past Day Event

Research Symposium

Location marker iconUltimoTime icon2023

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.

Finding Connections: Memory, and Storytelling within the Sensorial Realm

Gamilaraay, Waliwan and Biripi experimental new media artist r e a will explore how the Western application of astronomy and Indigenous Knowledges coalesce or diverge in the night sky.

Moderated by Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer

Space and Future Atmospheres

Prominent scientists will discuss in a conversation about climate models, Mars and planetary atmospheres, artificial atmospheres, Earth’s future atmosphere, and the need to decarbonise the economy.

Panellists: Professor David Karoly, internationally acclaimed Australian atmospheric scientist and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Dr Priscilla Nowajewski Chilean planetary scientist and President of the Mars Society (Chile) and Dr Devika Kamath, a senior lecturer in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Macquarie University.

Moderated by Professor Juan Salazar


Opening Access to Space

In this online conversation astrophysicist Dr Erika Nesvold co-founder of The JustSpace Alliance discusses her passion for a more inclusive and ethical future in space, and to harness visions of tomorrow for a more just and equitable world today. In this talk she also talks 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.

Following this presentation, scientist and future astronaut Dr Meganne Christian and Dwayne Fernandes will share their experiences as pioneers in broadening the accessibility of space training and exploration.

Moderated by Professor Juan Salazar.


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; Dr Jason Reynolds, an earth scientist at Western Sydney and Powerhouse Scholar-in-Residence; and Powerhouse Head of Collections First Nations, Nathan Mudyi Sentance. They will be exploring ideas related to social and climate justice issues.

Moderated by Professor Juan Salazar

Atmospheric Memory exhibition tour

Visit the Atmospheric Memory exhibition. Inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage’s proposal that the air is a ‘vast library’ storing every word ever spoken, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking immersive art environment invites audiences to celebrate the turbulence and tumult of the atmosphere: invisible but precious, filled with voices and history.

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 in conversation with Powerhouse curator Angelique Hutchison.

Moderated by Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer

Closing Talk: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

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.

Panel: Ways of connecting in Space and book launch
Book launch of The Handbook of Social Studies of Outer Space edited by Juan Francisco Salazar and Alice Gorman.

International in scope, the thirty-eight contributions by over fifty leading researchers and artists across a variety of disciplines and fields of knowledge, present a range of debates and pose key questions about the crafting of futures in relation to outer space. This recalibration opens profound questions of intersectional politics, race, equity, and environmental justice around the contested topics of space exploration and life off-Earth.

5.15pm Networking reception
Stay for some wine and nibbles and a chat





On Gadigal land

Powerhouse Ultimo
500 Harris St
Ultimo NSW 2007

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14 August 2023

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We aim to provide venues, exhibitions, programs and services which can be enjoyed by all visitors. We accept companion cards.

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Principal University Partner

Co-sponsored by Western Sydney University through an ARC Future Fellowship Grant (FT 190100729) and led by Prof. Juan Francisco Salazar, School of Humanities and Communication Arts & Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University.

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