wsf13

The 2013 World Science Festival took place on May 29-June 2 in New York City. We offered a slate of exciting new programs and old favorites this year, all aimed at unlocking the beauty and complexity of science for everyone. Sign up for our newsletter to stay connected and get exclusive interviews, stories, and updates.

2013 World Science Festival Programs

Hourglass melting, (digital enhancement)

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
Moderator: Ira Flatow
Participants: Paul Davies, Craig Callender, Tim Maudlin, Max Tegmark

The nature of time is an age-old conundrum for physicists, philosophers, biologists and theologians. The Newtonian picture of time—a kind of cosmic clock that ticks off time in a manner that applies identically to everyone and everything—tightly aligns with our experience. But with special and general relativity, Einstein showed the fallacy inherent in experience: the rate at which time elapses depends on circumstance and environment. These discoveries raise even more basic, long-standing puzzles: What is time? Is it a fundamental feature of reality or something we humans impose on experience? Does time come into existence with the universe or does it transcend it? Why does time exist at all?

This program is part of the Big Ideas series.

architects_of_the_mind

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
Moderator: Bill Weir
Participants: R. Douglas Fields, Kristen Harris, Murray Shanahan, Gregory Wheeler

Is the human brain an elaborate organic computer? Since the time of the earliest electronic computers, some have imagined that with sufficiently robust memory, processing speed, and programming, a functioning human brain can be replicated in silicon. Others disagree, arguing that central to the workings of the brain are inherently non-computational processes. Do we differ from complex computer algorithms? Are there essential features of the physical make-up and workings of a brain that will prevent us from creating a machine that thinks? And if we should succeed in constructing a computer that claims to be sentient, how would we know if it really is?

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

ask_me_another

Date: Thursday May 30, 2013
Time: 09:30 PM-11:00 PM
Venue: The Bell House
Host: Ophira Eisenberg
Participants: Steven Strogatz, Jonathan Coulton

NPR and WYNC partner with the World Science Festival to create an exciting science-based episode of their wildly popular national show. Join host Ophira Eisenberg as she invites mathematician, author and New York Times contributor, Steven Strogatz, to the stage. In-studio guests and listeners alike will stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones, and enjoy witty banter and guitar riffs from house musician Jonathan Coulton.

Ask Me Another is a co-production of NPR and WNYC.

This program is part of The World Science Festival’s Night at the Bell House in association with Cheers to Science! A Drinkable Feast of Beer, Biotechnology, and Archaeology.

biologists_apprentice1

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM-11:15 AM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: John Cooley

Head into the field with Evolutionary Biologist, John Cooley, of the University of Connecticut. Using the tools of a scientist, gather cicadas from the wild and learn to speak their language. Gain observation and data collection skills and understand why cicadas are so unique and important.

Number of Apprentices: 20
Ages: All Ages

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

blow_hard_scientists-275

Researchers are racing to uncover the implications for the Arctic of rapidly vanishing polar ice – and they’re enlisting help from the very creatures that stand to gain the most from their discoveries: the Narwhal, Bowhead and Beluga whales, three of the most elusive species on Earth. Join a riveting discussion with explorers and scientists who are using daring new tactics to “recruit” these animals, featuring spectacular photographs, rare footage, and musical performances inspired by whale song. Program includes special private access to the museum’s exhibit, “Whales: Giants of the Deep.”

Presented in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History. Special exhibit access is available to ticket holders one hour prior to the program (6-7 pm).

brains_on_trial-275

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 02:00 PM-03:30 PM
Venue: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
Moderator: Alan Alda
Participants: Anthony D. Wagner, Jay N. Giedd, Nita A. Farahany, Jed S. Rakoff, Kent Kiehl

What if we could peer into a brain and see guilt or innocence? Brain scanning technology is trying to break its way into the courtroom, but can we—and should we—determine criminal fate based on high-tech images of the brain? Join a distinguished group of neuroscientists and legal experts who will debate how and if neuroscience should inform our laws and how we treat criminals.

