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Past Events

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, June 1, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:15 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
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The World Science Festival brings science to the crossroads of the world, Times Square. From May 31 – June 3, the Festival will descend on Times Square with activities, demonstrations, and installations that educate, entertain, and inspire, providing the public a greater appreciation of our ever-changing planet — and our relationship to it. The programming includes a large LED video wall that powerfully illustrates how global warming is fundamentally changing the earth’s topography; climate talks; and the Sustainable Dance Floor, an innovative dance floor that generates power from human activity. The Sustainable Dance Floor will be open to the public from 7am – 11:59pm. Each day, from 10am – 6pm, guests will be invited to join in for a variety of energy generating games, fitness and dance classes and even a chance to charge their phones through their own movement.

The centerpiece of Science in the Square is Holoscenes, an epic performance-installation that viscerally connects everyday actions to climate change. Born of the widely-shared concern that water — from rising seas, intensifying floods, and extended droughts — will be a defining issue of the 21st century, Holoscenes takes place in a twelve ton glass aquarium which, over the course of five hours each day, periodically floods and drains, requiring a rotating cast of performers to creatively respond to changing levels of water. Holoscenes will be performed from 6pm to 11pm, June 1 – 3.

The Sustainable Dance Floor is developed by Energy Floors.

Holoscenes was created by Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera. It is co-presented by World Science Festival and Times Square Arts, and was originally produced by MAPP International Productions. This presentation of Holoscenes is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Climate Talks at Science in the Square featured: Bill Blakemore, Ted Blanco, James Bronzan, Jeremy Deaton, David Doubilet, Sylvia Earle, Eddie Goldstein, Justin Brice Guariglia, Lars Jan, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Brian Kahn, Josh Landis, Cassie Lee, Anders Levermann, Suzanne Miller, Stephanie Pfirman, Andrew Revkin, Dan Rizza, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Gavin Schmidt, Ellen Stofan, and Ben Straus.

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It’s a profound question facing modern humans: Are we still subject to natural selection? After hundreds of years of scientific progress, many of the pressures that control evolution—predators and disease—are decreasing. At the same time, technology capable of engineering the genome is in our hands. Are we undergoing a new form of evolution in which artificial changes are faster and more radical than those produced by the natural world? Should we control our own genetic material? Where will these changes lead us? Renowned geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and biologists consider our genetic future as evolution evolves.

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

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During this invitation only event, a limited global audience of students and lifelong learners hailing from more than a dozen countries — Brazil to Israel and Canada to South Africa — will participate in a live interactive virtual reality lecture that explores such topics as extra dimensions, unified theory of physics and the multiverse. The VR audience will engage in the social experience of a worldwide virtual classroom, while creating and handling higher dimensional objects that stretch the bounds of what’s possible in a real environment.

The original VR broadcasting is presented in collaboration with Abelana VR Productions, and eighteen international VR centers and theaters. Venue support provided by Jump Into The Light.

Learn MoreInvitation Only

Strip away the trimmings of a traditional science presentation, add cocktails, and you have the WSF Spotlight. An intimate, cabaret-style setting provides an unobstructed glimpse into the minds of some of the more intrepid scientists who happen to be women. What does it take to do the work they do? Come hear stories of trial and triumph at a science happy hour featuring one-of-a-kind talks that promise to entertain, engage, and enlighten.

Admission includes one complimentary drink.

Copies of Mayim Bialik’s new book Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart and Spectacular will be on sale for a book signing after the event.

Learn MoreSold Out

The World Science Festival brings science to the crossroads of the world, Times Square. From May 31 – June 3, the Festival will descend on Times Square with activities, demonstrations, and installations that educate, entertain, and inspire, providing the public a greater appreciation of our ever-changing planet — and our relationship to it. The programming includes a large LED video wall that powerfully illustrates how global warming is fundamentally changing the earth’s topography; climate talks; and the Sustainable Dance Floor, an innovative dance floor that generates power from human activity. The Sustainable Dance Floor will be open to the public from 7am – 11:59pm. Each day, from 10am – 6pm, guests will be invited to join in for a variety of energy generating games, fitness and dance classes and even a chance to charge their phones through their own movement.

