Breakfasts and lunches
Social functions
Friday day tours
Satellite events
Site visits & tours
Australian science
Organising committee


The Australian Science Communicators are hosting the conference in collaboration with the World Federation of Science Journalists.




Sponsored breakfasts and lunches

We have a packed program of sponsored breakfasts and lunches on offer during the conference. These events are a great opportunity to hear some of the most exciting areas of Australian (and New Zealand) science and to find out about future conferences. 

Space is limited at these briefings.

You can book a place by sending an RSVP to the contact person listed below for each briefing or you can book at registration.

Each day there are three sponsored breakfasts on offer. All offer a 45 minute briefing with questions and answers over a cooked breakfast.

Each day there is a sponsored two-course sit-down lunch and one or two lunchtime briefings where you can take the conference lunch into the briefing room. The lunch break is an hour and a half. The 2-course lunch will run for one hour and the briefings for 45 minutes.

Please RSVP directly to the contact person from the organisation sponsoring the event.

If there are still places available you will also have the chance to book into the breakfasts and lunches at the registration desk during the conference.

Tuesday breakfasts

Welcome breakfast for developing country journalists

International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC), cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Developing and emerging country journalists are invited to this networking breakfast.

Meet your peers from around the world and discuss how you can make the best use of the conference. You will also have the opportunity to hear briefly from IDRC scholars.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Jennifer Pepall, International Development Research Centre, +1 (613) 796-8752, jpepall@idrc.ca


The big Australian breakfast. High in salt, low in water, but lots of fibre
- view full invite

Presented by the Australian Centre of Plant Functional Genomics, cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Thirty minutes, three scientists and our research recipe.

Start with high temperatures and low water and add a big pinch of salt and you have Australia's agricultural environment – not really ideal conditions for growing breakfast cereal crops like wheat and barley. To combat this, our scientists are unzipping the genes of wheat and barley and looking for new solutions. Can we produce varieties of wheat that yield 20% more under drought? Or could we develop plants with inbuilt salt pumps? Will crops with higher fibre be on the menu soon?

Dr Rachel Burton, Darren Plett and James Edwards will address these questions at the ACPFG biotech breakfast and take you on a culinary, intellectual and entertaining journey of science using new breeding technologies including genetic engineering and functional genomics.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Amanda Hudswell, amanda.hudswell@acpfg.com.au


The cancer challenge

Presented by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Cancer now kills over seven million people each year worldwide.

Over the last 25 years scientists and clinicians have discovered why many cancer cells mutate abnormally. Consequently, new drugs which reverse the effects of these mutations are now possible.

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research is a global organisation at the forefront of translating laboratory discoveries into clinically useful anticancer agents. Recently, the Institute's worldwide network has created opportunities for industry to collaborate on the testing of new antibodies and anti-cancer vaccines which target cancer receptors and growth factors.

This session will provide specific examples to demonstrate how the latest innovations in cancer research progress from the laboratory to patient trials.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Caroline Cody, +61 430 134 743, caroline.cody@ludwig.edu.au  

Tuesday lunches

Securing our water future - view full invite

*Registrations for this lunch have closed, as places have been fully subscribed.*

A two course sit-down lunch presented by CSIRO

TIME: 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm


Water is a critical resource challenge facing many countries around the world.

Climate change and increasing demand make it essential that we develop strategies to reduce consumption, increase efficiency and maintain reliable water quality and quantity.

The key to managing scarce water resources is knowing how much water we have now and can expect to have in the future, who is entitled to use it, and under what conditions.

Find out how scientists are working across disciplines to develop the technologies and information systems needed to dramatically improve Australia's ability to measure, monitor and manage our water resources.

Presenter, Dr Tom Hatton, is the Director of the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship – one of six Flagships established by CSIRO to tackle Australia's major national challenges. He leads a team of more than 400 researchers with skills in hydrology, ecohydrology, sociology, information and communication technology, atmospheric research, environmental management, economics and biology.

The session will be introduced by CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Garrett.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Patricia Chronis, +61 407 759 958, patricia.chronis@csiro.au


Technology and its role in the future of the mining industry - view full invite

SPEAKER: Megan Clark, Vice President Technology, BHP Billiton

TIME: 12.45 pm to 1.30 pm


Presented by BHP Billiton: pick up your lunch and join us in Savoy 3

Dr Clark manages BHP Billiton's Global Technology Group developing technologies that provide competitive advantage and growth options for BHP Billiton's global businesses. She was previously a Director with NM Rothschild and Sons (Australia) investing in private technology companies and worked with WMC Resources in mining, exploration and research.

