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World Science Festival 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Thursday, May 31, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Thursday, May 31, 2018
10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, June 1, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, June 2, 2018
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
2:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 2, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Sunday, June 3, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Sunday, June 3, 2018
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, June 3, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
ADVANCED PHYSICS WORKSHOPS

Kicking off the 11th World Science Festival on May 29th, the 2018 Gala celebrates the inspiring lives and achievements of five remarkable women across science history whose profound insights transformed the world: Marie Curie, Alice Ball, Rosalind Franklin, Vera Rubin, and Maryam Mirzakhani. Woven together by narrative and performance, the evening pays tribute to these extraordinary pioneers who paved the way for today’s brilliant leaders and those of tomorrow.  

Following the performance, there will be a seated dinner featuring science-inspired delicacies, molecular mixology, and out-of-this-world desserts.

This stellar evening is not to be missed.

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We are flinging open the doors of female-run labs at Columbia University, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, Hunter College, New York University, and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, inviting middle school girls to come inside and imagine their future lab-coated selves. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. This underrepresentation in STEM for girls is self-perpetuating but also reversible: if you can see it, you can be it. Here’s your chance to meet venomous snails, 2000-year-old bones, a genome sequencing machine, and a mass spectrometer. But more importantly, you’ll meet the brilliant women tasked with studying them.

Lab Tour registration is open to the public. REGISTER NOW!

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ModeratorShannon Odell

Rimbaud drank it. Dégas painted it. Hemingway wrote about it. Dracula used it to seduce Mina. And, under its influence, Van Gogh cut off his ear. For many years, absinthe—or the “green fairy,” as this infamous drink was called—was banned, only adding to its mystique. What exactly does absinthe do in the human body? How does it work? Can you make your own and is it safe? Join us as we discuss the fascinating history of this once-banned drink, its chemical properties, and the science behind the intoxicating effects of the “green fairy.”

This program is for participants who are over 21 years of age, as alcohol will be served. Proper ID required.

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ModeratorLynn Sherr

On the surface, BUMP is a funny and moving meditation on the magic, mystery, and mechanics of pregnancy. But underneath are the growing seeds of anxiety all women face, in varying degrees, during the nine-month transition to motherhood. Come see this innovative new play by Chiara Atik, directed by Claudia Weil, then join us for a talkback after the show with some of its creators and with Dr. Catherine Birndorf, Founding Director of The Motherhood Center.

This program is co-presented with the Ensemble Studio Theatre and supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its Public Understanding of Science and Technology Program.

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ModeratorBrian Greene

Black holes may hold the key to understanding the most fundamental truths of the universe, but how do you see something that’s, well, black? Astronomers think they have the answer. Thanks to a global array of radio telescopes that turn the Earth into a giant receiver, we may soon have the first picture of the event horizon of Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. And, with the power of math, scientists are going even further, using equations to “look” inside black holes, peering at the central singularity where general relativity and quantum mechanics collide. Join Brian Greene and other leading physicists and astronomers on a journey to make darkness visible.

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

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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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Keynote SpeakerShirley Ann Jackson
ModeratorBrian Greene

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the prestigious Kavli Prize, which recognizes scientists for major advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience—the big, the small, and the complex. The 2018 winners, sharing a cash award of $1 million in each field, will be announced via live satellite from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo. Delivering the keynote address at this year’s Kavli Prize breakfast, is the Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Following the announcement of the winners, renowned scientists in the fields of neuroscience, nanoscience, and astrophysics, will discuss the scientific achievements of the Kavli Laureates and provide insights into the next wave of research and opportunities within these dynamic fields.

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience and is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. 

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ModeratorAriel Zych

The World Science Festival’s Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare and intimate access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists in a town hall style discussion. Meet Alvaro Pascual-Leone, the Chief for the Division of Cognitive Neurology and the Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Pascual-Leone studies the mechanisms that control brain plasticity, and he is a pioneer in noninvasive brain stimulation where he has used test subjects across the animal kingdom, including humans. His research has been critical in establishing the field of therapeutic brain stimulation in treating conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson, autism, and drug-resistant depression.

