Registration is now open for BEAN17, the annual Biosciences Education Forum – this year returning to the Shine Dome, in Acton, Canberra on Monday, 11 and Tuesday, 12 December. By popular demand, we’ll have another the forum dinner at the Monster Kitchen & Bar – which is now rated as one of the top venues in Australia!

This year’s theme will be “Back to the Future: Rethinking Curriculum”. No more reinventing the wheel folks, let’s find the other three and drive off into the brave new world! We are working to a more interactive format this year – with keynote talks and interactive sessions where you can learn some new tools and methods. We will also welcome posters and some short presentation from those of you doing interesting new “stuff”.

These BEAN conferences are designed to be of interest to colleagues across all of STE(A)M, 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 $180 for two-day forum on Monday, 11 Dec and Tuesday, 12 Dec – and $100 for the forum dinner on Monday, 11 Dec. 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
Teaching Principal
Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences (LEES)

Proudly supported by:

BEAN17 – 2017 Forum Programme

Monday, December 11

8.00~   Registration/coffee at the Shine Dome

8.50     Opening and welcome remarks
Phil Poronnik and Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive, Australian Academy of Science

9.00     Frances Valintine Generation 2020 – ready set go?
Founder and Chair of The Mind Lab & Tech Futures Lab in New Zealand

9.45     Anna Reid – The importance of ephemeral and intangible activity
Professor and Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

10.45   Morning Tea

11.30   Abelardo Pardo and Philip GoughDESIGN-ing your curriculum workshop
IT Engineering Sydney University

13.00   Jim Cook The Maker Challenge
Innovation Lead ICT, Sydney University

13.15   Lunch

14.00   Chris Hammang, Weber Liu and Jim CookHow to… Hands-on introduction to 3D animation and all (some) things VR

15.40   Joseph Narai and Glenn Fraser – The Collision of Art and Science: Comics, Robots and Game Shows, case studies in VR experience creation

16.00   Networking and play with wine and cheese!

18.00 for 18.30  Dinner at Monster Bar, Hotel-Hotel []

Tuesday, December 12

8.30~   Coffee at the Shine Dome

9.30     Martin Brown – The Storytelling Animal – The human mind is a narrative-generating machine.  ‘Reality’ is a construct generated by narrative filters we apply to sensory experience. How can we harness this process to help students create meaning?
Film producer and educational designer

10.30   Morning Tea

11.00   Zoe Doubleday and Sean Connell Publishing with objective charisma
University of Adelaide

12.00   Margaret Wegner and Les KirkupDoes physics belong in the biosciences?
University of Queensland and UTS – Facilitated by Pauline Ross

12.30   Lunch and play / networking

14.00   Tina Hinton and colleagues – Workshop:  LECTURE LESSONS
Facilitated by Pauline Ross

15.50   Closing remarks

16.00   End of Forum

Speaker profiles:

  • Martin Brown will be joining us to share his insights into story-telling. Martin is an experienced educator with a background in the entertainment industry. He produced Moulin Rouge, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, was co-producer of Romeo+Juliet and Art Director of Strictly Ballroom. His last role was as Director of Award Courses at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
  • Frances Valintine, “education futurist” and the Founder and Chair of The Mind Lab by and Tech Futures Lab in New Zealand. In 2014 The Mind Lab won Best Start-Up in Asia Pacific judged by Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak. In 2015 Frances was named NEXT Woman of the Year in education and in 2016 she was named one of the Top 50 EdTech Educators in the world.
  • With the ever-increasing interest in creativity in the curriculum (for example) we will be joined by Anna Reid (Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music). In addition to her current research, which includes creativity in student learning and identity formation and ecological and cultural heritage and sustainability, she has also made significant contributions in the area of creative engagement with statistics and maths education.
  • Zoe Doubleday and Sean Connell from the School of Biology and the Environment Institute at Adelaide University will talk about their new article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution on “Publishing with objective charisma”.
  • Abelardo Pardo (IT Engineering) and Phillip Gough (Science/Design) from Sydney will hold a “conversation” about new strategies for course redesign including analytics and feedback and provide take home examples for you to experiment with.
  • Joseph Narai and Glenn Fraser, Transmedia Entertainment. Joseph is a technology innovator with over 25 years of research and development experience having created many world-first and award-winning products across a wide variety of industries. Glenn is a filmmaker whose works have won over a dozen awards internationally, and have screened in festivals from Sundance to Edinburgh. He has worked as a lecturer at both AFTRS and the University of Newcastle and has been at the forefront of technology adoption for the BBC in London.
  • Master animator Chris Hammang will talk about his new approach the reinvigorating LMS and will also give a hands-on tutorial on how to make a red blood cell using the free software package Blender. We will then show you how to put it into a VR environment. This simple workflow will demystify these important new methods and give you some hands on experience as we start to build capacity in these areas that are rapidly becoming mainstream.