Watch the World Science Festival's mainstage programs live online. Program times below.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe

MODERATOR: Lawrence Krauss
PARTICIPANTS: Josh Frieman, Priyamvada Natarajan, Adam Riess, Jan Tauber, Neil Turok

Dark energy is cosmology's biggest mystery—an anti-gravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics. It makes up more than two-thirds of the cosmos, but science is still grappling to explain what dark energy actually is. In this program, top physicists search for clues to this mystery in both the earliest moments of the universe and far into the future of the cosmos.

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wizards of Odds

MODERATOR: John Hockenberry
PARTICIPANTS: Robert C. Green, Leonard Mlodinow, Masoud Mohseni, Alan Peters

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 subtle concept that is often misunderstood, sometimes even by professionals who use it to guide crucial and far-reaching decisions. In this program, experts from technology, physics, medicine, and programming explore the slippery side of probability and the powerful role it plays in modern life.

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Mind Over Masters: The Question of Free Will

MODERATOR: Emily Senay
PARTICIPANTS: Christof Koch, Tamar Kushnir, Alfred Mele, Azim Shariff

Do we make conscious decisions? Or are all of our actions predetermined? And if we don't have free will, are we responsible for what we do? Modern neurotechnology is now allowing scientists to study brain activity neuron by neuron to try to determine how and when our brains decide to act. In this program, experts probe the latest research and explore the question of just how much agency we have in the world, and how the answer impacts our ethics, our behavior, and our society.

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Reality Since Einstein

MODERATOR: Brian Greene
PARTICIPANTS: Gabriela González, Samir Mathur, Andrew Strominger, Cumrun Vafa, Steven Weinberg

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's general theory of relativity, leaders from multiple fields of physics discuss its essential insights, its lingering questions, the latest work it has sparked, and the allied fields of research that have resulted.

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The series, "The Big, the Small, and the Complex," is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Academy of Science & Letters, partners of the Kavli Prize.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

What Is Sleep?

PARTICIPANTS: Mary Carskadon, Paul Shaw, Robert Stickgold, Matthew Wilson

What is sleep? Why do we dream? And what goes on in sleeping brains—from the tiny fruit fly’s to ours? In this program, Alan Alda talks with top sleep researchers and also highlights the winners of the 2015 Flame Challenge, in which video and written explanations of sleep were judged by 20,000 eleven year-olds.

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Time Is of the Essence … or Is It?

PARTICIPANTS: David Z. Albert, Vijay Balasubramanian, Carlo Rovelli, Lee Smolin

What is time? Isaac Newton described it as absolute, but Einstein proved that time is relative, and, shockingly, that time and space are intricately interwoven. Now recent work in string theory and quantum gravity suggests that space and time may not be fundamental. If this is true, what new picture of reality will emerge?

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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The Next Quantum Leap: Here, There, and Everywhere

MODERATOR: Bill Blakemore
PARTICIPANTS: Artur Ekert, Daniel Gottesman, Seth Lloyd, Eleanor Rieffel

Often viewed as “spooky” or downright bizarre, quantum mechanics is fueling a powerful new era of amazing technology. In this program, today’s top quantum physicists discuss the information shake-up underway—and predict when we can expect a quantum computer of our own.

The Big Ideas series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.