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Past Events

Sunday, May 31, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, May 30, 2015
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, May 30, 2015
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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ModeratorEmily Senay

How much control do we have over our impulses and behavior? How much do environmental factors affect our actions? And when do children begin to develop a sense of free will? This program hosted an eye-opening discussion on implicit bias, impulse control, and free will that covered everything from new fMRI research on how brain chemistry and behavior are affected by environmental factors, to current studies of children and when they develop biases.

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

Photograph: Jon Smith 

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Students embarked on a quest with some of the greatest physicists searching for a unified theory of everything. This live program offered a curated curriculum for serious enthusiasts seeking stimulating science that goes beyond a popular-level presentation. From string theory to black holes to quantum gravity, it was a full day to challenge the mind and be guided by a dream-team faculty.

All proceeds from this program are used to develop additional World Science U live and digital offerings.

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From deep space to the brain‘s inner recesses, World Science Festival 2015 turned Washington Square Park into an outdoor lab celebrating the fascinating science that shapes our lives. It was a full day of hands-on activities, interactive experiments, installations, and demonstrations. Guests met scientists and astronauts, and enjoyed live performances. Kids got to run through our Mars rover obstacle course, learn how scientists search for life on other planets, and suit up and train like an astronaut while suspended in the air.

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ParticipantsSteven Weinberg

In this program, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and revered public intellectual Steven Weinberg speaks about science and history, drawing from his book “To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science.” Beginning with a short account on where science and intellectual thought rank in modern society compared to other modes of thought, Professor Weinberg goes on to paint a new and compelling picture of the development of scientific thought and exploration in a conversation moderated by Peabody Award-winning journalist John Hockenberry.

This program was presented in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society. 

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ModeratorAlan Alda

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.

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.

Photograph: Jon Smith

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This massive, interactive art installation featured a captivating soundscape to represent the 19 Earth Science satellites that monitor our planet’s ever-changing pulse from their unique vantage points. In addition to the sonic interpretations of this group of satellites orbiting Earth, visitors were able to view our planet through 3-D programs, and conduct hands-on activities with NASA scientists. Created by NASA in collaboration with STUDIOKCA and Shane Myrbeck.

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ModeratorMichael Moss

Paleo? Gluten free? Juice cleanse? Want some kale chips with that chia seed burger? Perhaps only in America are food choices so often based on trends. The latest obsession: getting the correct amount of bacteria in our microbiomes. But despite it all, Americans’ diets have never been less nutritious. Which of these trends is based on solid science, and which on pseudoscience and marketing? This program, part of our Scientific Kitchen series, looked to science to help separate the facts from the hype. Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Moss (Salt Sugar Fat), author Catherine Price (Vitamania), and leading medical experts added a generous helping of reality to how we think about our diets.

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

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A special science book event just for kids. New and favorite authors shared their stories and signed books.

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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.

Our media partner for this program is WNET.

Photograph: Jon Smith 

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ModeratorJim Holt

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?

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Humankind’s grandest mysteries, from our accelerating universe to human consciousness were the in-class topics in this immersive live program. The curriculum, taught by some of the foremost experts in cosmology, neuroscience, anthropology, philosophy, and more, offered a curated curriculum for serious enthusiasts seeking stimulating science going beyond a popular-level presentation.

All proceeds from this program are used to develop additional World Science U live and digital offerings. 

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ParticipantsFrank Nitsche

Attendees found their sea legs during a daytime sail aboard the schooner Mystic Whaler. On deck, geophysicist Frank Nitsche showed how he analyzes the waters surrounding Antarctica, and how those same tools and measurements can be used to gauge the health of the Hudson River.

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