Given the state of global politics and our government’s baffling stasis towards the climate crisis, the return of the Sydney Science Festival offers a much-needed dose of logic and scientific innovation to our city.

Now in its fifth year, the festival will run from August 6 – 18 and will feature an impressive array of talks, performances, events and exhibitions surrounding the question: how is science influencing the future?

Leading scientists, conservationists and comedians join festival ambassador Eddie Woo for the 2019 program. Australian and international scientific figures Dr Sylvia Earle, Michael Aw, Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Paul Davies, Adam Spencer, Andrea Boyd, Claire L Evans and Dr Alice Motion are among those involved.

“This year’s Sydney Science Festival will address how science informs and intersects with the contemporary issues that we face every day through scientific debates, exhibitions and events across Sydney,” said Lisa Havilah, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Chief Executive.

From the climate crisis to space travel, the festival offers expert insights into what is really happening around us, and where we go from here.

The festival spans across the city, with events happening at the Powerhouse Museum, National Maritime Museum, Taronga Zoo, Wayward Brewery, the Botanical Gardens and Giant Dwarf Theatre.

Local institution Giant Dwarf will host two evenings: the first is a panel discussion “Science at the Edge of Consciousness” led by Dr Vince Polito into ancient and modern techniques of consciousness alteration (15 August). The second is “A Night of Illusions”, which will showcase leading sensory scientists presenting their favourite illusions to demonstrate how the brain shapes perception and memory, alongside interactive exhibits (10 August).

From stargazing, unlocking the cosmos and Apollo 11 to the wonderful world of bees, oceanography and science trivia, this year’s festival is replete with fascinating minds and ideas. We know what we’ll be doing this August.

Visit the website for the full list of talks, performances and events.

Featured image is Alanta Colley performing Days of our Hives.