Dr Clark is on the Advisory Board of the Ian Walk Research Institute. She has been a member of the Australian Research Council Collaborative Grants Committee in the areas of engineering and geoscience and is currently on the Working Group on Asia for the Prime Minister's Science Engineering and Innovation Council examining the opportunities and threats presented by the growth of India and China.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Josephine Chow, Email: josephine.chow@bhpbilliton.com


Medical writers' networking lunch

TIME: 12.45pm to 2.00pm

LOCATION: Connaught

The Australasian Medical Writers' Association www.medicalwriters.org invites delegates involved in medical writing, publishing or research to get together over lunch. Please collect your conference lunch and take it to the Connaught room.

A great networking opportunity!

Wednesday breakfast

Australian climate change science

PRESENTER: Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Minister for the Environment

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Important aspects of the Australian environment and economy will be affected by climate change.

The Australian Government is investing heavily in scientific research on climate change to underpin its policy making.

This briefing, by Australian Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull, will highlight recent research areas such as:

- understanding the impact of climate change on habitats like the Great Barrier Reef

- developing low emission technologies such as geothermal and solar power

- investigating geological storage of carbon dioxide

- adapting to climate change in the Australian context.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Jahda Swanborough, +61 439 645 454, Jahda.Swanborough@environment.gov.au



Visit Europe in 2008 for ESOF and PCST

Hosted by ESOF and PCST

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Join the organisers of the:

- 2008 Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference in Malmö and Copenhagen in June;

- and the 2008 Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona in July.

Find out about plans for these two exciting science communication events over breakfast with members of the organising committees of both events – including:

- Clive Cookson, science editor, Financial Times

- Philip Campbell, editor in chief, Nature

- Ruth Francis, press officer, Nature Publishing Group

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact Jaume Urgell, Email: jaume.urgell@esof2008.org


New Zealand, new thinking Kiwifruit, biodegradable surfboards, birdscaring grass, brain repair and more

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Meet the New Zealand delegation over breakfast and learn about New Zealand's new thinking in science and technology.

Limited seats available.

Book at registration desk or contact: Deb Prior, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, +61 412 129 855, Deborah.Prior@nzte.govt.nz

Wednesday lunches

Coming in from the cold: a call to action a scientifically literate society

A two course, sit-down lunch presented by the Australian Science Media Centre and the South Australian Government

TIME: 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm


The challenges that face society at local and global scales make it abundantly clear that knowledge of science and technology is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. How do we build a more proactive scientifically literate society? It's time for science to come in from the cold.

In this stimulating lunch dialogue, Professor Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year will address this challenge. He will be joined by the Hon. Paul Caica MP, Minister for Science and Information Economy, South Australia, who will outline a unique strategy based on the ideas from Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield's time as ‘Adelaide Thinker in Residence'.

Board and Science Advisory Panel members from the Australian Science Media Centre will join journalists for this event.

Chaired by the Director of the London-based Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Marilyn Arnold, (0409) 909 580, marnold@aussmc.org


Pharmaceutical research down under

Presented by Medicines Australia: pick up your lunch and join us in Savoy 2

TIME: 12.45 pm to 1.30 pm


Medicines Australia represents the innovative research-based pharmaceutical companies who discover, develop and manufacture prescription medicines.

Join us for a briefing from a leading industry representative telling a global story about the pipeline of research, development and delivery of medicines. The pharmaceutical industry is a major driver, utiliser and deliverer of global science and there will be major companies on hand to talk about initiatives and projects being conducted within Australia.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Diana Terry, diana.terry@medicinesaustralia.com.au


Some secrets of breast milk revealed?

Presented by Macquarie University: pick up your lunch and join us in Savoy 3

TIME: 12.45 pm to 1.30 pm


Most mothers are aware that breast milk helps boost their baby's immune levels, but up to now it has been thought that it is mainly because of the mother's antibodies found in human milk.

New preliminary research suggests that complex protein/sugar structures within human breast milk may bind to harmful bacteria in a baby's gut, allowing it to then be flushed out. If this is the case, it may soon be possible to synthesise these structures and add them to cow's milk or formula so that mothers who are unable to breastfeed – due to malnourishment, for example - can ensure their babies are still well protected against disease.

Professor Nicki Packer of the Biomolecular Frontiers research group at Macquarie University believes this defence may have evolved in humans but not cows because of our different physiology – after all, cows have four stomachs and only eat grass!