The centerpiece of Science in the Square is Holoscenes, an epic performance-installation that viscerally connects everyday actions to climate change. Born of the widely-shared concern that water — from rising seas, intensifying floods, and extended droughts — will be a defining issue of the 21st century, Holoscenes takes place in a twelve ton glass aquarium which, over the course of five hours each day, periodically floods and drains, requiring a rotating cast of performers to creatively respond to changing levels of water. Holoscenes will be performed from 6pm to 11pm, June 1 – 3.

The Sustainable Dance Floor is developed by Energy Floors.

Holoscenes was created by Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera. It is co-presented by World Science Festival and Times Square Arts, and was originally produced by MAPP International Productions. This presentation of Holoscenes is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Climate Talks at Science in the Square featured: Bill Blakemore, Ted Blanco, James Bronzan, Jeremy Deaton, David Doubilet, Sylvia Earle, Eddie Goldstein, Justin Brice Guariglia, Lars Jan, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Brian Kahn, Josh Landis, Cassie Lee, Anders Levermann, Suzanne Miller, Stephanie Pfirman, Andrew Revkin, Dan Rizza, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Gavin Schmidt, Ellen Stofan, and Ben Straus.

Learn MoreFree Admission
ModeratorJohn Schaefer

Today, there are robots that make art, move like dancers, tell stories, and even help human chefs devise unique recipes. But is there ingenuity in silico? Can computers be creative? A rare treat for the senses, this thought-provoking event brings together artists and computer scientists who are creating original works with the help of artificially intelligent machines. Joined by leading experts in psychology and neuroscience, they’ll explore the roots of creativity in humans and computers, what artificial creativity reveals about human imagination, and the future of hybrid systems that build on the capabilities of both.

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

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R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller captured the world’s imagination with designs like the geodesic dome, but perhaps his greatest contribution was the way he thought. As a “design scientist,” he sought innovation that benefits the greatest number of people using the least amount of resources. Today’s disruptive designers are guided by the same principles, uniting science and design for a sustainable future. Join Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn, a friend of Bucky’s, for a special advance screening of her new film The House of Tomorrow (also starring Nick Offerman, Asa Butterfield, Alex Wolff, Maude Apatow, and Michaela Watkins), which tells Bucky’s incredible story through two rebel teens trying to become punk gods. Following the film, moderator John Hockenberry, Ms. Burstyn, director Peter Livolsi, and winners of the prestigious “Buckminster Challenge,” will discuss how Bucky’s limitless thinking is just what we need today.

The House of Tomorrow is the recipient of a 2015 Tribeca Film Institute/Sloan Filmmaker Fund Screenplay Development Award.

This program is co-presented with the Museum of the Moving Image and Sloan Science & Film. Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology Program.

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Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World Science Festival, the 2017 Gala commences with the Festival’s Opening Night premiere of Time, Creativity, and the Cosmos, featuring Joshua Bell, David Draiman, Renée Fleming, Brian Greene, and the dance innovators Pilobolus. Following the performance, Gala guests will enjoy a seated dinner and after-party festivities offering science-inspired delicacies, molecular mixology and out-of-this-world desserts.

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This program is sold out. A small number of tickets will be available at the venue 30 minutes prior to the event on a first-come-first served basis. Join the waitlist to be alerted if tickets become available sooner.

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The tenth World Science Festival opens with a new work celebrating the human spirit of exploration, discovery, and creativity. Told by acclaimed physicist Brian Greene as a cosmic journey that wends its way from the Big Bang to the end of time, the evening features an exceptional and eclectic group of performers including famed violinist Joshua Bell, renowned opera star Renée Fleming, the innovative dance troupe Pilobolus, and singer David Draiman from the iconic hard rock band Disturbed, among others. The evening is a celebration of science and art examining our collective longing to transcend the boundaries of space and time.

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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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