What will the future of science look like?

August 19, 2022

National Science Week 2022


Hub Leader Dr. Simon Marsland and Indigenous Facilitator Rowena Bullio answering just this question with Traditional Owners and scientists at Illuminate-FNQ this National Science Week.

The festival brought together people young and old, and the hub took the opportunity to ask students from across Cairns what they wanted their futures to look like.


The results were images of native creatures, healthy reefs, and renewable energy- an optimistic blend of the natural environment, science, and innovation.

“I really want to see our reefs not bleached,” said one student.

“Whatever you do in life, it’ll be better with science”.

Dr Marsland highlighted the importance of math in his journey toward a career in climate science.

“I’ve always loved maths but didn’t know what I’d be. I responded to an ad one day in the paper for Antarctic research and began a role in modelling the Southern Ocean. This led to a career in climate science and now I’ve even contributed to the IPCC reports.”

“We’re already seeing the impacts of climate change.”

“It’s 30 years since the first IPCC opened the eyes of the world to climate change. It’s 30 years until 2050 when the world aspires towards net zero emissions. We’re at the halfway point and now is the time for real action and for climate adaptation.”

Looking forward

Looking toward the future of science our speakers and audience discussed bringing together western and Traditional science and the important role of the 4 NESP hubs.

“Working in this space, we need to ensure Traditional Owners have data sovereignty” answered Rowena Bullio when asked about the future of the space.

“This work has the ability to empower Communities across Australia, create jobs, and help us adapt to climate change.”

Whatever the future holds, the Climate Systems Hub will continue to deliver science for a better Australia. Hopefully, this future will meet the expectations of the kids of Cairns.


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