Reefs, Rubbish and Reason

Reefs, Rubbish and Reason

Thursday, 26 November 2015 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

In this talk, Margaret Wertheim will discuss her Crochet Coral Reef project, which is now perhaps the largest participatory science and art endeavor in the world. The project resides at the intersection of marine science, mathematics, handicraft and environmentalism.

With more than 8000 participants in a dozen countries – including the USA, Australia, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates - the Crochet Coral Reef is a unique opened-ended, geometry-based experiment that engages citizens around the world as they build giant woolen simulations of coral reefs as an artistic response to global warming. Wertheim’s TED Talk on the topic has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 20 languages, including Arabic. 

This Science & Pretzels Salon will be chaired by PhD candidate Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb (School of Geography and Australian-German Climate & Energy College), whose research focuses on the science-policy interface of ocean acidification.

RSVP: Eventbrite.

Event Location: 
LAB-14, Level 1
700 Swanston Street
3053 Carlton , VIC

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally noted science writer and exhibition curator whose work focuses on the relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. A native Australian, she lives in Los Angeles where she is the founder and director of the Institute For Figuring, a non-profit organization devoted to creative public engagement with science and mathematics. ( Through the IFF, she has designed science-based exhibits for galleries and museums around the world, including the Hayward Gallery in London and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, in Washington DC. She is the author of six books, including Pythagoras Trousers (a ground-breaking study of the historical relationship between physics and religion), and Crochet Coral Reef (with her sister Christine Wertheim). Margaret is currently a Vice Chancellor Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Web tools and Projects we developed

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    The live tracker of the Australian electricity market.

  • Paris Equity Check

    This website is based on a Nature Climate Change study that compares Nationally Determined Contributions with equitable national emissions trajectories in line with the five categories of equity outlined by the IPCC.

  • liveMAGICC Climate Model

    Run one of the most popular reduced-complexity climate carbon cycle models online. Used by IPCC, UNEP GAP reports and numerous scientific publications.

  • NDC & INDC Factsheets

    Check out our analysis of all the post-2020 targets that countries announced under the Paris Agreement.