First annual World Science Festival

May 28, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
The first annual World Science Festival will take place from May 28 through June 1 at 15 venues throughout New York City, many in the Washington Square Area of Greenwich Village. The festival will bring together more than a dozen Nobel Laureates, leading researchers, top-level technologists, dedicated educators and high-level policy makers with creative artists, filmmakers, and performers to create more than 40 unique events that will shine a spotlight on science and explore the many ways in which scientific discovery and innovation are shaping modern life.

The World Science Festival springs from the vision of its co-founders, Brian Greene and Tracy Day. Greene is a Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics and the host of the PBS series The Elegant Universe, based on his Pulitzer Prize finalist bestselling book. Day is a four-time National News Emmy Award winning journalist and producer whose credits include Nightline and This Week with David Brinkley.

Highlights of the Festival's four components include:

Signature Events

  • "The Science of Longevity," in which Pulitzer Prize-winning author and gerontologist Robert Butler offers an overview of the latest research on living healthy to 120;
  • "Oliver Sacks - The Mind's Eye," a wide-ranging conversation between Oliver Sacks and Robert Krulwich on the complex and often surprising relationship between vision and the brain, presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art;

  • "Invisible Reality," in which Alan Alda will join Brian Greene and other leading scientists to survey how quantum mechanics, initially proposed early in the 20th century to better describe the behavior of the smallest constituents of the universe, has evolved to reflect on the very nature of reality.

    Youth and Family Events

  • "The Science of Imagination," where technologists from Walt Disney Imagineering explore the theoretical underpinnings of robotics, pyrotechnics, virtual reality, Special FX, and Artificial Intelligence;
  • "The Science of Sports" in which neurologists, physicists, nutritionists and psychologists join representatives of the National Basketball Association to explore what it takes to become an elite athlete;
  • "Pioneers in Science" during which New York high school students interview Nobel Laureates and world-renowned scientists, some of whom graduated from the city's public school system;
  • The World Science Festival Street Fair in downtown Manhattan on Saturday, May 31st ? an all-day event featuring an array of exhilarating exhibits, games, and performances.

    Science and Culture Events

  • "The Elegant Universe" featuring a dance performance by Director/Choreographer Karole Armitage at the Guggenheim Museum;
  • "The Bourne Trilogy," in which Producer/Director Doug Liman and James Schamus of Focus Features join a prominent neuroscientist to explore brain function, memory, personality and identity as seen through the lens of Jason Bourne, the remarkable fictional character that inspired the Hollywood movies recently acquired by the MoMA Film Department for its permanent collection.
  • "Towards Silence: Sounds of Consciousness," a special presentation with the Rubin Museum of Art in which neuroscientist Cliff Saron joins Paul Robertson of the Medici String Quartet for a pre-performance exploration of the scientific context of John Tavener's composition, "Towards Silence," a world premiere musical meditation on the four states of consciousness according to Hinduism.

    The World Science Summit, the Festival's opening event and a single-day, invitation only gathering at which leading scientists, policy makers, business, academic and cultural leaders exchange ideas and information about cutting-edge scientific and technological innovations, and explore their potential for impact on the world at large. The Summit, created in partnership with Columbia University and with collaboration from The Aspen Institute, will begin on the morning of May 28, 2008 at Columbia University.

    Tickets for most events will go on sale on April 8, 2008 at the World Science Festival website, which also hosts complete programming information for the Festival.

    For more information, visit