This program is based on a two-part PBS special, "Brains on Trial with Alan Alda," scheduled for broadcast on September 11 and 18 at 10PM, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

cellular_surgeons

Date: Thursday May 30, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
Moderator: Robert Krulwich
Participants: Omid Farokhzad, Peter Hoffmann, Metin Sitti

Pills the size of molecules to seek and destroy tumors. Miniscule robots performing surgery inside patients with a precision never before achieved. Nanobots, a billionth of a meter across, fixing mutations in DNA, or repairing neurons in your brain. Such are the possibilities as medicine enters the nano-era. Join leading researchers who are pushing these frontiers, to learn of new cures in the coming nano-revolution and possible risks of the molecular E.R.

This program is part of “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” a series exploring the latest developments in Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience—fields recognized by The Kavli Prize. Sponsored by The Kavli Foundation, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General.

checkmate

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 07:30 PM-10:00 PM
Venue: Museum of the Moving Image
Moderator: Steve Mirsky
Participants: Joel Benjamin, Murray Campbell

Not long ago, the idea of a computer beating a human at chess was the stuff of science fiction. But some of the most creative programmers of the 1980s and 90s were determined to make it a reality. And they did. In two matches that riveted the world, Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer, took on the brilliant world chess champion Garry Kasparov, and finally the computer won. The program begins with a secret screening of a feature film that will have its New York premiere in June—a darkly comic, fictional take on those early programming efforts, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at Sundance—and is followed by a fascinating discussion with some of the real-life programmers and chess masters involved in the epic match-up between man and machine.

Warning: The film includes some adult content: nudity and drug use.

This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and its Public Understanding of Science and Technology initiatives. Presented in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image.

cheers_to_science2013

Date: Thursday May 30, 2013
Time: 07:30 PM-09:00 PM
Venue: The Bell House
Participants: Sam Calagione, Patrick McGovern

Brewing beer may be humankind's first biotechnology, representing our earliest attempt to harness the power of living organisms. Dating back to 9000 BC, the craft galvanized the cultivation of barley and wheat, transforming hunter-gatherers into farmers. What did those ancient brews taste like? Find out when you join biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern and pioneering brewmaster Sam Calagione as they explore ancient ales from around the world and retrace their journey to reconstruct a 3,500 year old Nordic Grog. It’s a sensational evening of science, talk, and tasting inspired by the innovative practices of our prehistoric ancestors.

This program is part of The World Science Festival’s Night at the Bell House in association with NPR's Ask Me Another.

cicada_serenades

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 04:30 PM-06:00 PM
Venue: New York Botanical Garden – Ross Hall
Moderator: Dan Harris
Participants: David Rothenberg, John Cooley, Ronald Hoy, Marlene Zuk

After 17 years underground, cicadas throughout the Northeast are emerging in time for the 2013 World Science Festival to sing, mate and die. Amid a buzzing, whirring chorus, we examine the extraordinary mating rituals of these and other six-legged creatures to find out what their songs are saying, why they’re saying it, and how this knowledge is impacting our understanding of communication, behavior, and the ecosystem. The conversation is punctuated by a musical performance between the bugs and their human collaborators. Ticket price includes one All-Garden Pass for the day to The New York Botanical Garden, granting access to exhibitions and programs including Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, The Edible Garden, and Science Open House behind-the-scenes tours (first come, first served).

Presented in collaboration with The New York Botanical Garden.

civil_engineers_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 12:30 PM-02:00 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central

Have you ever wondered how bridges with enormous spans can stand hundreds of feet above land or water? In this apprentice program, taught by Engineering for Kids, apprentices design, build, and test their own balsawood bridges and other types of bridges to study structural loads.

cool_jobs2013

The World Science Festival’s highly celebrated program, Cool Jobs, is back with an astounding line-up of the coolest scientists around. Curious about developing a team of robots that can search and rescue while mapping their surroundings? Did you know it takes a scientist to make our grocery store foods delicious? Think it's possible to shrink a lab test so small that you can’t see it? Or make interactive games that aren’t in a computer? Look no further! The World Science Festival has assembled the coolest group of scientists with the coolest jobs who will answer these questions and much more. Start on your own quest to find your Cool Job—a science Job!

