Humans in space and dark stuff: are you curious?

What happens to the human body in space? How small is a nanoparticle? And just what is dark matter? Nova, the Australian Academy of Science’s website for curious minds, has been answering these questions since its launch just four months ago.

Nova’s most popular topics include the enhanced greenhouse effect, the chemistry of cosmetics, and bio-plastics. With all things ‘space’ hitting the headlines, Nova has added topics exploring what happens to the human body in space, the realities of colonising Mars, the possibilities of life beyond Earth, and the dark stuff of our universe. Other new topics include nanoscience and noise pollution.

AAS cosmetics-interactive

New content is added weekly, so there’s always something different to explore. And Nova is proud to announce that its engaging and intuitive design has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Australian Graphic Design Association awards.

With the success of our first two collaborative videos on bees and dark matter, the Nova team, backed by some of Australia’s brightest scientists, is working with German animators Kurzgesagt on another video which will explain quantum computing. Watch this space!

Indulge your curiosity at www.nova.org.au, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Got an idea for a possible topic? Then tell us about it…you never know, it might make the cut!

New Nova website set to ignite interest in science

The Australian Academy of Science’s flagship science information website for adults and older students, Nova: science for curious minds, is undergoing an exciting transformation that is set to ignite interest in science.

Due to be launched in late June, the new Nova will be beautiful to look at, engaging, user-friendly and accessible to people of all abilities. Above all it will remain topical and accurate, with visitors to the site knowing that the content has been reviewed by Fellows of the Academy.

Nova began in 1997 with funding from Telstra, and at the time was at the forefront of science communication. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people, teachers in particular, have come to Nova for accessible scientific information, finding understandable answers to complex questions. Fast-forward 18 years and many things have changed—the internet is now a louder, brighter and more competitive space, and the ways in which we find and consume information has evolved. Nova needed to change too.

Image: Stuart Rankin

Image: Stuart Rankin

The website will be launching with around 30 topics, and the Academy aims to have more than 100 up by the end of the year. The range of topics is broad—think speeding cars, bioplastics, quantum computers, life on Mars, the chemistry of cosmetics and the maths of voting as just a few examples.

Telstra continues to see the benefit of good science content online and has provided funds for this exciting new phase of the Nova website.

A video about the new site can be viewed here.

Register at nova.org.au to find out when the new website goes live. The Academy will welcome feedback on the new site, including ideas for new topics.