Science at the Local returns to Springwood Sports Club

Springwood and Winmalee Neighbourhood Centres are hosting Science at the Local at Springwood Sports Club on Sunday, September 17 from 2.30 pm.

After the wildly successful Tim Low event in July, the team is back with another great program for community members young and old with an interest in science.

Speaking at the event will be registered psychologist Dr Bianca Heng (nee Lee), working in private practice in Sydney, on the topic of online gaming: an addiction or meeting social needs?

Thanks to the influence of her brother and husband, Dr Heng has played video games for many years. During this time, she realised her brother’s communication and people-management skills improved due to being a Guild Master and Raid Leader, but she also noticed an increase in family conflict with her mother often saying: “It’s just a stupid game!”.

These experiences ignited her interest in online gaming and its impact on players and their families which continued to grow and eventually evolved into her doctoral thesis.

Also speaking will be Dr Alessandro Tuniz, from the University of Sydney, on the topic of the physics of invisibility. Alessandro re-joined the University of Sydney on a Fellowship at the Australian Institute for Nanoscience and Technology after a stint in Germany.

He is currently working to develop ultra-compact hybrid photonic chips with a low energy footprint, with applications ranging from quantum communication to single-molecule sensing.

Science at the Local is free and consists of short and engaging presentations from leading scientists, with time for Q&A and discussion over a meal or drink. No bookings are required.

The event was founded by locals Kevin Joseph and Hamish Clarke and is supported by the Neighbourhood Centres in Winmalee and Springwood, who backed the pilot in November 2014.

Together they form the Blue Mountains Science Hub, a regional focal point for science communication and engagement activities in the mountains. The Hub was recently joined by the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mt Tomah.

“The last event was bigger than Ben Hur,” said Mr Joseph. “It’ll be great to get back to the Bowlo and check out the renovations.”

“It’s another strong lineup with Bianca and Alessandro,” said Dr Clarke, who has sometimes felt invisible but does not believe this counts. “With my wife’s blessing, I hope to become an online gaming addict in the near future.”

The final Science at the Local for 2017 will be on November 12, also at the sports club.

To get involved, go to www.facebook.com/ScienceAtTheLocal. The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.