Travel

The World Science Festival 2014

As if you needed another reason to visit New York City, the World Science Festival 2014 held at the end of this month may inspire you to pack your getaway bag.

Now in its seventh year, the World Science Festival is an extraordinary celebration of science that takes place May 28-June 1, throughout the city. Its mission is to make science compelling and accessible to everyone. It does that by taking science out of the laboratory and bringing it to life on a local level in unique and creative ways by some of the world’s leading scientific and artistic minds. Intimate to large-scale festival events are held in museums, kitchens, theatres, parks, and in the streets. Last year, the five-day festival drew over 200,000 visitors and to date has attracted over 1 million attendees.

Co-founded by Brian Greene, widely recognized for groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory, and award-winning journalist Tracy Day, the World Science Festival has earned its place in the city as a new cultural institution. “There’s no experience more thrilling than having kids and adults learn about a great scientific discovery and in the process gain access to a whole new universe of ideas and possibilities,” said Greene.

For anyone who might think science isn’t your thing, the World Science Festival may just change your mind. The program features day and evening events, from a MOTH science-themed StorySLAM in a nightclub, to urban stargazing and music with astronomers and physicists. Like beer, butter, or baking? How about a workshop in the Scientific Kitchen Series? There’s one that will be given by a renowned pastry chef and a biophysicist that will have you reexamining your sense of taste, touch and smell when it comes to making pie. Mast Brothers Chocolate will take you behind the scenes and inspire an altogether different passion for chocolate when you discover the scientific process that goes into producing a bar of your favorite stuff.

Speaking of addictions, ever wonder why some folks can have one drink and never touch the stuff again, while others can’t stop coming back for more? The Craving Brain: The Science of Uncontrollable Urges features a panel of leading researchers whose work focuses on how addiction changes the fabric of the brain and new breakthroughs that may one day change all that. Their study is up for the Kavli Prize, a prestigious $1 million award that recognizes scientists in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. The Flame Challenge, a contest hosted by Alan Alda where scientists pose a complex question to an 11-year-old, focuses on the world of color.

Cool Jobs features a group of scientists who don’t have to slog it out in a cubicle every day because these folks have some of the most interesting gigs on the planet. From repairing the Hubble Space Telescope, to the exploration of human-robot interaction, to leading an expedition in search of leeches, these are just a few cool jobs to inspire exploring a career in science for any young ones you might have in your family.

On The Shoulders of Giants features a leading figure in the science community. This year, geneticist and humanitarian Dr. Mary-Claire King, who discovered the breast cancer gene BRCA1, will give the special address. A festival signature event, anyone lucky enough to be in the audience will be in for a treat.  From the science of your family tree, to a debate on the latest discoveries of the big bang, to a theatrical exploration of Einstein’s life, there lots of brilliant events to choose.

The World Science Festival will fire up your imagination. So if you want to be blinded by science, get smart and visit New York City.  Geekness not required.

For the full event lineup and ticket info, click here.

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