Speech development and cancer headline first Science at the Local of 2018

The popular community science series, Science at the Local, returns for its first event of 2018 on Sunday, March 11 at Springwood Sports Club.

Professor Graham Mann from the Westmead Institute will be speaking about the current state of cancer research, while Associate Professor Paola Escudero from Western Sydney University will talk about how infants acquire speech before speaking.

Co-convenors Kevin Joseph and Hamish Clarke, along with partners Winmalee and Springwood Neighbourhood Centres, are inviting all residents to the free event at 2.30pm, which brings scientists and community members together in a relaxed and friendly environment.

“We’ve got a lot to celebrate,” said Dr Clarke, who researches bushfire at the University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University.

“We’ve had so many good events, the feedback from scientists and community members has been fantastic and we’ve just found out we’ve been successful in our application for 2018 funding from Inspiring Australia. We’d love to see some familiar faces and some new ones on March 11.”

“It’s also been a busy summer,” said Mr Joseph, a science teacher at Springwood High School.

“We’ve got another great program for 2018, more podcast episodes and we’ve been working on some exciting new partnerships and initiatives, which we hope to announce very soon.”

Professor Mann is an internationally renowned cancer geneticist and a leading Australian translational research scientist, specialising in the study of melanoma. As Research Director of the Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), Professor Mann helps lead a multidisciplinary melanoma research program across the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

“My colleagues and I are working toward a clearly defined vision of curing melanoma”, said Professor Mann.

Associate Professor Escudero joined Western Sydney University’s MARCS Institute in 2011, after a research position at the University of Amsterdam and a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the University of California in Los Angeles. Her work focuses on speech and visual processing in diverse populations, including monolingual and multilingual infants, young children, and adults as well as zebra finches.

Other 2018 events will be on May 20, July 29, September 16 and November 11, all at Springwood Sports Club from 2.30pm. Upcoming topics include the NBN, dietary inheritance, off earth mining and carnivorous plants.

To get involved, go to www.facebook.com/ScienceAtTheLocal.

The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.