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Science Gossip: Woodland Rumours and Thinking Trees

May 15, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Wander the heritage rooms of the Royal Society of Victoria, discovering new ideas, hypotheses, and research findings presented through 19th century salon-style discussions, exhibits and performances.

Our inaugural Science Gossip event, Woodland Rumours and Thinking Trees, plants artists and philosophers in common ground with scientists working to unravel the secrets of forest communication, connection and community. Through discussions, musical performance, and art installation we invite you to consider the inner lives of trees, and re-examine your relationship with them.

Science Gossip: Woodland Rumours and Thinking Trees is part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 presented by CLIMARTE.


Short presentations and interactive activities will be presented by a selection of scientists, artists, and philosophers.

Keynote introduction by Dr Monica Gagliano

Monica Gagliano is Research Associate Professor of Evolutionary Ecology. She is currently based at the University of Sydney as a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, opening the doors of the brand-new BI Lab – Biological Intelligence Lab. She is the author of the new book Thus Spoke the Plant, numerous scientific articles in the fields of animal and plant behavioural and evolutionary ecology, and is the co-editor of The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World (Lexington Books, 2015) and The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy and Literature (Minnesota University Press, 2017). Her work has extended the concept of cognition (including perception, learning processes, memory and consciousness) in plants. Gagliano has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics, for the first time experimentally demonstrating that plants emit their own ‘voices’ and, moreover, detect and respond to the sounds of their environments. We are offering discounted presale copies of Monica’s book, to be signed by the author on the night. For more information about her work, visit: www.monicagagliano.com.

Anna Madeleine

Anna Madeleine is an artist working with AR, VR, drawing, animation and installation, to explore intersections between art and science. She has a PhD in Media Arts from UNSW Art & Design (2014) and is a Lecturer in Printmedia & Drawing at ANU School of Art & Design. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Montreal and Bandung, and participated in residencies with Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, Bundanon Trust, Asialink Arts, and the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Vicki Hallett

Vicki Hallett is a clarinetist, composer and sound artist who graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts and the University of Melbourne. She has composed, produced and performed in live concerts, solo recordings ranging from chamber music to sound art and acoustic ecology. Through a unique approach, combining acoustic ecology, scientific analysis and innovative performance practices, Vicki reshapes the role of interdisciplinary research. This exploration has led her to develop a collaborative concept with Cornell University’s Elephant Listening Project. In 2017, Vicki attended the international residency, Sonic Mmabolela, where she performed on Mabolel Rock with a pod of Hippopotami.

Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher

Sapphire is an ecologist who has special interest in the conservation of biodiversity, particularly the macrofungi and mosses. She did her doctorate at the University of Tasmania and has been actively involved with Fungimap* since 1999. She is the regional representative for Australasia for the International Society for Fungal Conservation, and is active with community groups including field naturalist clubs and Landcare groups. Having lived in four states and travelled across Australia’s landscapes she has worked with many fungal community groups to raise the profile of local fungi and the important roles fungi play in our environment.

Adjunct Professor Freya Mathews

Freya Mathews is Adjunct Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Latrobe University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her books include The Ecological Self (1991), Ecology and Democracy (editor) (1996), For Love of Matter: a Contemporary Panpsychism (2003), Journey to the Source of the Merri (2003), Reinhabiting Reality: towards a Recovery of Culture (2005), Ardea: a philosophical novella (2015) and Without Animals Life is not Worth Living (2015). She is the author of over eighty articles in the area of ecological philosophy and panpsychism. In addition to her research activities she co-manages a private conservation estate in northern Victoria.


May 15, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Royal Society of Melbourne
8 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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