World Science Festival Brisbane


Held annually in New York since 2008, the World Science Festival is one of the most celebrated science festivals in the world, and has cemented a second home in Brisbane.

As a 2021 Academic Partner, The University of Queensland showcased our expertise across all aspects of science through talks, panels and engaging science demonstrations during World Science Festival Brisbane.


Showcasing research

As an Academic Partner of the 2021 World Science Festival Brisbane, UQ participated in a wide range of sessions to share our research, expertise and passion for science with Brisbane.

City of Science - Soils for Science

The next antibiotic could be in a handful of soil in your backyard. UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience attended World Science Festival to teach Brisbane why the dirt beneath our feet could be the key to developing new cures, and how we can become a citizen sciencist and help in the hunt.

Antibiotic resistance has been identified as one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. There is an urgent need to discover new antibiotics, and find new candidates in your backyard could help this serious issue. Learn more and request a soil kit here.


UQ staff member showing school students soil samples
UQ staff member showing students a soil sample in a petri dish.
Young person measuring the pH level of the soil against a colourful pH chart.
Young person collecting soil for pH testing activity.

Featured events

Conversations are the beating heart of World Science Festival Brisbane. Harnessing the power of storytelling, these stimulating and thoughtfully crafted in-theatre discussions contemplate ground-breaking discoveries, technological innovation, and pervasive influence of STEM on economic, demographic, political and socio-cultural issues. The following two conversations featured UQ Academics in action.


UQ Professor Paul Young and moderator Norman Swan on stage presenting to seated audience
The Pulse of the Pandemic

At the time of writing, it appears Australia is coming out of the worst pandemic while the USA and Europe descend into pandemonium. On the first anniversary of social distancing and large-scale lock downs, we draw out the lessons of the past in order to pandemic-proof our future.

UQ Professor Aidan Byrne standing at lectern on stage introducing the session
Hunting the Cosmic Dawn

We know it all started with a big bang. But what happened after that? And where are we heading from here? Join a constellation of astrophysicists 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.

UQ demo troupe
Ever thought about channeling a million volts of lightning? Putting your hand in liquid nitrogen at 200 degrees below zero? Or maybe taking a nap on a bed of nails?! These are just some of the death-defying science stunts the nationally acclaimed UQ Demo Troupe showcased at the 2021 event.
A night at the museum
The 2021 event saw families deep dive into the ancient world of sea monsters. They were able to experience firsthand the size and majestic beauty of these prehistoric ocean predators at the Sea Monsters exhibition.
After dark
As the sun went down, mysteries of the deep were revealed at the museum for a very special adults only After Dark.

If you have any questions about this, or any other partnerships, contact us by email at