Registration is now open for BEAN18, the annual Biosciences Education Australia Forum for 2018 at the Shine Dome, in Acton, Canberra on Monday, 10 and Tuesday, 11 December, and *Next Gen Tech Now pre-forum workshop on Sunday, 9 December 2-5 pm at ANU.

This year’s theme will be The future’s so bright I need… 

The future is bright but also challenging in an ever-increasing number of ways. We are seeing true generational change “trickling” into higher ed from the schools and we urgently need to pop on our shades and look the bright future front on and think about what we need to accommodate the needs of the next generation of wonderful students who will have stewardship over the planet.

The BEAN forums are designed specifically to be of interest to colleagues across all of STE(A)MM, as we really seek to explore ways in which to best prepare ourselves and our students for learning in the 21C. In particular, to explore how we can collaborate to enhance the curriculum from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws from all areas of academia. Please encourage your colleagues from other disciplines to join us!

Registration costs are $260 for two-day forum on Monday, 10 Dec and Tuesday, 11 Dec – and $120 for the forum dinner on Monday, 10 Dec – at Courgette restaurant in Barton, 6.30 for 7pm.

Please note: Eventbrite adds a small admin fee.

To REGISTER, please click HERE

To subscribe to the BEAN forum email list, send your details to

If you wish to unsubscribe from the list, send “Unsubscribe” to

Philip Poronnik
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Physiology |School of Medical Sciences

Professor Pauline Ross
Associate Dean Education
Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences (LEES)

Proudly supported by:

BEAN18 – 2018 Pre-forum Workshop

Sun Dec 09

1400 – Workshop at ANU

1700 – Workshop ends

Next Gen Tech Now – How I learned to stop worrying and love making

(Phil Gough and Jim Cook)

Venue: Robertson Building #46, 46 Sullivans Creek Road, ANU

Coding, making, robots… all these things are now being taught at school – and as Frances Valintine reminds us – they will be at our doors sooner that we expect. Join us for a fun afternoon of exorcising the fear by exercising our inner-maker. You will get a chance to construct your own Arduino-based sensor with NeoPixel readout.

But wait – there’s more… You will also learn how to make your own VR environment in Unity. All by yourself!!! Consider yourself well on the way to your BEAN 5* future-proofed accreditation.

BEAN18 – 2018 Forum Programme

Mon Dec 10 – BEAN18 Forum at Shine Dome

0800 – Arrival and coffee

0900 – Welcome by Professor Grady Venville, PVC (Education) ANU

0910 – Jason Juma-Ross (FaceBook) – Oculus and the Future of Virtual Reality

0950 – Joan Leach (CPAS) – Responsible Research Innovation – Curriculum Opportunities

1030 – Morning Tea

1100 – Amanda Niehaus – Creative Writing and Bioscience

1140 – Sean Connell Zoe Doubleday (Adelaide) – Objective Charisma – an update

1220 – Martin Brown (Westmead) – New Paradigms for Digital Fluencies

1300 – Lunch + networking

1430 – Peter Riemann and Courtney Hilton (Sydney) – Learning through Questioning

1600 – Invited talks – 4 talks

1830 – BEAN forum dinner, Courgette Restaurant

54 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra (10 min walk)

Note: tickets essential, numbers limited


Tues Dec 11 – BEAN18 Forum at Shine Dome

0830 – Arrival and coffee

0900 – Bill Martens (Sydney) – Listening to Data

0945 – Paul Maguire (Taronga Zoo) – Lessons from the Wild

1030 – Morning tea

1100 – 1215– Bioscience 2030 – A Decadal Plan or are we all worrying too much?

(Phil Poronnik, Pauline Ross and “panel-isti”)

These are exciting times, although perhaps too exciting with a future so bright we might need welding goggles. In a recent book “2062: the world that AI Made”, Professor of AI at UNSW Toby Walsh canvassed experts to predict that there machines have a 50% chance of being as smart as us by 2062 and 90% by 2112. He also predicts that we will keep our biological form, but our brains may move into the digital world as the real world becomes less pleasant. All good… but then… students in first year next year WILL be about 60 in 2062. They will be the stewards of these changes and be the ones who determine how the new world of homo digitalis pans out. Do we need to urgently rethink our curriculum to place our students in the driver’s seat?

The National Committee for Biomedical Science of the Academy (which supports BEAN) is planning to launch a decadal plan for the bioscience curriculum. Input from BEAN members will be a critical part of the process and we will take the opportunity to think about the content and skills that graduates of 2030 will need, and the way we might go about providing them. This will include thoughts around what math and other quantitative skills might be required.

1215 – Tales from the frontline

1300 – Lunch

1400 – 1600 Workshop at CPAS, ANU


Learning to Lego – Communicating science responsibly

(Joan Leach, Susan Howitt, Will Grant)

Venue: Peter Baume Building #42a, Linnaeus Way, ANU (15 min walk)

One of the pillars of the Bioscience 2030 vision is that all science graduates should, irrespective of their future careers, should be communicators and advocates of science. RRI (responsible research innovation) is in part, a strategy to link technical and societal concerns and encourage scientists to anticipate, discuss, reflect about responsibility and risk in open, transparent and inclusive ways throughout the life cycle of a scientific project.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to think about in-class activities that can challenge our students to confront difficult issues. Behaving responsibly implies an acceptance of the need for judgment. What training are we providing our students to ensure they use their biological knowledge responsibly? How are we preparing them to understand and explain the uncertainty associated with science?

In order to explore such issues we have enlisted the services of Dr Stephen Dann, ANU College of Business & Economic who is trained facilitator in Lego Serious Play. This is a facilitation method created by Lego with the idea that making a physical representation of the response to a question stimulates a deeper level of creative thinking, while using visual and verbal metaphors to tell a responsive story through the model allows tacit knowledge and values to emerge.

1600 – Close + fond farewells