This program is supported by Time Warner Cable.

cosmic_conjecture

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Moderator: Mario Livio
Participants: Andreas Albrecht, Raphael Bousso, Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Neil Turok

The possibility that our universe is not the only universe is one of the most polarizing theories in physics today. Speculative and controversial, this so-called multiverse proposal is suggested by the latest developments in cosmology and string theory, and is supported by some of the most regarded physicists. But are these theories rightly considered scientific? Is it possible to gather evidence that would support or refute the possibility that we inhabit a multiverse?

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

dance_of_the_planets

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM
Venue: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1
Participants: Mario Livio, Emily L. Rice, Meg Schwamb

“Dance” under the stars and join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing. It’s an outdoor party beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the twinkling canvas of the night sky, and a night to explore and discover the vast wonders of the cosmos. Bring your telescope if you have one, or use one of the dozens we’ll have on hand.

Enjoy conversations with leading astronomers and live music to celebrate the astronomical event “Dance of the Planets,” at this communal stargazing experience. The festivities will feature astronomy groups from around the Tri-State Area, family-friendly activities, twilight sailing of the Schooner Mystic Whaler, refreshments, local food trucks, and more.

This program is supported by Celestron.

destiny_and_dna

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 03:00 PM-04:30 PM
Venue: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator: Bill Blakemore
Participants: Frances A. Champagne, Randy L. Jirtle, Jean-Pierre Issa


When we’re born, our genes click on and whir away to produce our personalities, diseases and physical appearances. Or do they? Research has now revealed that genes can turn on and off; they can be expressed for years and then silenced, or never even used. And what controls them? Scientists have recently discovered our epigenome, biological markers along our DNA that regulate gene expression in response to features like age or environment, and which can influence the traits we pass onto our children. Join a glimpse of the future with scientists at the forefront of the emerging field of epigenetics as they reveal the role our genetic markers play in steering our biological destiny.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

ending_the_epidemic-457x288

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Venue: Smith Auditorium, New-York Historical Society
Moderator: Richard Besser
Participants: Susan Zolla-Pazner, David Baltimore, Jean Ashton, Peter Staley, Robert Grant

This program brings together leading researchers on the forefront of scientific efforts to understand and attack the virus that causes AIDS. With the rate of HIV infection on the rise once more in New York, it’s a critical time to evaluate where we stand in the battle against HIV and AIDS and to explore the most promising opportunities for future breakthroughs. The World Science Festival invites this esteemed ensemble of experts to challenge one another, collaborate, and craft their shared vision of an AIDS-free future. The program also includes a special advance preview of the New-York Historical Society’s fascinating new exhibit, AIDS in New York: The First Five Years, which opens to the public June 7.

Presented in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, where “AIDS in New York: The First Five Years” is on display from June 7 to September 15, 2013.

food_scientists_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 03:30 PM-04:45 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Amanda Kinchla

Join University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist, Amanda Kinchla to see what’s cooking in a food lab and just how much science you need to know in this yummy apprentice program. Test the strength of gel by creating gummies, pull real iron out of cereal with magnetics and evaluate your senses by experiencing just how much color influences your taste.

Number of Apprentices: 30
Ages: All

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

infinity-275

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator: Keith Devlin
Participants: Raphael Bousso, Philip Clayton, Steven Strogatz, W. Hugh Woodin

"The infinite! No other question has ever moved so profoundly the spirit of man," said David Hilbert, one of the most influential mathematicians of the 19th century. A subject extensively studied by philosophers, mathematicians, and more recently, physicists and cosmologists, infinity still stands as an enigma of the intellectual world. Thinkers clash over questions such as: Does infinity exist? Can it be found in the physical world? What types of infinity are there? Through an interdisciplinary discussion with some of the world’s leading thinkers, this program will delve into the many facets of infinity and address some of the deepest questions and controversies that mention of the infinite continues to inspire.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

innovation_square2013

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM-08:00 PM
Venue: NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Join the World Science Festival as we transform a picturesque quad in downtown Brooklyn into a staging ground for future-shaping innovations. It’s an unforgettable day of interactive video games, 3-D printed wares, and hi-tech installations—a showcase of the “best of the best” in the fields of science and technology. This year we have robots that fly and robots that save lives; cocktails made with a super evaporator; amazing live performances by Blue Man Group tech-guru Bill Swartz, plus an exciting line up of talks, demos, and workshops.

