Science Festival puts medicine under the microscope in Parramatta

From ancient bush remedies and pioneering cardiac rehabilitation to experimental asylums and cutting-edge cancer research, the wonders of medicine are going under the microscope in Parramatta this month as part of the 2018 Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week.City of Parramatta is hosting a variety of workshops, tours, talks and pop-up stalls exploring the history of medicine and medical science in the local area.

“Parramatta has a long-standing and distinguished history in medical science innovation, dating back tens of thousands of years to the Darug people who used their knowledge of native plants and animals to treat the ill and infirm,” Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said.

“In more recent times, the research and teaching hospital at Westmead has developed into a world-leading facility for medical innovation, and this year we celebrate 40 years of the pioneering Cardiac Fitness and Rehabilitation Auxiliary, the first unit of its kind in Australia.

“The 2018 Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week program in Parramatta provides a fascinating insight into the past, present and future of our City’s pivotal role in medical science.”

Residents and visitors will also explore the development of mental health treatment over time, with a coach tour providing exclusive access to the Glengarriff museum, Male Asylum Ward 1, along with other psychiatric treatment facilities dating back to the 1800s.Across the City’s libraries there will be scientist talks, children’s workshops exploring flight and kids’ science trivia events, along with hands-on demonstrations of ‘smart home’ technology.

Council though its Cultural Heritage and Tourism team is partnering with the Brislington Medical and Nursing Museum, Michael Hughes Foundation, Westmead Hospital, NSW Health, Urban Growth NSW, the Whitlam Institute, and the Darug community to bring the Science Festival to life across the City. Produced by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) and the Australian Museum, it is part of National Science Week and runs from 7-19 August.