Participate in this program online with Zoom. REGISTER TODAY!

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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We are flinging open the doors of female-run labs at Columbia University, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, Hunter College, New York University, and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, inviting middle school girls to come inside and imagine their future lab-coated selves. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. This underrepresentation in STEM for girls is self-perpetuating but also reversible: if you can see it, you can be it. Here’s your chance to meet venomous snails, 2000-year-old bones, a genome sequencing machine, and a mass spectrometer. But more importantly, you’ll meet the brilliant women tasked with studying them.

Lab Tour registration is open to the public. REGISTER NOW!

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ModeratorAriel Zych
ParticipantsJo Handelsman

The World Science Festival’s Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare and intimate access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists in a town hall style discussion. Meet Jo Handelsman, Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and Associate Director for Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she launched the National Microbiome Initiative. Her research at Yale at the Handelsman lab focuses on understanding diversity in microbial communities and their role in infectious disease and the genetic basis for stability of microbial communities; the role of a gut community as a source of opportunistic pathogens; and the soil microbial community as a source of new antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes.

Participate in this program online with Zoom. REGISTER TODAY!

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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ModeratorBrooke Borel

By 2050, there will be nine billion people on the planet. CRISPR, the revolutionary gene editing technology, could help usher in the next Green Revolution, allowing us to feed our ballooning population in a hotter, more crowded world. But can CRISPR protect the future without causing chaos? Join biologists and geneticists as we explore the thorny issue of tinkering with nature to save it.

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 and Letters.

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ParticipantsCumrun Vafa

Acknowledging the scientists who blazed intellectual trails before him, Isaac Newton wrote: “If I have seen a little further it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this special annual series, we invite our audience to stand on the shoulders of a modern day giant. This year, we are honored to present an address by National Academy member Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science in the Department of Physics at Harvard University. Vafa’s primary area of research is string theory, which is at the center of efforts by theoretical physicists to find a unified fundamental theory of nature in a consistent quantum theory. Vafa’s address will focus on an innovative approach he has pioneered at Harvard, using mind-bending puzzles to teach subtle but essential concepts in physics and energize the next generation of giants to engage with forefront ideas.

Registration for this program is open to the public. REGISTER NOW!

Seats are limited and will be made available to registered guests on a first-come, first-served basis.

On The Shoulders of Giants is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation

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ModeratorMario Livio

The first detection of colliding black holes rocked the scientific world, establishing that gravitational waves are real and that we are able to measure them. More recently, scientists have achieved the first detection of colliding neutron stars, rocking the scientific world again and inaugurating the era of multi-messenger gravitational wave astronomy. Join astronomers and astrophysicists as they discuss the implications of these colossal cosmic mergers, what they create, and how they’re changing our view of the universe.

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

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How deep is the ocean? Why do whales sing? How far is 20,000 leagues—and what is a league anyway? Raise a glass and take a deep dive into the foamy waters of oceanic arcana under the blue whale in the Museum’s Hall of Ocean Life. Comedian and journalist Faith Salie will regale you with a pub-style night of trivia questions, physical challenges, and hilarity to celebrate the Museum’s newest temporary exhibition, Unseen Oceans. Don’t worry. When the going gets tough, we won’t let you drown. Teams of top scientists—and even a surprise guest or two—will be standing by to assist you. Program includes one free drink and private access to the special exhibition Unseen Oceans. Special exhibition access is available to ticket holders beginning one hour before the program, from 6–7pm.

Presented in collaboration with The American Museum of Natural History.

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We work on screens. We play on screens. We watch and text and talk and purchase and post and navigate and read on screens. What is all of this screen time doing to our brains, our lives, and our relationships? Do they alter who we are, or are we what we hide? Come see the New York special screening of Sundance NEXT Audience Award-winning and Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize winner SEARCHING, a pathos-filled, genre-busting, hyper-modern thriller about a father’s desperate search for his missing daughter, told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate. The screening will be followed by a talk back conversation, led by neuroscientist and TV host Heather Berlin, between SEARCHING writer/director Aneesh Chaganty, producer and co-writer Sev Ohanian, and NYU Professor Adam Alter, author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.

