24Sep2015

Australasian Science Examines Aboriginal Astronomy

New Ad Panel 21Sept 2015

Hey, want to keep up with all that’s happening in science in Australasia? Check out our current issue, its on an indigenous theme and written by Dr. Carl Williams.

Australia’s night sky is a fresco of narratives that has inspired and informed Aboriginal people.s exploration and understanding of the natural world. Research is revealing the extent to which ancient aboriginal customs and traditions have been shaped by complex and functional astronomical knowledge.

Some Aboriginal groups use the motions of celestial bodies for calendar purposes. Many attribute religious or mythological meanings to celestial bodies and phenomena. There is a diversity of astronomical traditions in Australia, each with its own particular expression of cosmology. However, there appear to be common themes and systems between the groups.

You don’t have to travel the far reaches of Australia to learn about Aboriginal Astronomy. In this current issue of Australasian Science magazine we take an in depth look at these amazing people and their beliefs in our feature story by educator, writer and photographer Dr. Carl Williams.

 The World’s First Astronomers

Astronomy didn’t start with the Greeks. Thousands of years earlier Aboriginal people scanned the night sky, using its secrets to survive the Australian landscape. Aboriginal people have been described as ‘the world’s first astronomers’.

There are hundreds of different Aboriginal cultures, and therefore as many different stories about the night skies. Some have been lost since colonisation and some were sacred, private knowledge. One thing was universal: Indigenous Australians valued the sun, moon and stars for information about seasonal survival, but also for its keeping of culture and story. Read the article and discover this and lots more. Its simply a great read.

About Australasian Science

ThumbnailAustralasian Science is Australia’s longest-running scientific publication. It has been Australia’s authority on science since 1938 when it was first published as The Australian Journal of Science by the Australian National Research Council, which was the forerunner of the Australian Academy of Science.

In 1954 the journal was transferred to ANZAAS – the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science.

Throughout this time the journal published the research of eminent Australian scientists, including Sir Douglas Mawson and Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, whose groundbreaking clonal selection theory was published in the journal in 1957.

The journal has evolved considerably over the past seven decades. Now published as Australasian Science, it is Australia’s only monthly science magazine, and the only magazine that is dedicated to Australian and New Zealand science.

Its Patrons are Nobel Laureate Prof Peter Doherty and ABC broadcaster Robyn Williams – representing excellence in science and its communication.

The magazine’s mission is to publish world-class science from the region’s most inspiring minds.
Not only does Australasian Science boast the most experienced team of science journalists in Australia, it also publishes a broad range of articles from scientists writing about their own work using their own words: no hype, no spin, no bull – just the facts.

We encourage the scientists to write in plain language explaining the significance of their work to the general public. See our submissions guidelines for more details.

Australasian Science also boasts an outstanding team of columnists covering astronomy, politics, biodiversity, psychology, health, innovation, ethics, skepticism, careers, new books and media coverage. Written in simple language, Australasian Science provides a unique local perspective on scientific developments and issues that other science magazines can’t match.

Subscribe to Australasian Science to receive 10 print editions delivered to your door each year plus online access to all articles published since May 2010.

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