Tweet and Instagram with #WSFinnovate.

mapping_the_brain

Join leading neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, biologists, and computer scientists in a discussion on the colossal challenges that must be overcome to understand, record, and analyze our neural wetware. What will it take to understand the human brain? President Obama’s new BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative aims to provide an unprecedented window into the internal life of the brain, which could lead to revolutionary changes in science, medicine, and technology.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

measuring_consciousness

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:00 PM-08:30 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Moderator: Carl Zimmer
Participants: Heather Berlin, Mélanie Boly, Christof Koch, Gary Marcus, Rafael Yuste

Philosophers remain puzzled over the meaning of consciousness, but now scientists are asking another question: How do you measure it? In this salon, we reveal the techniques and technologies that scientists are developing to peer inside the human brain and eavesdrop on neurons.

 

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

Stack of hardcover encyclopedias against red background

Spend a thought-provoking afternoon meeting with celebrated science writers, Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, and best-selling authors.

This unique collection of discussions, readings, and book signings connects you with expert science communicators. The topics will move from curiosity-quenching medical advice to the cutting-edge food science equations hooking us on of junk food addiction to the remarkable story of a ground-breaking cancer drug. Bring your questions and your books!

This program is part of the Science and Story series.

multiverse

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator: John Hockenberry
Participants: Andreas Albrecht, Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Neil Turok

The inflationary theory of cosmology, an enduring theory about our universe and how it was formed, explains that just after the Big Bang, the universe went through a period of rapid expansion. This theory has been critical to understanding what’s going on in the cosmos today. But now, this long-held notion—which seems to suggest as-yet-unproven and perhaps unprovable features such as the multiverse—is under increasing attack. Through informed debate among architects of the inflationary theory and its prime competitors, this program will explore our best attempts to understand where we came from.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

apprentice_bug_music

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Ronald Hoy

Learn how insects speak and sing through sound analysis. Ron Hoy will use digital voice analysis and musical instruments to demonstrate the similarities between the sounds that bugs make and the human voice.

Number of Apprentices: 20
Ages: 8+

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

neuroscientists_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 04:00 PM-05:15 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Wendy Suzuki

Think your brain looks like a walnut or a big wrinkly sponge? Take a look deep inside the brain of a sheep in this dissecting lab with New York University’s Wendy Suzuki. Research alongside our neuroscientist to explore just what makes us move, think and grow strong.

Number of Apprentices: 20
Ages: 8+

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

oceanographers_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 10:30 AM-11:45 AM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Kate Stafford

Ever wonder what a whale sounds like and how we know? Join Arctic whale research scientist Kate Stafford, University of Washington, to use spectrograms, listen to whale sounds and record your own whale calls.

Number of Apprentices: 20
Ages: 8+

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

shoulders_of_giants2013-275

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 01:00 PM-02:00 PM
Venue: Tishman Auditorium, Vanderbilt Hall, NYU Law
Participants: James Watson

Every generation benefits from the insights and discoveries of the generations who came before. “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” wrote Isaac Newton. In a special series, the World Science Festival invites audiences to stand on the shoulders of modern-day giants.