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.

Special thanks to Sony Pictures.

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ModeratorGuy McKhann

What if your brain at 77 were as plastic as it was at 7? What if you could learn Mandarin with the ease of a toddler or play Rachmaninoff without breaking a sweat? A growing understanding of neuroplasticity suggests these fantasies could one day become reality. Neuroplasticity may also be the key to solving diseases like Alzheimer’s, depression, and autism. This program will guide you through the intricate neural pathways inside our skulls, as leading neuroscientists discuss their most recent findings and both the tantalizing possibilities and pitfalls for our future cognitive selves.

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

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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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ModeratorLesley Stahl

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl will take you on a journey deep inside your DNA, as we discuss the promise and peril of interfering with the code therein. For the first time in history, human beings have been given the keys to the car called Evolution. A breakthrough technology now allows us to modify genes with ease and precision. Within the next year or so, its power will be starkly revealed when a living, breathing wooly mammoth is born, the first since the Ice Age. For human applications, trials of this new technology are already underway seeking to eradicate various debilitating genetic diseases. But like teenagers at the wheel, we’re still learning to drive. Are we zooming toward a happy, healthy, well-fed future, or toward a cliff? Join Fred Gould, Josephine Johnston, Neville Sanjana, and Samuel H. Sternberg as we plot a course toward a new future.

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 and Letters.

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Immerse yourself in an intense and intimate day with some of the foremost experts in astrobiology, theoretical physics, and astrophysics. This event offers science enthusiasts a curated curriculum that goes beyond a popular-level presentation.

We are providing a limited number of exclusive, complimentary seats to the taping of master classes that will subsequently be presented on the World Science U digital platform.

Registration for this program is open to the public. REGISTER NOW!

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ModeratorLynn Sherr
ParticipantsSteven Pinker

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Experimental cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom and follow the data: health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. Join us in a lively discussion about how our own psychological biases may have misled us into seeing darkness where there is, in fact, the fruits of the Enlightenment.

Stephen Pinker’s newest book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” will be available for purchase at this event. 

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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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ParticipantsCarl Zimmer

Heredity, argues award-winning New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer, isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. We also inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. Weaving original reporting with historical context with his own experiences as the father of two daughters, Zimmer calls for a radically new definition of heredity. Join us in conversation with this original thinker as he presents both argument and evidence.

Carl Zimmer’s newest book “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity” will be available for purchase at this event.

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ParticipantsAnita Lo, Florian Pinel

Can the extensive knowledge and experience of the classically trained chef be trumped by culinary insights gleaned in the lab studying flavor pairings and chemical compounds? Join data-driven guest chef, IBM Master Inventor, and Watson Scientist Florian Pinel who will discuss how AI is changing the way we cook while participating in a cook-off with renowned chef Anita Lo. Afterwards, you’ll get to taste some of the creations from the mind of a machine.

Arrive at 7:00 PM to sample some unusual beer and snack flavor combinations and explore MOFAD before the program, which will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.

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ModeratorTim Urban

“Success in creating effective A.I.,” said the late Stephen Hawking, “could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know.” Elon Musk called A.I. “a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.” Are we creating the instruments of our own destruction or exciting tools for our future survival? Once we teach a machine to learn on its own—as the programmers behind AlphaGo have done, to wondrous results—where do we draw moral and computational lines? Leading specialists in A.I., neuroscience, and philosophy will tackle the very questions that may define the future of humanity.

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

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ModeratorBrian Greene

You exist. You shouldn’t. Stars and galaxies and planets exist. They shouldn’t. The nascent universe contained equal parts matter and antimatter that should have instantly obliterated each other, turning the Big Bang into the Big Fizzle. And yet, here we are: flesh, blood, stars, moons, sky. Why? Come join us as we dive deep down the rabbit hole of solving the mystery of the missing antimatter.

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

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Striped bass and bluefish and fluke, oh my! Now in its third year, this hugely popular, all-age, hands-on event is a celebration of the marine life in the waters surrounding our five boroughs. Top marine biologists and scientists will work with you and your kids to discover–and count–the many species of fish and marine creatures (even seahorses) right here in our own city waterways. No net needed. We’ll provide everything, including waders. Just head on down and help us count.

