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Past Events

Friday, May 30, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, May 30, 2014
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Friday, May 30, 2014
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Thursday, May 29, 2014
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Thursday, May 29, 2014
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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ModeratorSean Carroll

Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity. Here’s a film that gives you a front-row seat on one of the most important scientific discoveries of our age: the successful search for the elusive Higgs boson, the final particle to complete the Standard Model of Particle Physics. This inspiring and award-winning documentary follows a handful of the 10,000 scientists who collaborated on the biggest and most expensive scientific experiment in history. After the screening, there will be a live discussion with several of the scientists and filmmakers involved in Particle Fever. This program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology Initiative. This program is presented in collaboration with The Museum of the Moving Image.

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ParticipantsJohn M. Grunsfeld

Great minds inspire greatness in others, which is why the Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists. This year, students will engage with NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld, veteran of five space shuttle flights and multiple spacewalks. Grunsfeld helped repair the Hubble Space Telescope and until recently managed the science program for the James Webb Space Telescope. During this intimate gathering, he’ll share his personal stories, life challenges, and career highlights, all toward inspiring the next generation of scientists and explorers. This program is a partner with Global Nomads Group. 

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ModeratorEmily Senay

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 the human genome, giving geneticists plenty to explore…and explore they have. But even as gene therapy, DNA analysis, and genetically modified organisms enter the mainstream—and inspire national debate—our capacity to manipulate life continues to deepen. How far should we go? Are there hidden downsides to rewriting our DNA? Can we hijack evolution and put an end to genetic diseases, or engineer the next generation to have advantageous traits? And who gets to decide? This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. 

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  The prestigious biennial Kavli Prizes recognize scientists for major advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience—the big, the small and the complex. The 2014 winners, sharing a $1 million award in each field, will be announced live via satellite from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo. The opening conversation, in tribute to the extraordinary philanthropist, the late Fred Kavli, will feature Alan Alda, Brian Greene and Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel. Following the announcement of the winners, three renowned scientists—nanoscientist Paul Weiss , neuroscientist Ann Graybiel and astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees—will join ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Richard Besser for a discussion of the scientific achievements of the Kavli Laureates and provide commentary on the next wave of research and opportunities within these dynamic fields.

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Join biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern and pioneering brewmaster Sam Calagione as they explore the biotechnology of ancient ales from around the world, and reconstruct an ages-old Nordic Kvasir. Taste the results of chemical, botanical and pollen evidence taken from a 3,500‐year‐old Scandinavian drinking vessel. Observe the results of several kinds of special fermentation to discover just how wild yeast can get. It’s a sensational evening of science, beer and conversation, inspired by the innovative practices of our ancestors. This program will premiere a special version of Dogfish Head Kvasir fermented with wild yeast.  This program is presented in collaboration with Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn. 

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Whether it’s a literary classic like Frankenstein or the blog posts of a renowned physicist, isn’t all successful science writing, at its core, the result of a compelling narrative? Join these award winning writers in conversation about the wide array of techniques they’re using to humanize science and challenge their readers. We’ll explore how their novels, articles, and best-selling books can offer a path to the rewards of exploring and understanding unknown worlds. This program is supported by The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

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  Researching the farthest branches of your family tree is now faster, cheaper, more accessible and more accurate than ever before. Today you can find distant living relatives, learn how you are related to important historical figures or discover how your ancestors participated in major movements in human history.  And, using advanced technologies to analyze face structure and skin pigmentation, evolutionary geneticists can determine what your ancestors actually looked like.  Join a conversation among leading researchers about how gains in computational power, together with technological innovations, are allowing scientists to come ever closer to understanding how we are all connected. This program is produced in collaboration with The New-York Historical Society. Special Note: Participating Penn State geneticist Dr. Mark D.Shriver has organized a unique opportunity to volunteer onsite for his lab’s ongoing genetic genealogy research study. Additionally, the New-York Historical Society is kindly allowing people free access all day (10 am – 6pm) to the museum for those who show their ticket to this event. That means you can come early, check out the museum’s Patricia D. Klingenstein Library for genealogical research and the N-YHS’s other terrific exhibits and volunteer for Penn State’s research study if you choose.

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In partnership with The Moth, New York’s Peabody Award-Winning storytelling collective, scientists, innovators and artists take to the stage with stories of their personal relationship with science: the ups and downs, inspiration, hurdles, and unexpected twists. In keeping with Moth tradition, all stories must be told within ten minutes, without notes. Their stories are a reminder that science is more than equations or experiments; it is a window to humanity, a quest for understanding, and, often, a way of life.

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ModeratorBrian Greene

Throw a baseball and you can track its arc across the sky without disturbing it. Scientists don’t have that luxury with quantum particles. When no one is looking, a particle has near limitless potential: it can be nearly anywhere. But measure it, and the particle snaps to one position. This transition from the fuzzy quantum world to the sharp reality of common experience is as vital as it is controversial. How do objects shed their quantum weirdness when measured? Join a debate of current theories, including tales of infinite universes where anything and everything happens. This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. 

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ModeratorBill Ritter
ParticipantsMartin Rees

Great minds inspire greatness in others, which is why the Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists. This year, students will engage with British astrophysicist, Lord Martin Rees. Now the prestigious Astronomer Royal, Rees has worked on everything from black holes and quasars to quantum physics and the Big Bang. During this intimate gathering, he’ll share his personal stories, life challenges, and career highlights, all toward inspiring the next generation of scientists and explorers. This program is a partner with Global Nomads Group. 

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Join the World Science Festival and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for a first of its kind evening that includes a special screening of “Gravity,” under the space shuttle Enterprise, conversations with astronauts, stargazing, a search for exoplanets, after-hours access to the Exploreum Interactive Hall, and more. Astronomy Night: Stargazing, Star Chats and The Hidden Light – Free Break out your telescope or come borrow one of ours during a night of urban stargazing. Join leading astronomers, NASA scientists, astronauts and Intrepid Educators to explore the far-flung wonders of the cosmos. Search for supernovae, track asteroids, or just find your new favorite constellation. International Space Station NASA Mobile Exhibit – Free You may not be an astronaut, but you can still explore the International Space Station. Step aboard the new NASA Mobile Exhibit, the next best thing to actually floating around the ISS. A rumbling floor shakes you as you lift off on your journey to humanity’s home in orbit. Once you arrive on board, you’ll learn all about this football-field sized laboratory that travels more than 17,000 miles per hour—that’s almost 16 orbits per day. Then let NASA scientists tell you about science experiments happening far above …

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We are at the dawn of a revolution in neuroscience, with the potential to dramatically expand how the human mind interacts with the world. For the most part,  brains still need bodies—vocal cords, hands, eyes—to turn thought into action, but rudimentary mind-to-machine links have already been developed. The science fiction dream of uploading new skills and memories directly to your mind, might not be far off. Drawing from neuroscience, biology, engineering, genetics, and psychology, we will explore the breakthroughs happening in brain-machine interaction today, and speculate about the enhanced human capabilities of tomorrow. This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. 

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