Lateral Events & the Royal Institution of Australia Presents

What’s NEXT? The NEXT Symposium


When the smartest minds come together to discuss, debate and demonstrate how innovations in science, technology and engineering will fundamentally change the way we’ll live, work and play, it’s like having your own crystal ball to search into the future.

NEXT is itself a new innovation; a panel show live on stage but with the latest technologies connecting you to the intellectual entertainment; fun, engaging and mind blowing.

The inaugural show will cover a range of topics, including how the most advanced super computers may soon be obsolete as a new industrial revolution evolves and quantum computers come to the fore. We’ll discuss the viruses that have been frozen for many thousands of years in the permafrost being released into the atmosphere due to climate change. Will this lead to uncontrollable pandemics? What are the next mindboggling advances in science, technology and engineering derived from the space race, and how will they affect our daily lives? How will nanotechnology revolutionise the way we administer drugs?

And topics of the day. And any anything you care to ask.

Fun, frivolity, some serious science, interactivity and a lot to think about.

Prof Brian Cox on What’s Next? The NEXT Symposium;

Science is one of the necessary foundations of our civilisation. It permeates every corner of our lives, and it is therefore essential for the proper functioning of our democracies that citizens have access to the latest scientific ideas. If science becomes a minority interest, a peripheral part of public debate, then it will be increasingly difficult for the average citizen to make informed choices about the big issues of our time, from climate change to the regulation of medical research, artificial intelligence, nuclear power and so on.

 This is why What’s Next is such an important venture, and I strongly support it.

It will also be entertaining and fun, by the way!  

Prof Brian Cox OBE FRS


Our panel members for the inaugural show:

Alan Duffy
Prof Alan Duffy
Astrophysicist who uses supercomputers to uncover the nature of dark matter and the key physical laws that govern the formation of the cosmos.
Michelle Simmons
Prof Michelle Simmons
Pioneer in atomic electronics and Quantum computing, Prof Simmons established a large research group dedicated to the fabrication of atomic-scale devices in silicon using the atomic precision of a scanning tunneling microscopy. Her group has developed the world’s smallest transistor and the narrowest conducting wires in silicon made with atomic precision.
Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith
Astronomer, ultramarathon runner and black hole wrangler. Research interests include the birth and death of stars and galaxy evolution.

Upulie Divisekera
Molecular biologist and specialist in nanotechnology, studied the generation of bespoke nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy.
Adam Spencer
Adam Spencer
A comedian, mathematician and for 15 years one of Australia’s most respected, wittiest and most thought-provoking breakfast radio commentators.
Ray Martin
Holding the panel together, five-time Gold Logie winner, legendary television journalist and presenter, live show host.

As the world lurches towards an era of alternative facts, it is imperative for us to have a critical understanding of the many emerging technologies, innovations, and scientific endeavours that will determine what’s likely to happen NEXT. From the way businesses will run, the way we live our personal lives, to the way we get about, communicate, combat pandemics or save the planet.

Thought provoking. Entertaining. Unmissable.


This is a live panel show only, no video or podcast will be available.