The Great Fish Count is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

Produced in partnership with the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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How do you tell the story of intangible ideas and scientific phenomena such as luck, enlightenment, heredity, weather, evolution, and illusions not only cogently, but artfully? No easy feat, but with lyrical writing, careful research, and explanations everyone can understand, our Science and Story Cafe authors have done just that. Come meet these masters of science as they wax rhapsodic on the topics that have lit their imaginations and fueled their intellectual fires–plus get your books signed to boot. This is an all-day event, with new authors speaking at the top of each hour and many other authors available throughout the day to sign books and answer questions.

Science and Story Cafe is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

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ParticipantsKubi Ackerman

What makes a city a city? How do you build buildings, plan streets, and design parks with humans and their needs in mind? Join architect and Future Lab Project Director, Kubi Ackerman, on an exploration in which you’ll venture outside to examine New York City anew, seeing it through the eyes of a visionary museum architect, and then head to the Future City Lab’s awesome interactive space where you will design your own park. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

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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ModeratorFaith Salie

Every year, ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair, brings together high school students from all over the globe to show us what they’re made of: grit, curiosity, determination, intelligence, and a desire to leave the world a better place than they found it. This year’s Sundance Audience Award Winning documentary, SCIENCE FAIR, follows several ISEF hopefuls, from the germ of their ideas to the search for mentors to the heady days of reckoning at the science fair itself. Come see a special screening of SCIENCE FAIR then stay for the talkback with comedian Faith Salie, who will interview ISEF winners past and present, as we celebrate the next generation of scientific innovation.

This program is co-presented with the Museum of the Moving Image.

Special thanks to National Geographic.

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ModeratorJohn Schaefer

Kerouac called it “the only truth.” Shakespeare called it “the food of love.” Maya Angelou called it “my refuge.” And now scientists are finally discovering what these thinkers, musicians, or even any of us with a Spotify account and a set of headphones could have told you on instinct: music lights up multiple corners of the brain, strengthening our neural networks, firing up memory and emotion, and showing us what it means to be human. In fact, music is as essential to being human as language and may even predate it. Can music also repair broken networks, restore memory, and strengthen the brain? Join us as we speak with neuroscientists and other experts in the fields of music and the brain as we pluck the notes of these fascinating phenomena.

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

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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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ParticipantsMark Siddall

Hop aboard the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner, for an unforgettable, action-packed, tour of New York Harbor. Join in the merriment as evolutionary biologist Mark Siddall regales you with stories of his work in Zambia, Argentina, Peru, Rwanda and the Amazon. Or just study the water, find a shipwreck, stare out at the horizon and enjoy the ride (but don’t forget your sunblock…)

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ModeratorEmily Senay

Nearly every health website offering eternal youth and beauty will sooner or later focus in on gut health and improving your microbiome, as if the microbiome were something that needed fixing. In fact, much of you isn’t you, and that’s okay. For every cell in your body, there’s another tiny single-celled creature that also calls your body home. Far from being germs we should eradicate, these ancient friends allow us to digest food, breathe air, and fight off disease. They were here long before us and will undoubtedly remain long after we’re gone. They are our microbiome, and after eons of cohabitation, we are finally getting to know one another better. Of course, we aren’t always the best of neighbors. Autoimmune diseases, allergies, depression, and Alzheimer’s may be diseases of an unhappy microbiome. Come join world-renowned microbiologists Martin Blaser, Jo Handelsman, Rob Knight, and David Relman as they zoom in on the micro world and zoom out on its macro influence.

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

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When a particle and an antiparticle meet, they annihilate one another and vanish. So, too, vanished the brilliant physicist, Ettore Majorana, who proposed that a particle can be its own antiparticle. What’s with all of this vanishing, and how are neutrinos involved? Join us to hear particle physicists discuss these stories plus their hunt for a neutrino event so rare, it only happens to a single atom at most once every 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years: far longer than the current age of the universe. If they find it, it could explain no less than the existence of our matter-filled universe.

