Department of Surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 21 February 1965 (B. Tait, 2012, p.63). This Australian first ... Continue Reading »

Elite Athletes: Mind Over Matter

“Shut up legs and do what I tell you!” – Jens Voigt With all of the media coverage of the Tour Down Under this year, I thought it would be a great time to ask; what makes an elite athlete? Is it pure natural and physical ability, or ... Continue Reading »

This Can’t End Well

Tickets $24 Adult, $18 Conc/RiAus Member, $15 Group 6+ Rated M Every part of who Jonathan used to be is dying. Rosalind is trying to juggle being a mother, a wife and Cambridge Professor in the middle of a war. Hugh dreams to be something more, but is stuck in his day ... Continue Reading »

Revisiting the future – 2014

At the beginning of this year I pulled together a list of predictions from psychics that were supposed to foretell momentous events in science during 2014. These predictions were collected from this article with the promise of a review at the end of the year – ... Continue Reading »

Why we need bees

The best thing about my job is honey. It always smells like honey, I get stung, sure, but the honey definitely makes up for it. Also, bees of all kinds are adorable. The honey bee is arguably the most famous of bees, likely because of the honey, but also because ... Continue Reading »

The Psychology Of Firefighting

Firefighters are amazing. As the rest of us turn to run from a blazing building, they’re the ones running towards it, putting themselves in danger in order to save people, animals and property from damage. It is therefore not surprising that firefighters have been the subject of several lines of ... Continue Reading »

Fallible Science

A core value of science is objectivity: being able to exclude human emotion, bias and influence as an observer to reveal the true nature of the phenomenon under investigation. But I’ve long felt that we’re kidding ourselves if we think that science and scientists are really able to approach anything ... Continue Reading »

Living with Motor Neuron Disease

The ‘ice bucket challenge’ has gone viral over the past few months and is now the most watched thing on YouTube, ever. Its popularity has been credited to a simple premise and celebrity involvement helping it to raise millions of dollars. Search Motor Neuron Disease (for Australia) or Amyotrophic Lateral ... Continue Reading »

A Sonnet to Science

Some would argue that science and poetry are two conflicting practices. Science is method, peer review, experimental protocol, words that do not normally come to mind when reading a poem. But science can be a fertile ground for poetry. Both science education and poetry use similar techniques to educate or inspire ... Continue Reading »

Top 10 Best-selling science books of 2013

Books like those listed below often open up new avenues into the sciences, allowing readers a glimpse of a different world or even changing the perspective of one (personally I no longer look at mathematics as the stodgy, boring subject I once thought it was). But where to begin? The editors ... Continue Reading »

Who’s The Hobbit?

Sometimes we forget that scientists are only human. Given their head, most scientists would assume almost superhuman qualities of rationality, impartiality and objectivity. But these qualities are frequently tested when an hypothesis is shown to be wrong. Most scientists are not prepared to give it up their cherished ideas even ... Continue Reading »

Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon – Book Review

I invite you then, to travel in imagination through the aeons that lie between your age and mine. I ask you to watch history of change, grief, hope, and unforeseen catastrophe, as has nowhere else occurred, within the girdle of the Milky Way. (Stapledon, xviii) Last and First Men is not ... Continue Reading »

Simple Science Is Not Risk Free

People often tell me that they find science difficult or complicated and that this complexity scares them away from engaging with science. I, in turn, have difficulties understanding this view because, to me, science is about simplicity and clarity, it even has in-built mechanisms to keep things simple. Anyone who ... Continue Reading »

Biological Membranes – Surface, Undulation and Interface

As part of the 2014 SALA Festival of South Australian Living Artists, the RiAus FutureSpace Gallery is proud to present Under the Surface. Using different artistic forms and media, Malcolm Koch joins Christopher and Therese Williams in an exploration of what lies beneath the surface of the world ... Continue Reading »

Studying Science Overseas

As a first year undergraduate student I remember listening to my lecturers introduce themselves. As they described their careers, almost all of them included postdoctoral work overseas. I had worked overseas before coming to university, as a remedial massage therapist on cruise ships, and I love to travel for holidays, ... Continue Reading »

What causes breast cancer? Ancient theories to modern facts

Breasts have been long cherished across cultures for their nourishment of babies, their sensual appeal and their feminine symbolism. The destruction that cancer wreaks on breasts therefore attacks the very notion of womanhood. For most of history, ‘cancer’ often simply referred to breast cancer; even in the ancient world, tumours ... Continue Reading »

Discoveries in the world of stem cells

Stem cells offer some of the most exciting – and the most controversial – potential medical treatments around today. Research is proceeding at a cracking pace and notching up revolutionary finds all over the shop, with scientists learning how to grow them faster and use them in a wider variety ... Continue Reading »

A different perspective

I am now the proud owner of seven chickens. It’s been a long time coming, I’ve always wanted to have some chooks, but the opportunity only presented itself late last year when I moved to my new home in the Adelaide Hills. I didn’t expect them to be such wonderful entertainment. ... Continue Reading »

Stem Cells 101

Stem cells. The words sound so futuristic, bringing to mind science fiction movies involving clones, but stem cells are a commonly-used research tool and have been for quite some time! In fact, there are some incredibly exciting things happening with stem cells right now, even as you read this blog, ... Continue Reading »

Who’s afraid of GMOs?

