Science for our Future Festival – Indonesia
8 – 12 October 2012
- Festival overview
- Festival presenters
- 2012 Schedule
- Questions from past participants
- Photo Gallery
The University of Western Australia | The Australian Embassy, Jakarta | The Indonesian Academy of Sciences | Study Group - Taylors College - UWA Foundation Program |Perth Education City | IDP Education | Universitas Airlangga – Surabaya |Universitas Bina Nusantara - Jakarta
The Science for our Future Festival is a celebration of the contributions that science has made to humanity, a festival for students to promote the study of science, and an opportunity for aspiring researchers to engage with some of the world’s leading scientists.
In 2010 The University of Western Australia (UWA) launched the International UWA Science for our Future Festival. The festival began as an initiative of Australia’s National Science Week, with the aim of promoting the contribution that science and scientists make to society and in the community. The festival is an exciting, dramatic and theatrical way of communicating the important contributions that scientists and scientifically literate citizens make to our global community.
In 2010, the festival attracted a live audience of around 5000 students in Malaysia, and was televised throughout the country to an audience of more than 5 million in 9000 schools. In 2011 another successful event was held in Singapore, with more than 2000 students attending events.
Our partner in 2012 is Indonesia. As our closest geographical neighbour, and home to around 240 million, Indonesia faces many challenges that will require graduates and citizens who really understand science.
UWA is one of Australia’s leading science research university’s in the world. In 2012 UWA was ranked 26th in the world in the category of Life and Agricultural Sciences, making it the highest ranked Australian University*. As a leading science university we are committed to outreach and education within our region.
The festival will explore some of the big and important global issues that impact the planet, and will culminate in a message that we need scientifically literate graduates, and we need them in all areas of society.
There are four main themes for the festival:
- Communities need graduates involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
- The planet needs graduates who will ensure that we restore and maintain a balance within natural environments.
- Society needs graduates who will ensure the sustainability of food supplies for humankind.
- The future need graduates who discover new knowledge about the physical world and apply it in ways that serves humanity.
1. Communities need graduates involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
The progress of human civilization has been defined by our pursuit of a better and longer quality of life. History has many monumental periods in which diseases have caused great suffering and death. We have made great strides in fighting disease, and improving the quality and longevity of human life. We still have some great challenges to overcome however.
Preventing, diagnosing and treating disease is one of the great challenges for our planet. Our growing population, increased ease of travel and mobility, and changes to our environment have impacted the spread of disease. Addressing these challenges will require an amazingly diverse generation of scientifically literate graduates. No longer is medicine the exclusive domain of medical clinicians.
We need mathematicians to model and solve problems, chemists to synthesise new treatments for ‘old’ diseases, and even environmental scientists who can understand the connections between changes in the natural environment and disease in humans. There are the neurosciences, physics, exercise science, molecular sciences, anatomical sciences, public health, nanotechnology, genetics, pharmacology, biological sciences, microbiology, pathology, and many other disciplines that make valuable contributions to our understanding of disease, and our capacity to diagnose and treat it.
Science has some great challenges, which means there are amazing opportunities for a new generation of graduates to contribute to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.
2. The planet needs graduates who will ensure that we restore and maintain a balance within natural environments.
The industrial revolution of the 18th century was a great period of progress in human history, much like the information revolution of our lifetime. Machines and engines powered by fossil fuels dramatically changed society, like computers, tablets and smartphones have changed the way we live and interact today. In the 300 years since the industrial revolution, the population of the planet has gone from 1 billion to 7 billion people. We consume more food and energy, and the way that we live and grow our economies has had a significant impact on the health of our natural environments, many of which will be difficult to reverse.
In order to restore and maintain a balance within our natural environments, and to achieve a future of sustainable growth, our planet needs a diversity of graduates who understand the challenges we face. This not only includes climate and environmental scientists, but also physicists, marine scientists, oceanographers, chemists, zoologists, agronomists, animal biologists, and natural resource scientists. We will also need engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs and many more.