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

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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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While you’re sitting in your house, surfing the web or watching your kids play yet another game of Fortnite, you wouldn’t believe the excitement going on right outside your door. BACKYARD WILDERNESS, a 40-minute, exuberant, beautifully shot 3D film for parents and kids alike, will take you there, from the vernal ponds where tiny amphibians lay their eggs to the suburban woods where the laws of the jungle are on full display. You will be dazzled not only by the many creatures in your backyard, but also by how easy it is to be a suburban explorer. The message of the film is perfect for both your X-box addicted shut-ins and your budding naturalists: get up, stretch your legs, shut off the T.V., put away the screens and your homework, and go outside!

POST-SCREENING BIOBLITZ
Inspired by the message of BACKYARD WILDERNESS to get up out of your chair and explore? Then take yourself and your renewed inspiration out into the park immediately after the screening. Our naturalists will be on hand to help you find treasures right outside the theater. You’ll identify trees, flowers, birds, insects and rodents.

Before joining us, please download the iNaturalist and SEEK apps, which will help you count and classify your discoveries while also providing important data for research teams and park management.

Tickets are limited for the post-screening BioBlitz experience.

Presented in collaboration with The American Museum of Natural History.
Special thanks to HHMI Tangled Bank Studios.

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ParticipantsMargaret Flanagan

Hop aboard the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner, for an unforgettable, action-packed, family-friendly tour of New York Harbor. Join in the merriment of a scavenger hunt. Study the water. Find a shipwreck. Or just stare out at the horizon and enjoy the ride (but don’t forget your sunblock…)

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

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Come meet scientists who have some of the coolest jobs on the planet—jobs that take them out of the lab, into the world, and far beyond. You’ll get to meet a venomous snake-loving herpetologist, a forensic scientist sleuthing crime scenes for clues, a NASA engineer who lands spacecrafts on Mars, inventors who are changing the future of sports—and through it all spark new ideas of how a life in science is a life of unending adventure.

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“We can rebuild him. We have the technology,” began the opening sequence of the hugely popular 70’s TV show, “The Six Million Dollar Man.” Forty-five years later, how close are we, in reality, to that sci-fi fantasy? More thornily, now that artificial intelligence may soon pass human intelligence, and the merging of human with machine is potentially on the table, what will it then mean to “be human”? Join us for an important discussion with scientists, technologists and ethicists about the path toward superhumanism and the quest for immortality.

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

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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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“Move fast and break things,” went the Silicon Valley rallying cry, and for a long time we cheered along. Born in dorm rooms and garages, implemented by iconoclasts in hoodies, Big Tech, in its infancy, spouted noble goals of bringing us closer. But now, in its adolescence, it’s testing our boundaries. How much of our personal information should we be willing to divulge? Is social media a greater good, or is it time to start deleting our accounts? Where do we draw the line between a connected and open society and a loss of personal privacy? We bring together great thinkers and tech insiders such as Brett Frischmann, Tim Hwang, Jaron Lanier, Meredith Whittaker, and Aviv Ovadya to debate these questions and more.

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

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ModeratorCarl Zimmer

In the race to keep up with harmful bacteria as they continually evolve to outsmart our antibiotics, we have fallen woefully behind. There are already superbugs we cannot defeat. And at the current pace, the Age of Antibiotics will end in our lifetimes. Childbirth, surgery, even small cuts will once again carry deadly risk. Predictions are by 2050 there will be more deaths from infections than from cancer if we don’t solve this crisis. Scientists are not standing idly by. Join immunologists, biologists, and infectious disease specialists to explore some exciting new tools that may be our salvation in the battle against superbugs.

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

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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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ParticipantsAndrew Revkin

Science journalist Andrew Revkin will take you on a sunset sail you won’t soon forget, as he regales you with tales of adventures and hijinks on the high seas. So hop aboard the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner. Raise a glass. Take a seat. And sail off into the sun as it sets over New York Harbor.