Come along to hear Packer discuss her theory, and how glycoproteins can help us detect cancer and drug use by athletes.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Greg Welsh, +61 (2) 9850 7383, greg.welsh@mq.edu.au

Thursday breakfasts

Heart disease, the tea leaf paradox, better drugs for developing countries

Presented by Monash University, cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Monash University scientists are leaders in biomedical and biotechnology research.

Recent advances in discovery-based biomedical research have opened up a new arsenal of technologies that can be applied to develop new drugs and devices to combat disease.

In this session Professor Harald Schmidt from the Centre for Vascular Health will speak about the novel technologies used in the understanding, early diagnosis and therapy of cardiovascular disease and how this will make prevention and cure of stroke and heart disease a realistic option.

Dr Leslie Yeo from the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory will talk about how Einstein's 'tea leaf paradox' inspired his team to separate red blood cells from blood plasma in a discovery that could lead to pocket diagnostics such as a 'smart card' that performs on-the-spot blood tests.

Associate Professor Christopher Porter from Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation will talk about the ways in which they are developing better, more effective pharmaceutical drugs such as new anti-malarial drugs to combat the existing drug resistance and provide effective therapies for poor, disease endemic countries.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Shae-Lee McArthur, Tel: + 61 (3) 9905 4124


Global and Australian approaches to the management of the hepatitis C epidemic
- view full invite

Presented by Hepatitis Australia, cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am

Over a quarter of a million people in Australia have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus1., thousands more continue to be infected each year, yet only 1%, or 2,000 people are accessing treatment.

On behalf of Hepatitis Australia, Associate Professor Margaret Hellard – Director of the Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health Research at the Burnet Institute, Melbourne – will discuss the range of factors currently fuelling the Hepatitis C epidemic globally and in Australia President of Hepatitis Australia, Helen McNeill will also launch the 'Professor Geoff Farrell Medal', a major initiative of Hepatitis Australia to support responsible, accurate and timely reporting of Hepatitis C.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Jane Moloney, (02) 8424 8500, jmoloney@porternovelli.com.au


Weather with your wheaties

Presented by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, cooked breakfast

TIME: 7.45 am to 8.45 am


Find out about the science behind weather and climate prediction.

We will link the 'ologies'. Hydrology, meteorology, oceanography: how do they work together to help create the Bureau's best guess for today's weather, and tomorrow's climate change; everywhere from the Antarctic to the Equator and across land, sea and air.

And we'll present stories about tracking climate change, predicting bushfire weather, catching a nation's water data, predicting tsunamis and more.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Rob Morton, (0417) 508 051, r.morton@bom.gov.au

Thursday lunches

L'Oréal for Women in Science luncheon - view full invite

A two course sit-down lunch presented by L'Oréal

TIME: 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm


L'Oréal and UNESCO have partnered since 1998 to promote women in scientific research by creating the 'For Women in Science' partnership.

Join Robyn Williams for what promises to be an entertaining and informative session on the role of women in science, the opportunities, the challenges and the research.

Winner of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award 2006, Professor Jennifer Graves from Australia will be our guest speaker, together with brief presentations from young Australian women scientists.

Details of the L'Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowships will also be announced.

The lunch will be hosted by Robyn Williams AM, Science Journalist and Broadcaster.

Limited seats available.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Megan Ryan, (0400) 641 737, mryan@au.loreal.com


Climate change and development – a UNDP perspective

Presented by the United Nations Development Programme: pick up your lunch and join us in Savoy 3

TIME: 12.45 pm to 1.30 pm


We will brief you on the potential impact of climate change on development and provide an overview of UNDP's climate change programme and strategy including:

- UNDP's climate change activity in emissions mitigation, adaptation and the international climate change negotiations.

- Mitigation and the UNDP's experience with the Clean Development Mechanism, efforts to engage developing countries in the carbon market. Has it delivered any development benefits?

- The UNDP's new development focused on the carbon finance facility "MDG Carbon".

- Activities in renewable energy, energy efficiency and land rehabilitation and management, and their role in climate change mitigation.

We will highlight key issues with adaptation and development, including climate risk reduction, formulating national adaptation plans of action and financing adaptation initiatives (including the Adaptation Fund).

Other areas of interest will include promoting appropriate climate friendly policy frameworks in developing countries, issues with the international negotiation process and UNDP's climate change strategy.

Sign up at the registration desk or contact: Brian Dawson, brian.dawson@undp.org