Other graduates will play an important role in leading, educating and informing the community and policy makers. These will include psychologists, science journalists, economists, business leaders, teachers, and the research community. Most importantly though, is ensuring that our citizens are scientifically literate, and equipped to make better informed decisions about issues which impact on the environment and society.
3. Society needs graduates who will ensure the sustainability of food supplies for humankind.
Feeding 7 billion people is an enormous challenge today. Feeding a predicted 9 billion people by 2050, with much less agricultural land, increased prosperity, and challenging changes to our climate is broadly recognised as one of the greatest challenges facing future generations.
Ensuring we have sustainable supplies of food for the planet will require innovative and creative solutions based on good science. Beyond the traditional set of agricultural scientists, we will need graduates with expertise in land and water management, genetics, plant sciences, soil science, food sciences, molecular science, entomology, chemistry, virology, and hydrology. Beyond the pure sciences, we will also need those involved in agricultural economics, finance, engineering, politics, community and regional development, geography and business.
Understanding just where our food comes from, and the amount of energy required producing it, will be essential information for citizens and the community to make informed choices. Teachers, parents, the food industry, consumer groups, policy makers and government will all have a significant role to play in ensuring future food sustainability.
4. The future need graduates who discover new knowledge about the physical world and apply it in ways that serves humanity.
Quite often we marvel at the engineering feats of humankind and don’t quite make the connection to the science that made it possible. From the mathematics and physics that make our information technology possible, to the genetics and molecular sciences that are used to develop new crop varieties. Science is everywhere… and many scientists are busily involved in research and development to create new technologies that make our lives better, to develop new crops and agricultural practices that feed us, and design new treatments that make us healthy and well.
Society relies on scientific discoveries on a daily basis. Through the application of scientific knowledge in technology and other practices, we can improve society, build communities and benefit the entire planet. We need new discoveries across all disciplines – from detailing the human genetic code to understanding the origins of the universe. We have millions of discoveries still to make and every piece of research is a potential discovery hiding in the shadows, and just waiting to be revealed.
We owe so much to the generations of chemists, physicists, and biologists who have opened up new frontiers of discovery. Future generations will expand on this work and make new discoveries that will be translated into technologies. We will need engineers, physicists, biotechnologists, pharmacologists, and many other professionals to apply their knowledge, creativity and ingenuity to the problems and challenges confronting society. By understanding the importance of scientific research and its translation into new practices and technologies, communities will be better positioned to support and fund scientific research for the benefit of humankind.
These ideas represent some of the most significant challenges facing our planet today, and ideas that are challenges to all countries in our region.
About the Essay
In less than 400 words, tell us how the Science for our Future Festival - Indonesia, and its presenters inspired you to think about science differently. We are particularly interested to know how studying science can help you contribute towards solving some of the global challenges that you care about.
Additional information to note:
1. The essay must be written in English
2. You must be aged between 16-21 years of age to enter the competition
3. You must hold a valid Indonesian passport
4. You must otherwise be eligible for a visitor visa to Australia with the full sponsorship and support of the University of Western Australia.
5. You must include your full name, your school details, and contact details in the submission
6. If you are aged under 18 years of age, you will need parental consent to travel
There is a great prize for this year's winners. We will select one winner from each of the events in Jakarta and Surabaya, so a total of two prizes. The 2 awardees will fly from Indonesia to Perth, Western Australia and you will spend 5 days visiting Perth as the young science ambassador for Indonesia at The University of Western Australia. You will have return economy airfares, accommodation, meals, transport and all your expenses covered throughout the visit.
1. Return economy class airfares from Indonesia to Perth
2. Accommodation in Perth
3. Airport transfers
4. All meals
5. Perth excursions
The Deadline for submissions
Please ensure that you send your submission in either .doc or .pdf format to Arlina Wellbourne-Wood by 5pm Perth time on Friday 26 October 2012: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful to our sponsors, The University of Western Australia | The Australian Embassy, Jakarta | The Indonesian Academy of Sciences | Study Group - Taylors College - UWA Foundation Program |Perth Education City | IDP Education | Universitas Airlangga – Surabaya |Universitas Bina Nusantara - Jakarta.