The Big Ideas Series features innovative programs that inspire and captivate audiences while exploring some of the most complex of scientific questions, including our origins, our fundamental nature, and our place in the cosmos.

The John Templeton Foundation is a founding festival benefactor and sponsors the Big Ideas series, which aims to convey the wonder of science as well as communicating real knowledge of science.


Ripples From the Big Bang: Listening to the Beginning of Time

01/11/16See Comments

In March 2014, scientists working on the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole reported an incredible discovery: a swirling pattern in the cosmic background radiation...[Read More]


Wizards of Odds

12/29/15See Comments

Probability is the backbone of science, but how well do you understand it? Odds are, not as well as you think; it is a surprisingly...[Read More]


The Ethics of Drinking Coffee Vs. Zapping the Brain

11/01/15See Comments

Lots of people drink coffee and enjoy chocolate. We love our caffeine. But how is that different than zapping our brains? Why isn’t that common? How do our thoughts on...[Read More]


A Short History of Probability

10/28/15See Comments

There’s nothing odd about odds today. From tomorrow’s 50 percent chance of rain, to Effie Trinket’s “may the odds be ever in your favor,” to...[Read More]


Better, Stronger, Faster: The Future of the Bionic Body

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The deaf begin to hear. The blind begin to see. Once damaged hearts begin to pump blood. Forget “wearable tech”—we’ve entered a zone where deploying...[Read More]


Designer Genes: Fashioning our Biological Future

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Perhaps the most complicated code in the universe is the one sitting inside our cells, written in DNA. More than three billion letters make up...[Read More]