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Research Symposium

  • - (AEST)
  • Powerhouse Ultimo
    500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia

This hybrid one-day event features talks, presentations, conversations, and creative work on inter-disciplinary aspects of our earthly and non-earthly atmospheres.


Welcome and Opening
Opening remarks by Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer and Professor Juan Salazar.

Opening Panel: First Nations Astronomy and Sydney Observatory
First Nations Sydney Observatory resident William Barton, composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist discusses his practice and the work produced at the intersection of the histories of Sydney Observatory and First Nations Astronomical practices.

Space and Future Atmospheres
Conversations about the search for planets which support life, the creation of artificial atmospheres, the pursuit to geo-engineer the atmosphere and decarbonise the economy.

Panelists: David Karoly, an honorary Professor in the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Melbourne; Chilean planetary scientist and President of the Mars Society Chile, Priscilla Nowajewski; and Devika Kama Kamath, a senior lecturer in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Macquarie University.

Moderated by Professor Juan Salazar.

Space Ethics and Life in Outer Space
In this conversation Erika Nesvold discusses her passion for space ethics and justice, and considers multicultural visions of space exploration and the key ethical questions and quandaries for living in outer space. She will also talk about her work as an astrophysics engineer behind Universe Sandbox, an all-in-one astrophysics simulator, artistic medium, educational software and video game. The conversation will include stories about Making New Worlds, the successful podcast series Erika produced and hosted.

Lunch Break

Museums are not neutral – curatorial and artistic responses
An in-person provocation on museum exhibitions around space.

Dr Eleanor S. Armstrong presents her work on queering public science institutions and feminist approaches to pedagogy in science museums and galleries. She will discuss how space objects become gendered and how to develop critical knowledge on outer space through creative methods and methodologies.

Response by Powerhouse Curator Dr Sarah Reeves and Powerhouse Head of Collections First Nations, Nathan MudyiSentance

Climate and Social Justice
A conversation between Dr Jason De Santolo, a Garrwa/Barunggan man, Professor of First Nations Land Justice, and Associate Dean (Indigenous Research) at the University of Technology, Sydney; and Dr Jason Reynolds, an earth scientist at Western Sydney and Powerhouse Scholar-in-Residence. They will be exploring ideas related to social and climate justice issues.

Moderated by Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer.

Curating the atmosphere 
José Luis de Vicente researches the current and future impact of social and technological innovation and will discuss the historical precedents of immersion and his exhibitions on Buckminster Fuller, Tomas Saraceno, Holy Herndon, and Maria Arnal.

Closing Talk: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
4.30 pm
A conversation with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on the current Powerhouse exhibition Atmospheric Memory from Manchester International Festival and Science and Industry Museum.

Introduced by Matthew Connell, Director Curatorial, Collections and Programs.

Atmospheric Memory exhibition tour and networking reception
5.30 - 6.00 pm
Book launch for The Routledge Handbook of Social Studies of Outer Space.

Booking essential.