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Main Stage Session 4


Dr Kirsten Banks

Kirsten Banks is not your average astrophysicist. With a passion for unravelling the mysteries of the cosmos and a talent for making science accessible and engaging, Kirsten is on a mission to ignite curiosity and inspire wonder in audiences of all ages.

Kirsten’s passion for the universe ignited during a high school excursion to see a documentary about the Hubble Space Telescope, thanks to her influential science teachers. With a PhD in astrophysics and proud Wiradjuri heritage, Kirsten brings a unique perspective to her work as a scientist and science communicator. Kirsten’s infectious enthusiasm captivates global audiences, engaging a community of over half a million followers on social media. Whether sharing fun facts on TikTok or leading workshops, her goal is to make science accessible, fun, and inspiring for all.

Zoe Kean

Zoe Kean is a multi award-winning science writer with a focus on evolution, ecology, and the environment. Her debut evolutionary non-fiction ‘Why Are We Like This?’ is due to be published with NewSouth in 2024.
In the meantime you can find her words in The Guardian, the ABC, The Best Australian Science Writing 2022, The Best Australian Science Writing 2023, Cosmos Magazine, and the BBC. Her love for science cannot be contained to the page, Zoe also gives talks, makes science TikTok videos for her regularly appears on live radio. She was the Assistant Director of The Beaker Street Festival in its first two years (2017, 2018)

Tegan Taylor

Tegan Taylor is a health and science reporter for the ABC. She co-hosts Coronacast and the Health Report, and hosts Ockham’s Razor and Quick Smart. Her work has won a Walkley Award and the Eureka Prize for Science Journalism and appeared in The Best of Australian Science Writing.

Natasha Mitchell

Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award-winning science journalist, radio presenter, podcaster, and audio storyteller. She is host of the ABC Radio National’s daily flagship Big Ideas program, was founding host and producer of the internationally popular radio show and podcast, All in the Mind, hosted the ABC’s daily social affairs program Life Matters, and was founding host of the culture and Science Friction. Natasha served as vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists and was recipient of an MIT Knight Fellowship. She has facilitated many public forums around Australia, including four science dialogues with the Dalai Lama and guests.

Adam Spencer

Best selling author, highly successful breakfast radio host, Australia’s best known (certainly not best!) mathematician, Adam Spencer is one of Australia’s favourite geeks. Laugh while you’re learning as Adam takes you on a mathematical journey that will blow your mind.

Professor Barbara Holland

Barbara Holland is a Professor in Mathematics within the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania. Barbara completed a PhD in Mathematical Biology at Massey University in New Zealand followed by postdoctoral studies in Germany and New Zealand. Prior to joining the University of Tasmania in 2010 she had a lecturing position at Massey University, New Zealand. Ever since her PhD (~24 years ago) she has enjoyed the challenge of working with biologists in trying to translate the problems they face into the language of mathematics.


Hobart City Hall

The home of Beaker Street’s Main Stage and ground-zero of the Festival Epicentre. This stunning heritage building will be transformed into a suave science saloon, with cabaret style seating, live music, and a jam-packed program of events. From Friday night, right through to early Sunday morning, the City Hall Main Stage will be buzzing with all things science. Then, at 10pm, the madness descends and the space transforms into the biggest, baddest, burlesquey bar in Hobart.

57-63 Macquarie St, Hobart TAS 7000
(03) 6238 2765


Hobart City Hall has level access and is wheelchair accessible, and we’re going all-out to optimise the acoustics and comfort levels. For particular accessibility concerns, please contact [email protected]

Eat and drink

We’ll have a bar on site serving up tasty Tassie alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and dishing out delicious bar snacks.

A Seat at the Table

Beaker Street Festival’s pay-it-forward initiative, A Seat at the Table, helps make our science and art offerings accessible to those who can’t afford to purchase a ticket. When you buy a ticket you have the option to donate towards the cost of a stranger’s ticket. You won’t know who you’ve helped, but your donation will go directly towards allowing someone else to access this great event. All donations $2 and over are tax-deductible.

If you’d like to request one or two free tickets, please let us know. If we can offer you a seat, we’ll notify you by email.