Event:

Quantum Words

Saturday 3 November 2018

Writing NSW, Callan Park

Full Price: $90
Member: $60
Conc Member: $50

Tickets also available on the day

Quantum Words is a one-day festival that maps moments where science and writing converge. 

Tackling questions around scientific hubris, consciousness, and the apocalypse, amongst many more, Quantum Words 2018 explores the ways we come to understand ourselves, our world, and the expansive universe we live within. 

This year’s program will bring together researchers and artists at the forefront of their disciplines, including speakers such as Fred Watson, James Bradley, Emma Johnston, Delia Falconer, Π O, Danielle Clode, and Evelyn Araluen.

See full program below.

Quantum Words Science Poetry Competition

The inaugural Quantum Words 2018 Science Poetry Competition has now closed for submissions. Find out more about the prize here.

Croakey Go Walk

Before the festival starts up, join the Croakey Go Walk team for a morning of walking journalism. Once you’ve purchased your Quantum Words ticket, you don’t need to register for this event. Meet at the Writing NSW car park at 8.15am.

This event has already taken place.

Program

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8 am
9 am
10 am
11 am
12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm
5 pm
6 pm
7 pm
Patrick White Room
Patrick White Room
Registration opens
9:30 am - 10:00 am

Writing with Passion
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Deborah Abela talks to Belinda Murrell about the highs and lows of Deborah’s career, her passions, inspiration, writing process, and being part of a writing community.

What Is This Thing Called Consciousness?
10:00 am - 11:00 am
With Kate Cole-Adams, Ian Gibbins, Jane McCredie (chair), and Toby Walsh

Philosophers and scientists have long struggled to define the nature of consciousness. A neuroscientist, an expert in artifical intelligence and the author of a book on anaesthesia try to pin down this elusive state. With Kate Cole-Adams, Ian Gibbins, Jane McCredie (chair), and Toby Walsh

Alternative Facts: Writing About Science in a Post-Truth World
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
With Craig Cormick, Emma Johnston , Benison O’Reilly, Nicky Phillips, and Jonathan Webb (chair)

Whether it’s immunisation or climate change, science often seems to be under attack in our post-truth world. Do we need more understanding of science in the community? And what can writers and scientists do about it? With Craig Cormick, Emma Johnston , Benison O’Reilly, Nicky Phillips, and Jonathan Webb (chair)

Frankenstein's Monster: Scientific Hubris
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
With Ellen Broad, Benjamin Dodds, Natasha Mitchell (chair), and Margaret Morgan.

Mary Shelley’s 'Frankenstein' celebrates its 200th birthday in 2018, but the questions it inspires are as relevant as ever. What happens when scientists over-reach, creating more problems than they solve? And how might writers respond to such hubris? With Ellen Broad, Benjamin Dodds, Natasha Mitchell (chair), and Margaret Morgan.

Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The Poetry of Science
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
With Tricia Dearborn, Benjamin Dodds (chair), PS Cottier, Ian Gibbins, and πO

Poets have been mining science for ideas and imagery since at least the days of John Donne. Five contemporary poets explore the ways science has enriched their work. With Tricia Dearborn, Benjamin Dodds (chair), PS Cottier, Ian Gibbins, and πO

Writing Nature
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
With Evelyn Araluen, Danielle Clode, Delia Falconer (chair), and Tom Griffiths.

Writing about nature has often been seen as a romantic pursuit, but it can also have political and social implications. A historian, a poet, a critic and a zoologist discuss the many ways writers engage with the natural world and how that might be changing. With Evelyn Araluen, Danielle Clode, Delia Falconer (chair), and Tom Griffiths.

Pitch Your Science Story Idea
4:30 pm - 5:15 pm
With a panel of industry experts

Have a brilliant science story idea but don’t know where to place it? Whether you’re a scientist, a writer or both, this is your chance to give a two-minute pitch to a panel of expert editors, publishers and broadcasters for instant feedback and advice. Submit the title of your work into the 'writer' or 'scientist' pitch box at registration between 10am–2.30pm. Stephen Pincock will chair a panel including Kate Aubusson (Sydney Morning Herald), Catherine Armitage (Nature), David Henley (Brio Books), Karen McGhee (Australian Geographic), and Jonathan Webb (Radio National).

Judith Wright Room
Judith Wright Room
Registration opens
9:30 am - 10:00 am

Beyond Stereotypes: Writing Mental Illness
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
With James Best, Annaliese Constable, Peter Polites, and Nicola Redhouse (chair)

How do you go about writing a lived experience of mental illness? Is it all right for people without that experience to write about such subjects and, if so, how? Writers with a diverse range of experiences wrangle these complex questions. With James Best, Annaliese Constable, Peter Polites, and Nicola Redhouse (chair)

Writing the Universe
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
With Cathy Craigie, PS Cottier, Simon Petrie (chair), and Fred Watson.

It’s the biggest topic of them all. Poetry, Indigenous knowledge, speculative fiction and Western astronomy come together in this session on writing about the universe. With Cathy Craigie, PS Cottier, Simon Petrie (chair), and Fred Watson

Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Loving the Apocalypse
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
With James Bradley, Hannah Donnelly, Lesley Hughes (chair), and Lisa Walker

Apocalyptic tales have always been a staple of speculative fiction, whether it’s climate change or nuclear destruction. Fiction writers and a climate scientist talk about what draws us to such stories and the meanings they have today. With James Bradley, Hannah Donnelly, Lesley Hughes (chair), and Lisa Walker

Other Spaces
Other Spaces
Croakey Go Walk
8:15 am - 9:30 am
Before registration opens, join the Croakey team for an act of walking journalism.

If you're up for an early start why not join the Croakey team for an act of walking journalism. Be prepared to talk and tweet your way around the beautiful grounds of Callan Park, as we contemplate the healing powers of nature and the challenges facing public interest science journalism. Bring a hat, and a passion to share. Meet in the Writing NSW car park at 8.15am. With Ruth Armstrong, Lesley Russell and Melissa Sweet.

Registration opens
9:30 am - 10:00 am

Workshop: Writing For Scientists
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
With Stephen Pincock.

You’ve done some great research, you have a really interesting story to tell, but how do you go about writing for an audience of non-scientists? Come to this workshop with author, journalist and publisher Stephen Pincock to learn from one of the best. After you've purchased your ticket, register for the workshop by Sunday 28 October to events@writingnsw.org.au with the subject line 'Pincock Workshop.' In the Henry Lawson room.

Meet the Experts
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Join one of our experts for a small, informal group chat where you get to ask the questions.

Join one of our experts for a small, informal group chat where you get to ask the questions. Register for one of the half-hour sessions on the day. Inside big data (Ellen Broad). Living with animals: pets, pests & endangered species (Danielle Clode). Indigenous knowledge: land and sky (Cathy Craigie). All about the brain (Ian Gibbins). Climate change (Lesley Hughes). Smart robots (Toby Walsh). So you want to be a science writer? (Best Australian Science Writing editors Bianca Nogrady & John Pickrell).

Drinks
5:15 pm - 6:15 pm
With a performance from Π O and the announcement of the Quantum Words Science Poetry Competition winners.

Drinks on the verandah with a performance from Π O and the announcement of the Quantum Words Science Poetry Competition winners.

Speakers


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