This year's address will be given by James Watson, Chancellor Emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who, along with Francis Crick, stunned the world by cracking the code of life. Their Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix in 1953 launched molecular biology and has had a breathtaking impact on modern science and medicine. Watson will speak about what he considers his "most important work since the double helix"—finding the elusive cure for cancer.

youth_pioneers_english

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 09:00 AM-10:00 AM
Venue: Google NYC Headquarters
Moderator: Juju Chang
Participants: Nora D. Volkow

Pioneers in Science gives high school students from around the world rare and intimate access to Nobel Laureates, presidential advisors and other trailblazing scientists. In an engaging town-hall-style discussion, each year’s pioneer shares personal stories, life challenges, and career highlights, all with the goal of inspiring by example. This year’s sixth annual Pioneers in Science program features esteemed scientist, Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Born in Mexico, Dr. Volkow will conduct the first ever multi-lingual Pioneers in Science program, speaking to students in both English and Spanish.

Presented in partnership with Google and Global Nomads Group.

youth_pioneers_spanish

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM-01:00 PM
Venue: Google NYC Headquarters
Moderator: David Novarro
Participants: Nora D. Volkow

Pioneers in Science gives high school students from around the world rare and intimate access to Nobel Laureates, presidential advisors and other trailblazing scientists. In an engaging town-hall-style discussion, each year’s pioneer shares personal stories, life challenges, and career highlights, all with the goal of inspiring by example. This year’s sixth annual Pioneers in Science program features esteemed scientist, Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Born in Mexico, Dr. Volkow will conduct the first ever multi-lingual Pioneers in Science program, speaking to students in both English and Spanish.

Presented in partnership with Google and Global Nomads Group.

biologists_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central

Examine the cellular structure of a plant using a microscope with NYU biology professor Kenneth Birnbaum. Determine how plants move and respond to gravity, all in a working lab, alongside real scientists.

Number of Apprentices: 15
Ages: 11-14

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

salon_time

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 05:00 PM-06:30 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Moderator: Paul Davies
Participants: Craig Callender, Tim Maudlin, Max Tegmark

The quest to unify Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics is forcing scientists to reevaluate everything, and the concept of time is in the hot seat. Some argue that time does not exist, others contend that it’s due for a scientific upgrade and will be the lynchpin of the unified theory.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

roboticists_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 01:30 PM-02:45 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Edwin Olson

What do you get when you mix engineering, computer science, and math? A robot. In this apprentice program, students will work with University of Michigan’s Edwin Olson to program and drive a robot through obstacles and mazes.

Number of Apprentices: 15
Ages: 8+

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

science_story_cutting_edge

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 04:00 PM-05:30 PM
Venue: Greenberg Lounge, NYU Law
Moderator: John Hockenberry
Participants: Lone Frank, James Gleick, Brian Greene

Science grapples with some of the most abstract of ideas. Making these concepts relevant and engaging to a broad audience is a significant and vital cultural challenge. Can science be translated into accessible language without compromising its content? What role should the narrative of scientific exploration play in communicating scientific insights? Join a group of award-winning writers, including both scientists and journalists, who will illuminate from a broad range of perspectives the process of creating literary entryways into otherwise impenetrable subjects.

This program is part of the Science & Story series.

This program is supported by The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

Hack Day

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 09:00 AM-10:00 PM
Venue: NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Host: Francois Grey
Participants: Clay Shirky, Darlene Cavalier, Steven E. Koonin, Tom Igoe, Beth Simone Noveck

The World Science Festival and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) team up to launch Science Hack Day in New York City. This two-day event will bring together scientists, designers, developers, and innovators. Hackers work in groups to mash up ideas, media, and technologies to create quick solutions: use bacteria from dollar bills to collect NYC’s genomic data, hack micro satellites to reflect sunlight, build a distributed computer simulation of the Large Hadron Collider, and much more. Join us for hacking, workshops, and the opportunity to work side-by-side with scientists. See what you can accomplish in just two days.

