Here at World Science Festival Brisbane, we are committed to bringing the wonder of science to Queensland and beyond. Our program of conversations and talks gives voice to science as our topical experts share the latest evidence, discoveries, theories and practical applications for what we know, what we don’t know and what we need to know.

Explore Conversations and Talks – available to stream on-demand now for free. These are available to watch online, whenever it suits.

WSFB 2023: Conversations and Talks (Video)

WSFB 2023: Conversations and Talks (Podcasts)

WSFB 2022: Conversations and Talks (Videos)

WSFB 2021: Conversations and Talks (Videos)

In 2021 we worked closely with Griffith Film School’s LiveLab to pre-record five of our most interesting conversations, and we recorded all of our live conversations at QPAC – all these conversations are posted below and on YouTube for you to enjoy in your own time.

May 19, 2021 • 1hr 30mins

Running the Planet Without Costing the Earth

Participants: Alexander Colsmann, Cathy Van Extel, Fanny Boulaire, Richard Taylor, Michelle Taylor

Why is it so hard to switch to clean energy? A (solar) panel of energy experts explore the path to a sustainable energy future and reveal some of the ground-breaking solutions that just might save our planet. Presented with QUT

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 21mins

Hunting the Cosmic Dawn

Participants: Carl Smith, Nichole Barry, Tamara Davis, Brian Schmidt, Andrea Ghez

Why is SKA set to rock the universe? Join a constellation of astrophysicists and their celestially inclined counterparts as they shine new light into the cosmos to determine what the first stars looked like, the nature of dark energy and the future of the universe. Presented with The University of Queensland.

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 32mins

Cities 2060

Participants: Niraj Lal, Tuba Kocaturk, Tony Matthews, Paul Burton, Shipra Narang Suri

Why is it so important to plan for 2060 now? Specialists in built environment, urban design, architecture, town planning and tech come together to imagine the cities of our future.  Presented with Griffith University


May 13, 2021

Why Trust a Scientist?

Participants: Niraj Lal, Rachel Ankeny, Cheryl Praeger, Karen Ferry and Norman Swan

In a world where misinformation and mistrust thrive, fake news can go viral and conspiracy theories are more popular than ever – science is under attack. Opinions trump facts and truth is no longer absolute. Why should we trust scientists? Or perhaps more tellingly, what does it mean if we can’t?

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 1min

Science Vs Politics

Participants: Hugh Possingham, Jamila Rizvi, John Byron, Malcolm Turnbull, Christine Jackman

Why are politicians and scientists often at odds? Political insiders reveal the behind-the-scenes machinations that occur when government is faced with scientific evidence that may, or may not inform policy and action.

May 12, 2021 • 1hr 29mins

Pulse of the Pandemic

Participants: Raina MacIntyre, Michael T Osterholm, Wendy Zukerman, Paul Young, Norman Swan, Jeanette Young and Brett Sutton.

Why didn’t we listen to the warning signs? On the first anniversary of social distancing and large-scale lock downs in Australia, we review a devastating year, assess the state of play in 2021, and draw out the lessons of the past in order to pandemic-proof our future. Presented with The University of Queensland


March 23, 2021 • 60 minutes

The Moon is Mine: A Hypothetical

Participants: David Flannery, Richard Garriott, Adam Gilmour, Bernie Hobbs, Joni SystmaJonathan Fulcher

The year is 2030 and space tourism is now a thriving reality. But one company is setting its sights slightly further afield with a mission to mine the Moon. But who owns the Moon? What if another company or country beats them to it? Will the investors backing the lunar prospecting strike it rich or will it fail to launch?

March 19, 2021 • 60 minutes

Disrupting Bushfires

Participants: Stephen Pyne, Hugh Possingham, Ruth LuscombeVictor Steffensen

Our panel of fire-savvy specialists look to the past, present and future for ways to survive the current ‘Pyrocene’.

How can we combine the knowledge and skills of traditional owners with cutting-edge technologies such as satellites, artificial intelligence and drones, to protect our sunburnt country?


March 19, 2021 • 60 minutes

Mind Altering Medicines

Participants: Margaret RossOlivia Carter, Paul Liknaitzky, Matthew W. JohnsonTegan Taylor

Almost 60 years after psilocybin was banned, researchers at John Hopkins University in the USA suggest that magic mushrooms can treat cancer-related psychiatric distress, depression, anxiety and addiction.

Take a trip into the world of hallucinogens as our medicinal magicians reveal insights from Australia’s first psilocybin clinical trials.

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Queensland Museum Talks

Hear from Queensland Museum’s team of scientists, curators, researchers and conservators as they delve in the Museum’s vaults to showcase some fascinating specimens and share insights into Queensland’s natural and cultural history.

May 12, 2021 • 35mins

Ancient Sea Monsters with Espen Knutsen

While dinosaurs may have ruled the land, giant marine reptiles hunted the depths of the sea. What can their fossilised bones tell us about how they lived? How do they compare to today’s top ocean predators? Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Espen Knutsen takes us on a journey of discovering these monsters of the deep.

May 12, 2021 • 59mins

Capturing Queensland’s Extreme Environments – Photography with Gary Cranitch

Queensland contains some of the most revered and stunning landscapes in the world, and capturing their magic takes real skill and years of patience. Fortunately, Queensland Museum has exactly that in internationally renowned photographer Gary Cranitch, whose work appears in publications around the world.

May 12, 2021 • 59mins

Scientific Illustration with Geoff Thompson

For hundreds of years recording scientific research and discoveries didn’t change much. However, methods of recording and preserving science have accelerated rapidly in recent decades. Queensland Museum’s award-winning, scientific illustrator and deep-focus photographer Geoff Thompson as he explores the ways scientists have captured their images and work through the ages.

May 12, 2021 • 1hr 1min

Trapdoor Spiders with Michael Rix

Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of trapdoor spiders and their kin – the master architects of the spider world. Join renowned arachnologist, Dr Mike Rix as he highlights cutting-edge research conducted at Queensland Museum, and provides a rare insight into the diverse characteristics and life cycles of the amazing creatures hiding behind the door.


Science Online

Enjoy even more resources from World Science Festival Brisbane, online, right now.

Listen to audio tours, tune in to the Cool Jobs short films, stream past sessions from The Hatchery and more!

Education Online

Students can engage in curriculum aligned, STEM programming with some of the world’s greatest minds online and in the classroom, with recordings of previous WSFB Schools Program events.

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