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Past Events

Sunday, June 5, 2016
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
11:00 am - 3:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2016
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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ParticipantsPaul Glimcher

Homework or video games? Grab an apple or raid the fridge? It turns out, some choices are not as simple as they seem. Under the guidance of NYU neuroeconomist Paul Glimcher, design and test out a decision study, take a tour of the neuroeconomics lab, and watch a live brain scan to investigate where all of these choices take place.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation. 

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ModeratorLynn Sherr

Marie Curie. Albert Einstein. Richard Feynman. Srinivasa Ramanujan. John Nash. Alan Turing. Rosalind Franklin. James Watson. Great minds that have blazed the trails of understanding whose larger than life stories speak to the human drama that swirls around profound discovery. Many of us, and the public more broadly, have come to know these figures through works of stage and screen. But what are the special challenges, pitfalls, opportunities and rare triumphs of seeking and synthesizing the essence of someone whose passion—quantum physics, number theory, nucleic acids, atomic species, computational design, gravitational phenomena—is so thoroughly foreign to the concerns of everyday life? Join us for an exploration of how writers artistically and faithfully capture the stories of science and the scientists who’ve made the stories.

This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology Initiative. 

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Join us for a special storytime where top kids authors read from their books, all afternoon. Shop our carefully curated collection of kids’ science books for sale and have your books signed by participating authors.

Photo: Jeffrey Apoian 

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Why are we drawn to symmetry? Because it provides order in a seemingly chaotic world? Because our brains are the product of the very same laws that yield the flower, the snowflake and the solar system? Because evolution selects for structures with symmetry? In this Salon, we will ask an interdisciplinary gathering of artists and scientists to explore the pervasiveness of symmetry throughout our study and appreciation of the natural world.

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

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ParticipantsTim Chartier

Think you’re on a hot streak? Become an athletics analytics expert with Tim Chartier, Davidson College math professor and frequent sports show contributor, including ESPN’s Sports Science.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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A NASA scientist prints 3D homes on Mars. An anthropologist solves mummy mysteries. An engineer tests new toys every day. What do these people have in common? A science job! Meet them all (and more) during this interactive event that gives everyone the chance to try each cool job for themselves.

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ModeratorEmily Senay

IBM’s Watson has the ability to make a diagnosis. Apps can track and monitor patient emergencies. Our phones may soon be our medical advisors. Preventive and diagnostic medicine is on the cusp of an AI revolution that will no doubt save lives. But when it comes to matters of life and death, should decisions be left to machines? Join us for a deep dive into the medical, ethical and all-too-human ramifications of allowing AI to have a controlling stake in our health and our lives.

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

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With ever more refined techniques for measuring complex brain activity, scientists are challenging the understanding of thought, memory and emotion–what we have traditionally called “the self.” How do electrical and chemical currents translate to self-awareness? And why does the brain produce consciousness at all? Join a discussion among eminent neuroscientists, philosophers and psychologists who are redefining what it means to be human.

Our media partner for this program is WABC-TV .

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

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How do we develop a sense of who we truly are? Do we perceive ourselves as science defines us? While some scientists think our identities are a product of our neurons, others are finding that our social and cultural context plays a dominant role in shaping how we view ourselves and each other. Join the top neuroscientists, philosophers, and psychologists as they discuss how culture and morality figure into the science of self.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation. Additional support provided by The Jackson Laboratory. 

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ParticipantsAlyssa Loorya

This past year, construction workers at Washington Square Park found two burial vaults from the 19th Century. Now is your chance to unlock New York’s past with Alyssa Loorya, the archaeologist studying this historic site. Piece together pottery to reconstruct artifacts, create a map of all the archaeological sites throughout the city using Google Maps, and take a tour of the streets of New York with a new mission in mind: discovering what’s beneath your feet!

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation. 

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This program is sold out. Join the waitlist for alerts if tickets become available.

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ModeratorAlan Alda

Alan Alda has issued this year’s challenge to the world’s top scientists: What is sound? In an action-packed hour of interactive demonstrations, Alan and a team of communication experts invite the audience to explore what we hear, how we hear, and what that means for different species. The program also highlights the winners of the 2016 Flame Challenge, in which video and written explanations of sound were judged for clarity’s sake…by 20,000 eleven year-olds.

This program is in association with the Flame Challenge, an annual contest held by The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. 

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The World Science Festival takes over Washington Square Park with STREET SCIENCE, a buzzing metropolis of science, technology, engineering, and mathematical explorations. Featuring awe-inspiring, interactive demonstrations, larger than life activities, mind-blowing experiments and live shows, this outdoor exhibition unleashes everyone’s inner scientist. Free and open to all ages.

Presented by Con Edison. 

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