10th Annual World Science Festival Returns this Spring
The World Science Festival is pleased to announce that its tenth annual flagship Festival will fill performing arts centers, museums, lecture halls, laboratories, parks, waterways and other locations across New York City's five boroughs, May 30 - June 4, 2017. In dozens of original programs featuring iconic scientists, scholars at the cutting-edge of their fields, technology innovators, acclaimed artists, and respected broadcast journalists, the Festival will open the world of science to the general public, providing an unparalleled opportunity to engage with revolutionary discoveries, the thinkers behind them, and their wide-ranging political and cultural implications.
As it has throughout its first decade, the 2017 World Science Festival will offer events that educate, entertain, amaze, and inspire: world-class performing arts productions informed by science, lively debates, lectures and intimate discussions about the ramifications of new scientific breakthroughs, and interactive demonstrations for both kids and adults. This year, the Festival will also recognize the achievements of women in science and highlight the work of lauded science teachers. The Festival will announce 2017 programming and participants in the coming weeks.
By communicating scientific ideas through storytelling and activities that produce an emotional connection in audiences, the World Science Festival makes a singular contribution to the public understanding and appreciation of the world. With numerous fields of scientific inquiry at the heart of today's pressing policy debates-from climate change, to nuclear power, to Artificial Intelligence, to genetic modification-and with so many sources of information and news existing for the public to consider, the Festival's commitment to engendering scientific understanding and critical thinking is as important as ever.
The World Science Festival is the brainchild of Brian Greene, a distinguished physicist and string theorist, best-selling author, and one of the world's foremost science communicators, and Tracy Day, who left her career as an Emmy Award-winning ABC News producer-in which she brought historic events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa to TV audiences-to tell the equally vital, but often less publicized, stories of science. Joined by Alan Alda, the actor and science popularizer who continues to be a close collaborator each year, they launched the Festival in 2008, motivated by the realization that New York City, a place teeming with unique opportunities for enrichment, had no festival introducing the general public to the great minds pushing the frontiers of understanding. The New York Times hailed the inaugural Festival as a "new cultural institution."
The World Science Festival is now a highly anticipated annual event that consistently attracts capacity crowds. The annual weeklong New York festival has collectively drawn more than 1.5 million visitors since 2008, with millions more viewing the programs online. Among those the Festival has featured are Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Joshua Bell, Chuck Close, Glenn Close, Sylvia Earle, Philip Glass, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Hawking, John Hockenberry, Bill T. Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Paul Rudd, Charlie Kaufman, Mary-Claire King, Eric Lander, Richard Leakey, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Oliver Sacks, Liev Schreiber, Anna Deavere Smith, Julie Taymor, E.O. Wilson, and Nobel Laureates David Baltimore, Steven Chu, David Gross, Eric Kandel, Dudley R. Herschbach, Roald Hoffmann, Leon Lederman, Paul Nurse, John C. Mather, Saul Perlmutter, William Phillips, Adam Riess, F. Sherwood Rowland, Horst Störmer, Jack W. Szostak, Gerard 't Hooft, Harold Varmus, James Watson, Steven Weinberg, Carl Wieman, and Frank Wilczek, among many others luminaries in science and the arts.
"When we started the World Science Festival a decade ago, we conceived it as a way of introducing the diverse worlds of science to a broad audience-to take science out of scholarly journals and into the cultural mainstream," said Tracy Day, Co-Founder and CEO of the World Science Festival. "Now, more than ever, it is critical that the general public recognize how vital science is to our collective future."
Brian Greene, Co-Founder of the World Science Festival and Chairman of the Science Festival Foundation, said, "The World Science Festival is part of a movement emphasizing that science is not just a subject in school, it's a perspective on the world. Science is our most powerful tool for revealing the deep truths of reality, and the Festival is dedicated to making those truths understandable, accessible, and widely available."
Ten years into its existence, the World Science Festival continues to grow across New York City and around the world, with original musical and theatrical works touring nationally and internationally; the March 2016 launch of the new, annual World Science Festival Australia based in Brisbane, whose second installment will take place from March 22 - 26, 2017; and City of Science, a series of free interactive exhibits produced by the World Science Festival and presented by Con Edison that traveled to all five boroughs in its inaugural, 2016, edition.
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Photo Courtesy of Greg Kessler / World Science Festival.