 

science_journalist_apprentice

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 12:15 PM-01:30 PM
Venue: Scientist’s Apprentice Central
Participants: Cara Santa Maria

Join science journalist, Cara Santa Maria, for a one-of-a-kind experience to scope out a good story, craft it into a solid piece of journalism and publish it on the World Science Festival’s website

Number of Apprentices: 20
Ages: 10+

Parents: This is a drop-off program for children. There is a waiting area nearby.

science_on_the_verge

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 03:30 PM-05:00 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Moderator: Carl Zimmer
Participants: Zahi Fayad, Peter Hoffmann, Metin Sitti, Bjørn Torger Stokke

What will nanomedicine look like in 2023? Will tiny rockets steered by magnets and powered by zinc target and destroy cancer cells? Will nano-pills with cameras controlled by doctors make exploratory surgery obsolete? Pending patents, human trials, and technological innovations are converging to create a perfect storm of discovery, to be explored in this program.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

This program is part of “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” a series exploring the latest developments in Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience—fields recognized by The Kavli Prize. Sponsored by The Kavli Foundation, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General.

spooky_action2013_wed

Date: Wednesday May 29, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: New Victory Theater
Participants: Brian Greene, Maia Guest, Carl Howell, Michael Roush

In 1935, Albert Einstein and two colleagues published a landmark paper revealing that quantum mechanics allows widely separated objects to influence one another, even though nothing travels between them. Einstein called it spooky and rejected the idea, arguing instead that it exposed a major deficiency in the quantum theory. But, decades later, experiments established this unsettling concept correct, upending conventional notions of reality. This program, back by popular demand, takes the audience on a journey that brings this insight and the remarkable history of reality-bending quantum mechanics vividly to life.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

spooky_paradox

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 01:00 PM-02:30 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Participants: Raphael Bousso, Juan Maldacena, Massimo Porrati

What happens when you fall into a black hole? Einstein’s General Relativity established that there would be no physical effect marking the location of the black hole’s edge. Recent results have pitted this nearly century old scientific dogma against the basic equations of quantum mechanics, with some suggesting that black holes are actually surrounded by firewalls that would instantly incinerate any cosmological explorer. Join a discussion at the cutting-edge, as physicists struggle to determine which of their long-cherished principles may have to be abandoned.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

sunday_met

What happens in our brains when we see artwork that we find beautiful? Why do we react this way, and what does it mean? Scientists in the emerging field of neuroaesthetics are probing what it is about art that moves us, using technologies that allow us to study the brain's response in astounding detail. Their insights are providing us with a new way to look at art and the mind. This World Science Festival program brings together leading researchers in the field of neuroaesthetics, along with the dynamic painter and sculptor, Matthew Ritchie, to explore the power of visual art and the biology behind it.

Presented in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

mystic_whaler2013

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 03:00 PM-08:00 PM
Venue: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 6
Participants: Suzanne Carbotte, Frank Nitsche

Raise the sails on the schooner Mystic Whaler. Learn how to navigate a ship by the sun and the stars, while exploring the constellations that still guide sailors and discovering how the moon controls the tides. Work alongside scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University to learn about the geology of the Hudson River and Manhattan. This will be an en enjoyable day of science on the New York Harbor that you’ll never forget.

 

explorers_club

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-10:30 PM
Venue: New York City Center
Moderator: Lynn Sherr
Participants: Sylvia Earle, Nell Benjamin

Legendary deep-sea explorer Sylvia Earle—one of the first women admitted to the real Explorers Club—takes the stage to share stories of her groundbreaking expeditions, following a Manhattan Theatre Club production of "The Explorers Club," a madcap comedy by Tony-nominated playwright Nell Benjamin.

In 1879, the prestigious Explorers Club in London faces the worst crisis in their history: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, the female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Join the fun and stay for tales of discovery featuring daring women explorers whose work has expanded our view of the world. The brave and boisterous cast, directed by Marc Bruni, features Brian Avers, Max Baker, Steven Boyer, Arnie Burton, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John McMartin, Lorenzo Pisoni, and Jennifer Westfeldt.

