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2009 Festival Events

June 10 - June 14

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

  • Emily at the Edge of Chaos With Lawrence Krauss and Janna Levin

    Janna Levin, Lawrence M. Krauss, Emily Levine Baruch Performing Arts Center

    In this one-woman show, join writer/comedian Emily Levine on two parallel journeys: from Newton’s rational universe to the universe of chaos and from her own perfect health to mysterious, devastating illness. A surprising, thought-provoking and entertaining meditation on what the lessons of science can teach us about ourselves, followed by a conversation with physicists Lawrence Krauss and Janna Levin.

    Marcia Jean Kurtz, Director. Ray Recht, Set & Lighting Designer. Developed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre as part of the EST/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project for plays about Science & Technology

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  • Bio Blitzing in the Boroughs

    Tyrone Hayes Blitz Locations

    New York City might be the epicenter of human diversity, but what about our biodiversity? Join us for a Bio Blitz in some of the city’s most beautiful parks and gardens. Professional naturalists and research scientists will guide urban explorers of all ages and backgrounds in a scientific inventory of the flora, fauna, fungi — and all things crawly. In honor of E.O. Wilson, pioneer of the Bio Blitz method, this event will inspire Wilson-like wonder and appreciation for the natural diversity found right in our own neighborhood.

    The Bio Blitzes will be a scientific survey to catalog all of the species found at the sites. The Blitzes will be part contest (to identify as many species as possible), part educational event, and part scientific endeavor. All programs will be free with the idea of engaging families and lay-people at the community level. Other educational activities could include field explorations and interpretative walks and talks to increase the public’s awareness of the diversity of their own “backyard”.

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  • Einstein, Time & Cool Stuff

    William Phillips Rosenthal Pavilion

    What is the relationship between speed and temperature? What does that have to do with making a perfect clock? Back by overwhelming popular demand, Nobel prize-winning physicist William Phillips takes audiences on a journey to the lowest temperatures ever recorded. Featuring jaw-dropping experiments, Phillips demonstrates what happens when ordinary objects are taken to the edge of absolute zero.

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  • Mathemagician 2009

    Arthur Benjamin Tishman Auditorium at The New School

    Reader’s Digest has called “Mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin “America’s Best Math Whiz.” Returning in an encore presentation, Arthur Benjamin displays feats of mental mathematical gymnastics and shares the secrets behind his skills. A combination of math and magic, this program will captivate the entire family.

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  • Avian Einsteins

    Faith Salie, Erich Jarvis, Irene Pepperberg, Jonathan Rosen, David Rothenberg, Irena Schulz, Ofer Tchernichovski NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

    How do we learn to speak? What is the connection between language and movement? Join a broad and distinguished panel of biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, musicians and writers, including leading bird scientists Erich Jarvis and Irene Pepperberg, on an exploration of how striking parallels between bird and human brains are providing sharp new insights into how we acquire language and links between hearing and movement. Featuring a special appearance of Snowball, the dancing cockatoo of YouTube fame.

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  • Science Faith Religion

    Bill Blakemore, Colin McGinn, Kenneth Miller, Lawrence M. Krauss, Guy Consolmagno Tishman Auditorium at The New School

    Public debate, pitting atheist against believer, typically yields a polarized picture. Might a more nuanced conversation that transcends simplistic assertions, and weaves insights from physics, biology, and psychology provide a more fruitful exchange of ideas? Bill Blakemore hosts scientists Lawrence Krauss, Ken Miller and Guy Consolmagno, and philosopher Colin McGinn to find out.

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  • Flash of Genius Stories of Invention

    Alan Alda, Hugh Herr, Dean Kamen Baruch Performing Arts Center

    Alan Alda explores the nature of creative breakthroughs with innovators Dean Kamen, holder of more than 440 U.S. patents, and Hugh Herr, Director of the MIT Biomechatronics lab. The instant of inspiration can be as unpredictable as lightening, but true innovators create optimum conditions for transformative insights. What does it take to throw out conventional approaches to a problem and come up with something entirely new? Join us for a discussion about curiosity, passion, perseverance, collaboration and discovery.

    Before the discussion, join Alan Alda for a screening of the film Flash of Genius, based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns’ long battle with the U.S. automobile industry to receive recognition for his ingenuity at any price.

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  • Time Since Einstein

    John Hockenberry, David Z. Albert, Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara, George Ellis, Michael Heller, Sir Roger Penrose Gerald W. Lynch Theater

    Albert Einstein shattered previous ideas about time, but left many pivotal questions unanswered: Does time have a beginning? An end? Why does it move in only one direction? Is it real, or something our minds impose on reality? Journalist John Hockenberry leads a distinguished panel, including renowned physicist Sir Roger Penrose and prominent philosopher David Albert, as they explore the nature of time.



    This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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  • Diabesity American's Twin Epidemics

    Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

    Over 23 million Americans are living with diabetes and, while many of the disease’s traumatic effects are well known, new findings suggest that “diabesity”—diabestes combined with obesity—may lead to brain impairment as well. Join Drs. John Kral, Francine Kaufman, and Antonio Convit with other leading researches as they explore the wide-ranging implication—for policy, preventions, and possibly cure—of these startling studies.

