I’ve been remiss in posting World Science Festival 2010 information, despite all the emails I’ve been receiving. This year’s festival will be held in New York City on June 2-6, with 40 events scheduled and an opening night gala honoring Stephen Hawking, featuring “a performing arts salute to science”. The Festival is the creation of renowned physicist Brian Greene, who is tireless in his efforts to popularize science in general and physics in particular. The Festival’s mission is to ”cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.” Best of all, the World Science Festival “takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, theaters, museums, and public halls of New York City”. If we could be in New York in early June, we would be at the Festival!
There are free events and young people/family events (many are both), including:
The James Webb Space Telescope at Battery Park (June 1, 2010, 11 AM to Sunday, June 6, 2010, 6 PM): A full-scale model (80 feet long, 37 feet wide and nearly 40 feet high) of the world’s most powerful future space telescope, a successor to the famed Hubble Space Telescope ,will be on public view in Battery Park, along with interactive exhibits, videos about the Webb Telescope, and scientists on-hand to answer questions. On Friday June 4 from 8-11 PM, the venue will host “From the City to the Stars”: ”Join professional and amateur astronomers at the base of the full-scale, tennis court-sized James Webb Space Telescope model for a free evening of star-gazing in Battery Park. John Mather, Nobel laureate and the Webb telescope’s senior project scientist; John Grunsfeld, astronaut, physicist and “chief repairman” of the Hubble Telescope and planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel, with journalist Miles O’Brien moderating, will be with us to talk about the discoveries anticipated when the world’s most powerful space telescope, the successor to the Hubble, launches in 2014. It will be a festive evening of appreciating the vast wonders of the cosmos. Bring your telescope if you have one or plan to use one of the dozens we’ll have set up.” FREE
Eye Candy: Science, Sight, Art (Thursday, June 3, 2010, 7-8:30 PM): “Are you drawn to Impressionism? Or more toward 3D computer art? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or is it? Contrary to the old adage, there may be universal biological principles that drive art’s appeal, and its capacity to engage our brains and our interest. Through artworks ranging from post-modernism to political caricature to 3D film, Margaret S. Livingstone and Patrick Cavanagh join cartoonist Jules Feiffer and others in an examination of newly understood principles of visual perception.”
Mathemagician and the Mathemagician’s Apprentice (Saturday, June 5, 2010, 11AM – 12:00 noon): ”Mix math with magic and the result is thrilling. Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin returns in an encore presentation, with mesmerizing feats of mental mathematical gymnastics. Followed by Mathemagician’s Apprentice … where Benjamin will divulge his secrets of doing lightning-fast mental math. … Apprentice limited to 50 people, ages ten and older, and is an hour long. Arthur Benjamin is a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. A professional magician, Benjamin can also multiply large numbers faster than a calculator, figure out the week day of any date in history and has memorized the decimal numbers of pi out to 100 digits.” Dr. Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks.
Cool Jobs (Saturday, June 5, 2010, 5 – 6:30 PM): “Imagine hunting extraterrestrial life for a living. Or getting paid to study South African penguins. Meet scientists with some of the coolest jobs in the world; watch as a neuroscientist scans a brain and a robot inventor brings his complex and novel creations to life. Get inspired by the possibilities. Participants include roboticist Dennis Hong, neuroscientist André Fenton, astronomer and extraterrestrial life hunter Jill Cornell Tarter, and aquatic biologist Pamela Schaller.”
Astronaut Diary: Life in Space (Sunday, June 6, 2010, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM): “Astronauts who’ve lived on the International Space Station and ‘walked’ in space tell all: what it’s like to ride on a space ship, and to eat, sleep, exercise, and even do science—in space. Come hear firsthand from the world’s most intrepid explorers—including astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Leland Melvin and Sandra Magnus—and Dava Newman, designer of an innovative spacewalking suit, about what it’s like to soar upward and leave our home, planet Earth, behind.” FREE
Icarus at the Edge of Time (Sunday, June 6, 2010): ”What if Icarus traveled not to the sun but to a black hole? This 40-minute, 62-piece orchestral work is a mesmerizing adaptation of Icarus at the Edge of Time, Brian Greene’s book for children. A re-imagining of the Greek myth, which brings Einstein’s concepts of relativity to visceral, emotional life, it features an original score by Philip Glass, script adapted by Greene and David Henry Hwang and film created and directed by Al + Al. Performed live with narrator Liev Schreiber and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Brad Lubman.”
World Science Festival Street Fair at Washington Square Park (Sunday, June 6, 2010, 10 AM – 6 PM), FREE: The New York University/Washington Square Park area will become a science wonderland when the World Science Festival Youth and Family Street Fair returns to New York City on Sunday, June 6. This free, day-long extravaganza showcases the intrigue and pure fun of science with a non-stop program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows, all meant to entertain and inspire. Join us for a day of family fun”. Some highlights of this year’s Fair include: Discovery Theatre and Author’s Alley, The BioBus, Museum of Mathematics, Franklin Institute Traveling Scientists, NY Hall of Science, Math for AmericaNYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, Come and Play at the Games for Learning Lab, Liberty Science Center, Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels, Discovery Labs, Central Park Zoo’s Wild Life Theater, Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory. FREE