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14 August 2003

An Enigma code-breaking machine demonstration and an international science film festival kick off Australian Science Festival activities at the National Museum this week.

UK presenter Claire Ellis will explain the workings of a rare Second World War Enigma machine in the SAS Visions Theatre at 6pm tomorrow.

Scientific endeavours are also explored in the free Scinema film festival, which runs from 1-3pm in the National Museum's SAS Visions Theatre, from this Saturday, 16 August to Sunday, 24 August.

'These dynamic Australian Science Festival activities complement the National Museum's exhibitions by celebrating the research and innovation that have helped to shape Australia's cultural fabric,' National Museum Director Dawn Casey said.

Scinema opens on Saturday with the world premiere of Silent Storm. Director Peter Butt will outline the dramatic story of CSIRO biochemist Headley Marston, who blew the whistle on radioactive contamination from testing at Maralinga.

Scinema is presented with CSIRO, and features the first Australian screening of the Making of Travelling Birds and the director's cut of David Attenborough's State of the Planet.

Other Australian Science Festival activities at the National Museum include:

  • Waterwheel: An original sound installation from Canberra artist Kimmo Vennonen, exploring a day in the life of a drop of water. Presented by Environment ACT. 14-24 August, Hall, 9am-5pm.
  • Blood and Germs: Radio National Quiz presenter Michael Cathcart is joined by an expert panel tackling the topic of plagues, infections and other nasties.
    16 August, Studio, 3-4pm. Bookings: 6207 5901.
  • The Biggest, Oldest and Weirdest: Australian Museum Director Mike Archer examines the quirks of Australia's fossil record. Presented in association with Old Parliament House. 22 August, Studio, 12.30-1.30pm. Bookings: 6208 5021.

For more information please Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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