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“Your keep cup won’t save you!”


9:00pm | 06/08 | Hobart


Part of the solution or part of the problem? Personal responsibility in environmentalism: a galvanising force for good, or a con?

See six heavy-hitters go head-to-head in the annual Beaker Street Festival debate. Be entertained, persuaded, and enthralled by a battle of brains and bravado! With team captains Barbara Holland and Craig Reucassel, and chaired by Science Friction’s Natasha Mitchell, this year’s debate is set to be a Festival favourite.


Natasha Mitchell


Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award-winning science journalist, host, audio producer and podcaster. She is the presenter and producer of the weekly culture and science show, Science Friction (winner of best Science and Medicine Podcast at the 2019 Australian Podcast Awards). She hosted the flagship daily social affairs show on ABC Radio National, Life Matters, and was founding host and producer of the popular program and podcast, All in the Mind, for a decade. Natasha served as vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists, was recipient of the prestigious MIT Knight Journalism Fellowship, the New York Radio Festivals’ Grand Prize and four Gold World Medals. She has an engineering degree from Monash University, and a postgraduate diploma in science communication from the ANU. She regularly facilitates public events and dialogues around Australia, including a series of four dialogues with the Dalai Lama and scientists. In her other life, she sees live punk bands and gets dirty in the garden.

Craig Reucassel

Team Captain

Craig Reucassel is an Australian writer, comedian and broadcaster. Craig and a group of friends founded The Chaser newspaper, which led to a number of ABC TV Chaser programs including The Election Chaser, CNNNN, The Chaser’s War on Everything and the satirical consumer affairs show The Checkout. In 2017 and 2018, he presented the multi-award winning ABC TV series War on Waste. In 2020, Craig presented the ABC TV climate documentary series Fight for Planet A and Big Weather (and how to survive it). He was the Director of the feature documentary Big Deal: Is our democracy for sale?

Prof Barbara Holland

Team Captain

Barbara Holland is a Professor in the discipline of Mathematics within the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She works within the Theoretical Phylogenetics research group and lectures in Statistics. Barbara completed a PhD in Mathematical Biology at Massey University in New Zealand followed by postdoctoral studies at the Ruhr Universität Bochum (Germany) and in the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution (New Zealand). Prior to joining the University of Tasmania she worked as a Mathematics lecturer and researcher at Massey University. Since beginning her PhD she has enjoyed the challenge of working with biologists in trying to translate the problems they face into the language of mathematics. Biology is awash with data since the advent of DNA sequencing technology and this has opened up a range of very interesting research questions that require a combination of skills from mathematics, biology and computer science.

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Doors open at 8:50pm, debate begins at 9:00pm. 
This is an hour-long session.

COVID-19 Entry Conditions.

  • Please maintain social distancing where possible.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands often.
  • Masks are encouraged. 
  • Please follow all COVID signage and the direction of Festival staff. 
  • If you are unwell, please stay home (see refund policy if required).

For visitors to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
Due to capacity limits at our Festival Hub at TMAG, patrons may be required to wait for admission to the site. Ticket holders for pre- booked talks will be given priority entry to TMAG, but may be asked to move directly to the talk venue.

Cancellations and Late Arrivals for events at TMAG
If for any reason you cannot attend your event, refunds will be available up to 1 day before your event. The Festival cannot guarantee refunds beyond that window. Event organisers reserve the right to reallocate your seats if you or your party have not claimed your seats within 15 minutes of the advertised start time of the talks or events.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is fully accessible. If you have any questions about specific requirements, ring TMAG on (03) 6165 7000.

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. Ticket buyers 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 to allowing someone else to access this great event.

Need a seat at the table? Email: [email protected] with your name, email address, post code, your age (if you don’t mind – it helps us gather data), which event you’re interested in, and whether you would like one or two tickets. Your information will never be shared or made public. If we can offer you a seat, we’ll notify you by email within a week of the event.