This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology initiative. Presented in collaboration with the Manhattan Theatre Club.

the_future_of_infinity

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 03:30 PM-05:00 PM
Venue: Lipton Hall – D’Agostino Hall
Moderator: Keith Devlin
Participants: Joel David Hamkins, Steven Strogatz, W. Hugh Woodin

In 1873, Georg Cantor proved that there are different sizes of infinity. Cantor tried to answer the question by proposing the Continuum Hypothesis. A solution of sorts was found in 1963, but the answer—proof that there was no proof—raised questions about the foundations of mathematics. Most deemed that counting the infinite was beyond mathematical precision. Recently, progress has been made, and the Continuum Hypothesis might have a definite answer—true or false.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

six_legged_sex

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:25 PM-10:00 PM
Venue: Staten Island Museum
Moderator: Cara Santa Maria
Participants: John Cooley, Helen Fisher, Marlene Zuk

Join a unique night of cocktails, courtship, and conversation with leading experts about how insects and humans attract their mates. The fun begins aboard the Staten Island Ferry as we cruise through New York Harbor at sunset, and continues when we arrive at the Staten Island Museum for insect-inspired cocktails and an after-hours talk and tour of the museum’s cicada collection, the largest in North America. Explore the strange and innovative mating strategies of the insect world—from flashy displays to arresting scents to symphonies of sound—along with some surprising parallels to human behavior. Outside, a DJ spins and insects swarm around Brandon Ballengee’s new light sculpture and insect observatory, “Love Motel For Insects.”

21 and over only

moth_story_slam 275

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:30 PM-09:00 PM
Venue: Housing Works
Participants: Robert Grant, Mark Moffett, Kate Stafford

Ten stories, three teams of judges, one winner.

Peabody award-winning storytelling collective, The Moth, joins the World Science Festival for a science-themed StorySLAM. At the beginning of the show, would-be storytellers (perhaps you?) put their names into a hat, and ten are selected to take the stage to share a true story, five minutes long, based on the theme “Natural Selection.” Wooing the audience with tales of Darwinian dominance, inherited traits, survival of the fittest, and other evolutionary adaptations, contestants will be judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, working within the theme, and presenting a story with a coherent structure and resolution.

Presented in collaboration with The Moth.

rap_guide_to_evolution

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: Players Theatre
Participants: Baba Brinkman, Jamie Simmonds, Heather Berlin, Stuart Firestein, Helen Fisher

At once provocative, hilarious, intelligent and scientifically accurate, The Rap Guide is an unusual exposition of Charles Darwin's theories, navigating natural selection, sexual selection and the evolutionary roots of human behavior, all in the setting of the world's first peer-reviewed hip-hop show. How is bling like a peacock's tail? What do scorpions, geese and gangster rappers have in common? Can white people be Afro-centric? Through clever re-workings of popular rap songs and original character driven story lines, explore a culturally evolved take on Darwinian evolution.

The Rap Guide to Evolution is part of a three show cycle, Evolutionary Tales, running May 31 to June 22 at the Player's Theatre.

science_of_food

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:00 PM-08:30 PM
Venue: Institute of Culinary Education
Moderator: Anne E. McBride
Participants: Maxime Bilet, Marion Nestle, Harold McGee

In 1984, Harold McGee’s beloved book, On Food and Cooking renewed our awareness of the inextricable link between science and cooking, and we began to shift our attention towards the value of that relationship.  In 2011, Modernist Cuisine took the science of food to a new aesthetic extreme.  In that span of 30 years, the culture and attitudes surrounding food science have evolved as much as its tools and technology. Harold McGee, Maxime Bilet, and Anne McBride discuss these advances, illustrated in the contrasts between these two ground-breaking books.

the_scientific_kitchen_saturday-457x457

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 03:00 PM-08:30 PM
Participants: Billy Barlow, Michael Laiskonis, César Vega, Rachel Dutton, Brian Ralph

New York City’s culinary gems open their kitchen doors for you and our roster of renowned scientists in this series of hands-on workshops that untangle the mysteries of science through food and cooking.