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This night has it all: multiple telescopes for planets and stargazing; an LED-lit balloon chain installation, floating overhead and swaying to the changing winds; and world renowned scientists and chefs, including a former White House pastry chef, discussing the vagaries of cooking, eating, and staying alive in outer space. Grab your picnic blanket and join us in Brooklyn Bridge Park to contemplate—and savor—your singular, magical, minuscule spot in the universe.

Stargazing is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

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NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino, who’s logged more than 571 hours in space, has yet to meet an alien, but that doesn’t mean he’s never pondered their existence. Alien life has been a mainstay and fascination of science fiction, but who–or what–might actually be out there: biological life, artificial intelligence, or some combination of both? It took only 200,000 years—a blip on the cosmic timeline—for the first sparks of intelligent life to invent artificial intelligence here on Earth. And since space is big, and life is short—at least biological life as we know it—it may be that chatter on the cosmic airwaves is dominated by a spectacular spectrum of A. I. Join Lisa Kaltenegger, Caleb Scharf, Susan Schneider, and Sara Walker to wrestle with the subject of how life down here might be a thoroughly misleading guide to life up there.

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

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ModeratorBrian Greene

God, they say, is in the details. But could God also be in our frontal lobes? Every culture from the dawn of humankind has imagined planes of existence beyond the reach of our senses, spiritual domains that shape our Earthly experiences. Why do beliefs of the fantastic hold such powerful sway over our species? Is there something in our evolutionary history that points to an answer? Does neuroscience hold the key? Straddling the gap between science and religion, Brian Greene is joined by renowned neuroscientists, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists, to explore one of the most profound mysteries of our existence.

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

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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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ParticipantsAlexandra Cohen

How do emotions influence the way your brain learns? If you associate visiting a friend with the smell of her freshly baked cinnabons, what happens if the friend stops baking them? Do you still expect the sweet smell when you visit anyway? Neuroscientist Alexandra Cohen will work with you to devise an olfactory experiment that will highlight how our brains learn about the sweet things in life using pleasant smells. Note: Students will be exposed to and smelling a variety of scents. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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WALK ON WATER. BLAST BALLS INTO ORBIT. DEFY GRAVITY. Join the World Science Festival and Con Edison for this larger-than-life, touring event where the wondrous properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide. Filled with interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and enormous exhibitions, this FREE program unleashes everyone’s inner scientist.

City of Science is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

This program is presented by Con Edison.

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ParticipantsJennifer Rosati

Join forensic entomologist Jennifer Rosati as we collect and analyze a bunch of squirmy, squiggly, beady-eyed bugs—and see how the ten quintillion little critters in our midst can help us solve a wide range of unsolved mysteries. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.  

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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How are space and sea similar? Is it possible to build a faster paper airplane? Who is Katherine Johnson, and how did she save Apollo 13? What does the vastness of space look like from the confines of a tiny rocket? What makes a beehive–and can you turn the pages of a book into one? This wide range of questions, and more still, will be answered by children’s book authors Lynn Brunelle, Helaine Becker, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, Jennifer Swanson, Ken Blackburn, and Mike Vago, who will read from and sign their books while also helping you build your own beehives, rockets, and super-fast paper airplanes.

Science and Storytime is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

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Are we alone in this vast universe? Some think that’s highly unlikely. With new technologies joining the search, NASA estimates we’ll find definitive evidence of aliens within 20 to 30 years. Which raises the vital question: And then what? Will the news inspire jubilation, despair, or fear? Will aliens be seen as gods or interlopers? Evidence of alien life will provoke fundamental questions about our place in the universe–not just about who they are, but also who we are. Join astronomers, astrobiologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and linguists as we ponder these issues.

