story, science, technology and creativity

30 years of the Shell Questacon Science Circus

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Circus truck at QuestaconIn 2001 I joined the circus.
In 2014 I urged you to join it too.

And in 2015, I joined 150 other circus scholars in Canberra to celebrate 30 years of taking science to the streets (and the outback communities, the rural schools, the town ovals…pretty much anywhere we could unpack the truck).

As well as being a super-incredible year of facing challenges, making friends, developing skills and blowing things up, 2001 was also an invaluable opportunity to show thousands and thousands people how much fun science is, and how cool your world can become if you understand how it works.

And 2001 was just one of the circus’ 30 years.

Shell Questacon Science Circus 2001

After the evening of #SQSC30 celebrations, I spent a couple of days re-exploring Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.

This involved screaming “Oh!” and running up to hug friends from 15 years ago (!), meeting colleagues working over the world in a (wooden, handmade) kaleidoscope of science communication roles, recording animated grabs of circus experiences as part of a video archive, losing the video microphone down my shirt, meeting the next generation of Double Helix readers, investing in glow-in-the-dark tarantulas, and drinking lots of champers, and then even more coffee. Great. Times.

Here’s to the next 30 years of developing much-needed skills in science communication, and inspiring a much-needed love of our incredible world and how it works. Thanks SQSC!

And if you’ve read this far, a bonus: The story of how Graham Walker and I were (not) nearly kidnapped for Science on the Move in South Africa.

Author: cristyburne


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