 

scientific_kitchen_pie-275

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:00 PM-09:00 PM
Venue: Pie Corps
Participants: Amy Rowat, Cheryl Perry

Demystify the science of phase behavior and the formation of gluten protein networks with biophysicist Amy Rowat and Pie Corps co-creator, Cheryl Perry.  When the line is drawn between flaky confection and pie disaster, it all comes down to the proper respect for exacting science.  We’ll attempt to make that complex and delicious science as easy as…pie.

 

This program is part of the Scientific Kitchen series. New York City’s culinary gems open their kitchen doors for you and our roster of renowned scientists in this series of hands-on workshops that untangle the mysteries of science through food and cooking.

social_impact_of_epigenetics

Epigenetic discoveries reveal that environmental, dietary, behavioral, and medical experiences can significantly affect the development of an individual and sometimes their offspring. Identification of targets for epigenetic therapy is becoming a public health priority. As we trace epigenetic health problems back, will we begin to point a finger? Who takes responsibility for epigenetic changes? Explore the implications in ethics, society, and the law.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

taste_of_science

We're bringing scientists of varied disciplines together with leaders in culinary innovation for a program that is part science lab, part cocktail dinatoire. This multi-course tasting program will showcase the potential for scientific discovery via gastronomic experimentation. It will be an extraordinary exploration of biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics and more, illuminated by experimental cocktails and cutting-edge cuisine. Expect scintillating science, stimulating company, and a few surprises.

Doors open at 7 PM — 21 and over only.

ultimate_science_street_fair2013

Date: Sunday June 2, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM-06:00 PM
Venue: Washington Square Park
Participants: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Brian Greene, Najat Kaanache, Wendy Suzuki, Bill Yosses

Roll up your sleeves and dig into science through all-new interactive exhibits, games, shows, and performances at the Ultimate Science Street Fair. Aspiring scientists of all ages investigate in “Science Centers” of biology, climate change, energy, math and technology, chemistry, and more. Earn an Ultimate Scientist certificate by logging experiences throughout the day.

Start your full day of fun by producing energy comparing walrus and warthog teeth, code your own computer game, learn how your brain works, examine live mutant worms, and more!

 

whispering_mind

Date: Thursday May 30, 2013
Time: 09:00 PM-10:30 PM
Venue: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Moderator: Terry Moran
Participants: Nicholas Schiff, Mélanie Boly, Christof Koch, Colin McGinn

It’s an old question: what is consciousness? Today, sophisticated brain imaging technologies, clinical studies, as well as the newfound ability to listen to the whisper of even an individual nerve cell, are bringing scientists closer than ever to the neurobiological basis of consciousness. Join some of the world’s leading researchers who are primed to determine if Homo sapiens are the only conscious species, if consciousness lives only within our brain or also outside of it, and ultimately, the fundamental biochemical processes underlying the life of the mind.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series.

valley_of_saints-275

Date: Friday May 31, 2013
Time: 07:30 PM-10:00 PM
Venue: Museum of the Moving Image
Moderator: Bill Blakemore
Participants: Musa Syeed, Richard Matthew, Mohan K. Wali

Enjoy a special festival screening of the beautiful new film Valley of Saints, winner of the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation prize awarded at Sundance for feature films focusing on science or technology.

An alluring young scientist returns to her exotic but troubled homeland of Kashmir and profoundly changes the life of the boatman who becomes her guide. The film is followed by a lively discussion exploring how science can help protect natural resources, enrich our connection to the environment, strengthen communities—and even begin to heal conflict zones. This intimate screening is a chance to experience a deeply moving union of science, society and story.

This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology initiative. Presented in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image.

what_lies_beneath

Date: Saturday June 1, 2013
Time: 07:30 PM-09:00 PM
Venue: The Players
Participants: Lone Frank, Christof Koch, Richard Matthew, Nora D. Volkow

Presented in collaboration with New York’s most innovative storytelling collective, The Moth, esteemed scientists, writers, and artists take to the stage to tell stories of their personal relationship with science. In keeping with Moth tradition, each story must be true and told within 10 minutes, without notes. The result is a poignant, hilarious, and enjoyably unpredictable evening that’s sure to intrigue and hard to forget.