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Jumping seamlessly through time



9 September 2015

L to R: Guest stars Wendy Zuckerman, Wil Anderson, our very own Dean of Science, Professor Trevor Hambley, rising science star Clio Loi and the Sleek Geeks themselves, Dr Karl and Adam Spencer
L to R: Guest stars Wendy Zuckerman, Wil Anderson, our very own Dean of Science, Professor Trevor Hambley, rising science star Clio Loi and the Sleek Geeks themselves, Dr Karl and Adam Spencer

I had a great night a few weeks back striding across the Manning Bar stage, at the University of Sydney, with my fellow Sleek Geek, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, in our show 'Sleek Geeks Live - Unplugged and Unplanned' for National Science Week in August.

In many ways, it was like the days of old: Karl and me, rattling on about science stuff, him much more knowledgeable than me, me more concise and perhaps aware of the clock than him(!), but it also struck me how different the experience was to the original shows we did.

Karl and I have been working live as the Sleek Geeks since the late 1990s. I can remember us discussing robustly and at length in 1998 whether we should take the plunge and move to powerpoint presentations, away from the cassette slide deck which had served us so well.

I'm not joking - we used to perform with slides, printed up in the School of Physics' slide machine. On the night of a show, if we decided to edit down a story just before starting, we had to remove each remaining slide in the deck and shuffle it two slots forward. It was not unusual for an image to come up upside down and reversed left to right.

To think that this was such a difficult decision to make and yet 15 years later, we're using keynote, on Karl's latest Apple Macs, jumping seamlessly from our presentation to clips off the internet, answering questions we received over Twitter and quoting stories we had recently mentioned on our podcast.

The one thing that hasn't changed is the glistening allure of scientific discovery and the way it inspires people.

A few weeks later, as I addressed prospective 2016 first year science Talented Student Program students, who are still in high school at this stage, I saw the same excitement and sense of wonderment.

These are the researchers who will make the discoveries that the Sleek Geeks of decades from now will speak about, to the children of those who now listen to our podcast.

The future is in safe hands.

If you missed out on seeing the show, or just want to re-live the experience, you can watch the whole event on YouTube!