2012 World Science Festival: Premiere Science Event in the United States Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary

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5 Days, 50 Events – Including Activities Designed for Everyone from Scientific Novices to Nobel Laureates – May 30th to June 3rd, 2012 Tickets Go on Sale to the Public April 26th

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The 2012 World Science Festival (worldsciencefestival.com) returns to New York City for its fifth anniversary season, May 30th to June 3rd, 2012 with more than 50 extraordinary events, performances and exhibitions designed to make the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating.

The Festival brings together many of the world’s leading scientific minds with renowned artists and influential thinkers to illuminate science in novel and exciting ways, breaking down barriers and connecting leading scientists to a broader public. Since its inception, the annual Festival has attracted more than 600,000 people to 200 programs in locations throughout New York City. It is the nation’s most anticipated science event and allows everyone – kids and adults, novice and enthusiast – to experience science in a unique and thrilling way.

The 2012 World Science Festival opens with the stunning multi-media performance piece Icarus at the Edge of Time, at the United Palace Theatre on May 30th, featuring an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, a film directed by innovative cutting-edge British filmmakers Al+Al, and a script adapted by author, physicist and string theorist Brian Greene and Tony-Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang.

Topics for the programs that follow include Einstein’s “spooky action” in quantum mechanics, the link between brilliance and madness, never-before-seen footage of coral reefs, the surprising role of quantum physics in biology, an examination of why the human species prevailed, the next wave of the internet, an exploration of some of the coolest jobs in science, and a journey toward the coldest temperatures ever recorded.

The Festival will feature two daylong family-friendly, immersive events for budding scientists: “Science-On-Site: Explorations in Brooklyn Bridge Park” on June 2nd which culminates with an evening of stargazing, and “The Ultimate Science Street Fair” in Washington Square Park on June 3rd—a jam packed, wall-to-wall science extravaganza.

Also new this year is “Innovation Square”, a daylong tech fest in downtown Brooklyn that celebrates innovation by transforming NYU Poly’s MetroTech outdoor quad into a technophile’s playground, teeming with innovations from all over the world.

In an invitation-only event, the Festival will host the prestigious 2012 Kavli Prizes, the international biennial awards that recognize scientists whose outstanding advances have dramatically expanded human understanding in the fields of Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience - the big, the small, and the complex. The Kavli Prizes consist of $1 million in each of the three scientific fields, with this year’s laureates to be announced at the Festival live-via-satellite from The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, Norway.

A preliminary list of 2012 World Science Festival’s distinguished participants includes: Nobel Laureates Bill Philips and Harold Varmus; Pulitzer Prize winners Siddhartha Mukherjee and Richard Rhodes; Government leaders John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; world-renowned scientists Oliver Sacks, E.O. Wilson, Eric Lander and Elaine Fuchs; award winning filmmaker and videographer Lynette Wallworth and architectural artist Tomás Saraceno.

The World Science Festival was co-founded in 2008 by Brian Greene, Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics and bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality, and Tracy Day, Emmy Award-winning journalist and television producer.

Complete information about all of the 2012 Festival’s programming and special guests will be announced later this month and will be available online at http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.

World Science Festival 2012 Cultural Partners, whose collaboration enriches the diverse spectrum of Festival programming, include:

  •     American Museum of Natural History
  •     Brooklyn Bridge Park
  •     Eyebeam Art + Technology Center
  •     Le Poisson Rouge
  •     Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  •     The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  •     The Moth
  •     Museum of the Moving Image
  •     New-York Historical Society
  •     Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin
  •     United Palace Theatre

The World Science Festival’s 2012 University Partners provide a broad range of Festival support. The 2012 University Partners include:

  •     The City University of New York
  •     The Cooper Union
  •     Columbia University
  •     The New School
  •     New York University
  •     The Rockefeller University

About the World Science Festival:
The World Science Festival is a production of the Science Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New York City. The Foundation's mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

The World Science Festival has been made possible with the generous support of its Founding Benefactors: the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.

The World Science Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its major sponsors, Ann Ziff, Con Edison and The Kavli Prize; its media partners, ABC News, ABC Radio, WABC-TV, Mental Floss, Popular Science, Time Warner Cable, The Week, WNYC Radio; and its university partners, New York University, The City University of New York, Columbia University, The Rockefeller University, The New School, and The Cooper Union.

To learn more about the World Science Festival, visit http://www.worldsciencefestival.com, or follow the World Science Festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Media Contacts:
Caroline Andoscia // caroline(at)andoscia(dot)com // 212-475-2122 x701 917-207-4060
Dan Scheffey // dan(at)andoscia(dot)com // 212-475-2122 x702 917-647-7626

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Frances Reilly
World Science Festival
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