Don’t you hate it when another of your favourite foods or other indulgences turns out to be bad for you? I was doubly taken aback when this article came across my desk recently suggesting that I should stop drinking some of my favourite beers. Not that I hold ... Continue Reading »

Concussion Management in Sport

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is particularly common on the sporting field. Concussion is due to the jarring or shaking force on the brain that results when the head or neck collides with a blunt object or surface. Head injury in high-profile professional sport receives ... Continue Reading »

The Anatomy of a Concussion

In 2010, Melbourne Football Club player Daniel Bell retired at age 25, and the following year sought compensation from the club on medical grounds. He was suffering from ongoing concentration and memory problems, which his doctor attributed to repeated concussions sustained throughout his football career. Public interest in this and ... Continue Reading »

Practice Makes Perfect: Until Overuse Injuries Strike

When an athlete or dancer is practicing a move, they are placing their bodies through a series of repetitions that will allow them to build the necessary skills, strength and stamina required for the result in mind. However, as individuals with different conditions and natural abilities, we all need to ... Continue Reading »

2014 Science Inspiration: Professor Tanya Monro

On Wednesday 17 September 2014 Professor Tanya Monro delivered the 2014 Science Inspiration Tanya Monro is a ‘bright spark’ in Australian science, driving exciting research into photonics - the science of light. As a young teenager, Tanya thought her future would be in music, before being turned onto physics by a ... Continue Reading »

Living with The Doctor

We have asked the cast of The Science of Doctor Who to write about some of their favourite bits of science and pop culture in the iconic series to help prepare audiences for the amazing live show. Tickets are still on sale in all remaining cities for The Science of ... Continue Reading »

The Safety of Contact Sports around the World

Contact sports are loosely defined as sports in which players inevitably come in contact with each other, or equipment, on the field. There are a wide variety of sports that fall under this banner, and they are played from an early age right through to a professional level. The types ... Continue Reading »

My Brief History – Book Review

I enjoy reading autobiographies, this one absolutely included. Naturally, one of the facets of an autobiography that people find alluring is the nosy peek into someone's life. Whilst Hawking does talk about his private life in the sense that he explains it factually, I wouldn't say that he throws juicy ... Continue Reading »

Looking to the future

I've aired my suspicions of futurists before. Most of them seem to be bedazzled by the possibilities of the gadgets and widgets of tomorrow. But I seriously wonder if there will be a future where the tech-heads can indulge their future fantasies. A few articles and reports have ... Continue Reading »

Five of Adelaide’s Greatest Scientists

The timeline for these five talented and creative individuals’ achievements encompasses the 20th century and bears witness to Australia maturing beyond its colonial ties and developing a national identity in all fields of human endeavour including science. These scientists, who all called Adelaide home at some time in their lives, ... Continue Reading »

The birds and the bees are just the beginning…

Biologist and TV host Dr Carin Bondar (Canada) explored evolutionary science and the often weird world of animal reproduction with a huge online audience at RiAus. Along with talking about the science of animal reproduction, Carin spoke about how she became a TV presenter, YouTube and social media star. Dr Carin ... Continue Reading »

Aliens on my planet

In preparation for our upcoming tour of The Science of Doctor Who we have asked the cast to write about some of their favourite bits of science and pop culture in Doctor Who. Tickets are currently on sale for The Science of Doctor Who! Click here to find ... Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Doctors

The first shows of our national tour of The Science of Doctor Who are about to start! Tickets are on sale for shows right across the country so click here to find a venue near you. Last year two very important doctors celebrated 50 orbits of the Sun, me ... Continue Reading »

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

The star of Yann Martel’s novel ‘The Life of Pi’ knew all too well the importance of water purification. As he bobbed along the ocean with only a fully-grown tiger for company in his stranded lifeboat, Piscine Molitor Patel, or Pi, was ironically dehydrated. He was floating on the substance ... Continue Reading »

Bodies on the Line

Concussions, spinal injuries and internal bleeding. During football season, serious sports injuries make front page news on a regular basis as players continually put their bodies on the line. Whether you love rugby, Aussie rules or soccer, there is widespread concern about the injuries sustained in contact sports. How serious are ... Continue Reading »

PDplus: Organ and tissue donation, the gift of life

Organ and tissue donation saves lives. One donor can transform the lives of up to 10 people and significantly improve the lives of many more, and in Australia there are around 1500 people on organ transplant waiting lists at any one time. This free teacher professional learning event on organ and ... Continue Reading »

How well do you know Antarctica?

Antarctica is the largest cold desert in the world. It is a frozen wasteland populated only by penguins and the occasional scientist, seal or whale. Or is it? Here are three things you might not expect of the Great Southern Land. It’s not all cold Just 35 kilometres from the McMurdo and ... Continue Reading »

Transparent Labs – Open House Adelaide

For opening and tour times see Over the course of a weekend buildings around Adelaide will be opening their doors to give you a glimpse behind the scenes. This is a rare opportunity to set foot in a variety of South Australia’s leading labs. Artlab Australia State Herbarium Fab Lab SA Pathology SA ... Continue Reading »
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