Going underground at the pub

craig pub
SA Scientist of the Year Professor Craig Simmons.

The 2015 SA Scientist of the Year Professor Craig Simmons and Flinders researcher Dr Remko Leijs will give insights into the “weird and wonderful world of underground science” at an informal public lecture on Friday (5 February).

They will field questions and answers on the topics of groundwater, aquifers as well as palaeo-climatology with Dr Jon Tyler from the University of Adelaide Sprigg Geobiology Centre, at this month’s Science in the Pub (SciPub) Adelaide session.

The free event will be held from 6-7.30pm at the Rob Roy Hotel in Halifax St, city (register at Eventbrite here).

A fascinating world exists beneath our feet, says Professor Simmons, the inaugural Schultz Chair in the Environment at Flinders University.

“Groundwater makes up almost all of the available freshwater on our planet: more than 97% of fresh water on Earth lies in the ground beneath our feet,” Professor Simmons says.

“Groundwater supplies half of the world’s drinking water and 43% of the water used to grow food.

“UNESCO reports current global groundwater extraction is approaching 1000 cubic kilometres a year – more than 13 times the annual flow over Niagara Falls – and it shows no signs of slowing.”

He says Australia needs to “remain vigilant and not become complacent,” with many government groundwater initiatives and funding drying up in recent years.

Professor Simmons is the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Hydrogeology and director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training based at Flinders.

Dr Remko Leijs is Honorary Research Associate in the Evolutionary Biology and Terrestrial Invertebrates Unit at the SA Museum.

The goal of SciPub is to make science engaging, accessible and accountable to the public. It is held in a pub so that scientists, aspiring scientists, and non-scientists can learn, discuss and think critically about hot topics in science.

Each panel consists of three experts who deliver short, 10-15 minute presentations on their area of expertise and then discuss questions from the audience via a moderator.

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