What’s Next? The Next Symposium

  Last updated July 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm


What’s Next? The Next Symposium is a live event putting brilliant minds together to look into the crystal ball and ponder the future with some fun and science thrown in. 

The thing about the future is we always ask “what’s next?”, we want to know what’s going to revolutionise our lives, what will improve our lives, what our future will look like, what’s for dinner tonight…

There’s no doubt that science, technology, engineering and maths will form both the solutions and the questions for our future. To best get our heads around this uncertain future, we’re going to pull together a superstar lineup of great minds from across Australia and put them all on stage for a live show and ask them “what’s next?”

Together Lateral Events and The Royal Institution of Australia presents


When the smartest minds come together to discuss, debate and demonstrate how innovations in science, technology and engineering will fundamentally change the way we’ll live, work and play, it’s like having your own crystal ball to search into the future.

NEXT is itself a new innovation; a panel show live on stage but with the latest technologies connecting you to the intellectual entertainment; fun, engaging and mind blowing.

The inaugural show will discuss the next industrial revolution, the lesser known ramifications of climate change and the latest legacies of the space race. And anything you care to ask.

Fun, frivolity, some serious science, interactivity and a lot to think about.

Our panel members for the inaugural show:

Prof Alan Duffy

Astrophysicist who uses supercomputers to uncover the nature of dark matter and the key physical laws that govern the formation of the cosmos.

Prof Michelle Simmons

Pioneer in atomic electronics and Quantum computing, Prof Simmons established a large research group dedicated to the fabrication of atomic-scale devices in silicon using the atomic precision of a scanning tunneling microscopy. Her group has developed the world’s smallest transistor and the narrowest conducting wires in silicon made with atomic precision.

Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith

Astronomer, ultramarathon runner and black hole wrangler. Research interests include the birth and death of stars and galaxy evolution.

Upulie Divisekera

Molecular biologist and specialist in nanotechnology, studied the generation of bespoke nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy.

Adam Spencer

A comedian, mathematician and for 15 years one of Australia’s most respected, wittiest and most thought-provoking breakfast radio commentators.

Ray Martin

Holding the panel together, five-time Gold Logie winner, legendary television journalist and presenter, live show host.


This is a live panel show only, no video or podcast will be available.

Event details

Thursday 31 August, Melbourne, Palais Theatre

Doors: 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start


For full event details and updates:

Visit lateralevents.com/public-events/whats-next/

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About the Author

Kelly Wong
Online producer at Australia's Science Channel. I have a background in immunology, food blogging, volunteering, and social media. I'm passionate about creating communities on social media and getting them excited about science. I enjoy good food and I am on an eternal mission to find the best ice cream. Find me on Twitter @kellyyyllek

Published By

The Royal Institution of Australia is an independent charity, and the sister organisation of the prestigious Royal Institution of Great Britain, tasked with promoting public awareness and understanding of science.

The Royal Institution of Australia is passionate about building and connecting communities engaged with science, and as such works closely with scientific organisations, institutions, universities from Australia, and leaders to inspire the next generation of innovators and to create a lasting legacy for Australia.

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