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

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Strap on your Sherlock Holmes hat, grab your magnifying glass, and come solve crimes with forensic scientist Casie Parish Fisher. You will take an impression of an object left at the scene of a crime and learn about scientifically-rigorous techniques for recovering evidence and using it to piece together a compelling, fact-based crime narrative. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Immerse yourself in the fashionable world of monomers and polymers by studying the chemistry of cosmetics. Christopher Wolyniak, Shae Shenefield, and Anastasia Brown will lead you on an investigation into the chemical makeup of the various beauty and personal care products we use on our bodies. How does chemistry transform raw ingredients into commercial products? Come find out. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 6th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Look around at the everyday products in your home, like toothpaste, hair gel, shaving cream, shampoo. If you were to make these products yourself, which chemicals would you use? How do chemists figure out how to make all these colors and textures? Come find out with chemists and product designers Elizabeth Knapp, Mellanie Garner, and get to make your own hair products and create the perfect shade of foundation. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 3rd grade – 5th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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ParticipantsJoanna Neiss

Ever wonder how zoo animals from otters to porcupines learn to follow simple commands? Come find out from expert trainers at the Staten Island Zoo, and learn enough about clicker training methods to train your own animals to be calm and well-behaved, whether at the vet, in the park, in transit, in your house, or in your future studies in wildlife conservation. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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ParticipantsTrey Taylor

Clean energy is the holy grail of our sustainable future. We’ve seen great strides in the use of both solar panels and wind turbines, but what about water, our most abundant resource? Come join entrepreneur Trey Taylor on an exploration of new hydropower solutions that have a shot at revolutionizing the future. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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When Alan Alda was 11-years-old, he asked his teacher, “What’s a flame?” Her response—“It’s oxidation”—left him both disappointed and still in the dark. From this moment of discouragement blossomed today’s Flame Challenge, now in its seventh year: a contest that challenges scientists all over the world to explain a basic scientific concept simply and clearly enough that an 11-year-old can understand. This year’s Flame Challenge is “What is climate?” It’s not an easy question to answer. In this program, we will meet the winners of the challenge, hear their simple yet brilliantly clear explanations of climate, and even see a man-made floor-to-ceiling tornado.

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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ModeratorSolon Barocas

Whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not, A.I. is now embedded in our everyday existence. From healthcare to law enforcement, from driverless cars to autopilots in flight, from e-commerce to employment applications–all rely on A.I. to make crucial decisions that have far-reaching implications to our bodies, our wallets, our safety, and our lives. So how good is A.I. at doing its job? Only as good as the data it’s given, and that data is often tainted by human bias and/or error. Can these biases and errors be eliminated? Are we damaging the fabric of society by handing so much power to A.I., or saving it? Join our salon of scientists and ethicists as they grapple with these and a host of issues that will define our future.

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

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ParticipantsKely Norel

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a secret agent, international spy, or an elite computer coder entrusted with keeping the world safe from the underground network of shapeshifting hackers, this apprenticeship is for you. Come encrypt then decrypt hidden messages using a cipher wheel with computer scientist Raquel Norel as she introduces you to the exciting secrets of cryptography. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Levitating trains, detecting earthquakes, and monitoring volcanoes: immerse yourself in the wonders of electricity, magnetism and their powerful applications to the natural world. Physicist and electrical engineer Oki Gunawan and computer engineer Bhavna Agrawal will show you how to construct and study a new type of magnetic trap and use it to build earthquake and volcano tilt sensors to better predict and monitor natural disasters. This is a student-only program for kids currently enrolled in the 4th grade – 8th grade. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Nearly every group has its extreme outliers. Where does fundamentalism come from? How does the most powerful organ in the known universe, the human brain, make emotionally driven decisions that ignore reason and fact? We’ll talk to neuroscientists, psychologists, and anthropologists about why our species may have evolved to accommodate the set of behaviors we associate with zealotry.

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

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In collaboration with Elsevier and the Annals of Physics, World Science Festival invites faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate physics students, and particularly well-informed members of the general public to join either or both of these all-day, high-level workshops focusing on quantum information theory and nuclear astrophysics in the era of multi-messenger astronomy.

THE MESSENGER ROADMAP: NUCLEAR ASTROPHYSICS IN THE ERA OF MULTI-MESSENGER ASTRONOMY
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018 | 9:00 AM – 5:15 PM

QUANTUM LEAPS: QUANTUM INFORMATION IN QUANTUM MANY BODY PHYSICS
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2018 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

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Presented in collaboration with Elsevier and the Annals of Physics.

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