• Date: Thursday 19 August
  • Time: 5:00pm 
  • Venue: Virtual Auditorium 

Teaming up with MAAS at The Powerhouse Museum, this event is an opportunity to explore where scientific advancement pushes social boundaries.  What are the implications of space exploration and digital manufacturing and how can science shape the future of our climate change conversations?  Moderated by Professor Fred Watson, Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large, with speakers including Matthew Connell: Acting Director of Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions and Dr Sarah Reeves, Science Curator at the Powerhouse Museum who will be focusing on the areas of astronomy and space. They will be joined by Nina Earl, a curator and science communicator.


Matthew Connell

Matthew Connell is currently the Acting Director of Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions but he has been a curator at the Powerhouse since 1991 working in the fields of computing and mathematics, information technologies, physical science and engineering. Before becoming a curator, he studied physics and mathematics and worked in exploration geophysics and microelectronics research. Matthew’s research and curatorial interests include computing history, mathematics history, media art and design, interaction design, STEM education and learning, and curatorship. He has curated and co-curated several exhibitions at the museum, most recently Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital in 2016 which examined the industrial and cultural implications of digital manufacturing technologies; and in 2017, The Mabo Decision 25th Anniversary. He currently a partner investigator in a research project exploring interactive immersive systems. Matthew is an Adjunct Professor at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at University of New South Wales.

De Sarah Reeves

Sarah Reeves is science curator at the Powerhouse Museum, focusing on the areas of astronomy and space. Sarah holds a PhD in Astronomy and for her thesis she studied the evolution of galaxies using radio telescopes like 'The Dish'. Before joining the Powerhouse, worked for several years as an astronomy guide at Sydney Observatory. At the Powerhouse she has co-curated a wide range of science exhibitions, and in 2019 curated the highly successful Apollo 11 exhibition, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. Sarah is passionate about sharing her knowledge about science and technology with the public through the Museum's collection and exhibitions. 

Nina Earl

Nina Earl is a curator and science communicator who works at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. She holds a Master’s of Science Communication and has extensive experience in STEM education and community outreach. As a curator she works across the Museum’s science collections with a focus on managing the health and medical collection. Her recent work involves the delivery of many successful cross-disciplinary exhibitions, such as Linear in 2019 and Design for Life in 2020. She is particularly interested in how interdisciplinary exhibitions can help new audiences access complex scientific information and build trust in the research process. 

Professor Fred Watson Moderator

PROFESSOR FRED WATSON is Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large in the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. He is a graduate of the universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and worked at both of Britain’s Royal Observatories before joining the Australian Astronomical Observatory as Astronomer-in-Charge in 1995.

Recognised internationally for helping to pioneer the use of fibre optics in astronomy during the 1980s, Fred is best known today for his award-winning radio and TV broadcasts, books, music, dark-sky advocacy and co-hosting the Space Nuts podcast. He holds adjunct professorships in several Australian universities, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault. Fred’s latest book is Cosmic Chronicles – a user’s guide to the Universe, published by NewSouth Press in October 2019. 


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