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7th Annual World Science Festival Opens Today

5/28/2014 11:57:56 AM

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New York, NY (May 28, 2014) – The World Science Festival opens today, presenting many of the world’s leading scientists, artists and influential thinkers in a program lineup that brings science to life in imaginative and innovative ways throughout New York City. The Festival opens with Alan Alda’s Dear Albert, a provocative melding of theatre and science featuring actors Paul Rudd, Cynthia Nixon and Francesca Faridany—setting the stage for five days of vibrant science programming for kids and adults.

The full program lineup for the 2014 World Science Festival can be found at, where tickets for Festival events can also be purchased.

Through its diverse programming, the Festival continues its mission to make science accessible to everyone. From the popular Ultimate Science Street Fair in Washington Square Park, to an exploration of how the universe began, to stargazing with renowned astronomers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, to a glimpse of the latest breakthroughs in melding man and machine, to workshops on the science of food and beer, the Festival demonstrates how science opens new vistas of discovery while being woven into the very fabric of our everyday lives.

“This year’s Festival presents an exciting amalgam of cutting edge science in a wide range of areas,” said Columbia University Professor of Physics and Mathematics and co-founder of the World Science Festival Brian Greene. “New York City, a science capital, is the perfect backdrop for hosting a Festival that celebrates the most vital ideas for our future.”

Many of the events will be streamed live, allowing anyone, anywhere to watch the Festival’s offerings. Users can visit World Science Festival’s channel:

Since its inception in 2008, the annual Festival has welcomed more than one million people to over 300 programs in locations throughout New York City. It is the nation’s most anticipated science event and allows everyone to experience science in unique and thrilling ways.

“When we started the World Science Festival, we knew that science was a great story and it was our goal to bring this content to the public in creative and ambitious ways. It is enormously gratifying to see the result -- so many people crowding the theaters and public spaces to attend our programming year after year,” said World Science Festival co-founder, Tracy Day.

2014 program highlights include:

- Dear Albert: A reading for the stage written by Alan Alda that delves into the treasure trove of letters written by Albert Einstein, tracing an intimate and unfamiliar line across his life and work. Features Cynthia Nixon, Paul Rudd, Francesca Faridany, and a post-performance discussion with Alan Alda and Brian Greene.

- 2014 Kavli Prizes Announcement: The prestigious biennial Kavli Prizes recognize scientists for major advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. The winners, sharing a $1 million award in each field, will be announced via live webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.

- All Hands On Deck: Science, Space and Astronomy Night at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: A Thursday night of programming aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Experience life on the International Space Station (ISS) by touring the new NASA Mobile Exhibit; see a special screening of the film Gravity UNDER the Space Shuttle with a talkback with NASA astronauts; stargaze with leading astronomers, NASA scientists and astronauts, and more.

- “On The Shoulders of Giants” address by Dr. Mary Claire-King: A signature Festival event, audiences will be treated to a talk by one of the most important geneticists of our time, a trailblazer and advocate for women in science -- Dr. Mary-Claire King.

- Ripples from the Big Bang: Listening to the Beginning of Time: A discussion that will explore what is perhaps this year’s most exciting development, evidence of the inflationary theory of cosmology announced by astronomer John Kovac and the BICEP2 team, who will be in conversation with the pioneers of the inflationary theory, Alan Guth, Andrei Linde and Paul Steinhardt. Moderated by Brian Greene.

- Alien Life: Will We Know it When We See it?: Learn how scientists across disciplines—astronomers, chemists and microbiologists—are intensely studying the evolution of life on Earth to help identify life in the universe, a research agenda with wide-reaching ramifications for science, philosophy, religion, and much more.

- The Craving Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Uncontrollable Urges: The Festival brings together a group of leading neuroscientists and psychologists studying how addiction changes the very fabric of the brain, and what new insights could mean for addicts trying to win back their lives. Moderated by ABC News anchor, Elizabeth Vargas.

- What is Color?: Alan Alda brings his popular Flame Challenge contest back to the Festival, where scientists are asked to explain a complex question to an 11-year-old. In an action-packed hour-long program, Festival-goers will delve into the world of color, culminating with the announcement of the winner of this year’s Challenge.

- Cool Jobs: The premier showcase of cool science returns to the Festival for another year with a new group of amazing scientists. From an archeologist to a NASA astronaut, kids will have the chance to ask these scientists about their cool gigs and how they ended up pursuing them.

- Science and Story: The Write Angle: A conversation with novelists E.L. Doctorow and Joyce Carol Oates, theoretical cosmologist Sean Carroll, journalist Jo Marchant, and celebrated cognitive scientist Steven Pinker to discuss the challenges writers face when leading the uninitiated into scientific worlds filled with data and long histories of incrementally compiled knowledge. Moderated by public radio host John Hockenberry.

- Designer Genes: Fashioning Our Biological Future: A program featuring geneticists at the cutting edge of designer gene research takes a closer look at the ethical and scientific implications of gene therapy and designer babies.

- Masters of the Cosmos: a half-day immersive experience, modeled on World Science U, the just-launched digital initiative of the World Science Festival, is a rare opportunity to learn from the very scientists who have shaped our generation’s most lasting contributions to cosmological thought: Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Michael Turner.

- The Night Sky from Brooklyn Bridge Park: Join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing and discussion beneath the historic Brooklyn Bridge and view a comet installation.

- Ultimate Science Street Fair: Hundreds of thousands of people convene on Washington Square Park for a full day of interactive experiences exploring the worlds of robotics, space and weather.

About the World Science Festival

The World Science Festival is a production of the Science Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New York City. The Foundation's mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

The World Science Festival has been made possible with the generous support of its Founding Benefactors: the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.

The World Science Festival also gratefully acknowledges its major sponsors, Ann Ziff, Con Edison, The Kavli Prize; additional supporters Bezos Family Foundation, IFF, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Royal Society Winton Price for Science Books, Sony, Time Warner Cable; its media partners, ABC News, ABC Radio, WABC-TV, WNYC Radio, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Week, Mental Floss, Huffpost Science; and its university partners, New York University, The City University of New York, Columbia University, The Rockefeller University, The New School, and The Cooper Union.

Media Contacts

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