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  • Peak Experience

    Robert Anderson Rubin Museum of Art

    Peak Experience is the ultimate sleepover adventure for forty children, ages 9-12, as they work together to confront the challenges of climbing Mt. Everest. Led by Robert Anderson, sherpas, and some of the world’s most experienced climbers, these young participants will explore the many scientific aspects of mountain climbing — from the physiological demands to the physics.

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  • Time the Familiar Stranger Mysteries of Mind and Time

    Harold Evans, Daniel Gilbert, Oliver Sacks, Warren Meck Gerald W. Lynch Theater

    Time allows us to live in the moment, reflect on the past, plan for the future. It’s our most familiar, precious, yet mysterious commodity. Celebrated author and neurologist Oliver Sacks and psychologist Daniel Gilbert draw on converging insights from physical, biological and neurological perspectives to reflect on this most vital factor shaping the human experience.

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  • Yours to Decide Fate, Free Will, Neither or Both?

    Sir Paul Nurse, Daniel M Wegner, Alfred Mele, Patrick Haggard 92nd Street Y

    Do we choose our actions or are they pre-determined? Is free will real or an illusion? In this special presentation with the 92nd Street Y, Nobel laureate Paul Nurse joins psychologist Daniel Wegner, neuroscientist Patrick Haggard, and philosopher Alfred Mele for a discussion that promises to illuminate this pivotal and perplexing age-old puzzle.



    This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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  • Infinite Worlds A Journey through Parallel Universes

    Robert Krulwich, Alan Guth, Brian Greene, Andrei Linde, Paul D. Miller, Nick Bostrom NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

    The multiverse hypothesis, suggesting that our universe is but one of perhaps infinitely many, speaks to the very nature of reality. Join physicist Brian Greene, cosmologists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, and philosopher Nick Bostrom as they discuss and debate this controversial implication of forefront research and explore its potential for redefining the cosmic order. Moderated by Robert Krulwich and featuring an original musical interlude, inspired by parallel worlds, by DJ Spooky.


    This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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  • A New Look at Nuclear Power

    Yoon Chang, James Hansen Tishman Auditorium at The New School

    When listing clean renewable energy sources, solar, wind, and geothermal come to mind. But thanks to new reactor technologies, there’s a transformation afoot. Some of the most ardent foes of nuclear power now believe it must be a large part of the energy mix to solve the world’s climate woes. Join pioneering nuclear engineer Yoon Chang and renowned climate scientist James Hansen in this exploration of the science and rationale behind giving nuclear power a second chance.

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Sunday

  • 2009 World Science Festival Street Fair

    Washington Square Park

    The New York University/Washington Square Park area was a science wonderland when the World Science Festival Youth and Family Street Fair returned to New York City on Sunday, June 14. This free, day-long extravaganza showcased the intrigue and pure fun of science with a non-stop program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows, all meant to entertain and inspire.
    Click here for a detailed map and schedule.

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  • Galileo The Starry Messenger

    Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

    The Starry Messenger is a dramatic fun filled adaptation of Galileo’s short treatise Siderius Nuncius. Galileo (dressed in 17th century costume) has arrived at the World Science Festival to present a public lecture on his most recent discoveries made using his newly devised spyglass. As he describes his discoveries, Galileo’s new method of observation and measurement of nature become apparent. Throughout the presentation the “esteemed scientists” in the audience are actively involved in experiments and demonstrations.

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  • Surfing the Solar System With Lucy Hawking

    Lucy Hawking Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

    Lucy Hawking’s talk ‘Surfing the Solar System’ is a young person’s guide to the Solar System and the fascinating universe beyond. Lucy will discuss working with her father, Professor Stephen Hawking, on George’s Secret Key to the Universe, the children’s book that they have authored together. Discover the mysteries of physics, science and the universe in an informative and entertaining look at just what is — and isn’t — out there.

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  • Move Speak Spin

    Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

    The Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, under the direction of founders Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern, has entertained audiences throughout North America with their delightful mix of physicality, humor, and a playful sense of the mathematical. Spinning together rhythm, dance, and storytelling, the company entertains with performances that seamlessly blend art and science. From tap dance to the permutations of a single sheet of paper, from flying machines to the ancient Chinese puzzle tangrams, this dance company displays the magic and mystery that is both dance and mathematics. The company has won five National Endowment for the Arts grants for its work linking dance and mathematics, and will be performing several of these works at the World Science Festival.

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  • BioBlitzing the Planet Ants, Frogs and Crawling Wonders

    Josh Zepps, Edward O. Wilson, Mark Moffett Eisner & Lubin Auditorium

    How do ants communicate? Are we more like them than we imagine? What is the biggest frog ever photographed? And why does it matter? Bringing Bio Blitzing in the Boroughs full circle, America’s consummate naturalist E.O. Wilson and world-renowned insect scientist and photographer Mark Moffett share stories from their adventures in exploring the fascinating and surprising biodiversity of life on Earth. A lively and visually compelling conclusion to the WSF Street Fair in Washington Square Park.

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