The Poet’s Guide to Science by Michele Conyngham

The Poet’s Guide to Science is a thought-provoking and hilarious play about today’s scientific dilemmas, featuring cameos from real scientists discussing their research.

Since selling out its first show in Canberra in Science Week 2018, The Poet’s Guide to Science has gone from strength to strength, playing at Questacon (National Science and Technology Centre) as part of 2019 Enlighten Festival in Canberra, and the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Patrick Davies Trumper and Phil Dooley explore science

Born of a collaboration between writer/director Michele Conyngham, actor Patrick Trumper and science communicator Dr Phil Dooley, the play showcases local scientists, and gives them a platform to discuss their work and its controversies with the community.

Synopsis: Cy has lost his faith in science. So he goes to see his local doctor, but he finds no answers, just more questions. Soon he has drawn the doctor into his crisis, and they embark on an adventure to resolve the questions that dog them both.

On the way they run headlong into scientific controversies and encounter scientists from controversial research areas who cast light on age-old questions of facts and data, doubt and uncertainty, belief and scepticism.


Each show features a fresh line up of scientists interacting with the characters in the play. It’ll have you laughing AND thinking!

“A highly entertaining night of science musical theatre.  Mixes silliness with serious food for thought in carefully calibrated measures.”

Dr Subho Banerjee, former Science Policy Deputy Secretary, Australian Government

“The play was rich with ideas, cleverly written and very funny as the audience, two actors and three guest scientists were brought together to look upon ‘the meaning of life, the universe and everything’ through the differing and overlapping lenses of the arts and sciences. Michele Conyngham’s dialogue was thoughtful, insightful and funny and the actors, Patrick Trumper and Phil Dooley, were great to watch.”

Dr Suzette Searle, The Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, The Australian National University


“A great play that addresses contemporary issues in society”

Professor Graham Durant, Director of Questacon, Canberra, National Science and Technology Centre.


“This is a brilliant and entertaining hero’s journey through science, beliefs, fact, dogma and scepticism in the best sense of that word.”

Professor Matthew England


“The show is great – and I recommend it to one and all! Enjoy the play – think deeply about science – and learn something too,”

Professor Brian Schmidt, ANU & Nobel Prize winner for Astrophysics.