The five-day World Science Festival, running this year at venues in New York from Wednesday, May 27th to Sunday, May 31st, celebrates science with original programming that includes free events for young innovators, scientists-in-the-making, and families—as well as discourse, debate, theater, exhibitions, and social experiences that transform the city and bring the world’s leading scientists in direct contact with the broader public.
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 Festival’s flagship live event, launched in 2008, is an annual weeklong celebration and exploration of science. Through gripping debates, original theatrical works, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons, and major outdoor experiences, the Festival takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City.
This year’s feature event is Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s discovery of the general theory of relativity, this original work weaves together dramatic portrayals, state-of-the-art animation and innovative projection techniques to trace Einstein’s electrifying journey toward one of the most beautiful ideas ever conceived. Join Brian Greene and an ensemble cast for a dramatic retelling of the breakthrough moments, near misses, agonizing frustrations, and emergence into the light, as one intrepid mind took on the universe … and won. Participants include Brian Greene, Jessica Frey, Carl Howell, and Michael Winther. The creative team includes Scott Faris, Jeff Beal and 59 Productions.
Hailed a “new cultural institution” by the New York Times, the Festival has featured scientific and cultural luminaries including Stephen Hawking, Maggie Gyllenhaal, E.O. Wilson, John Lithgow, Sir Paul Nurse, Glenn Close, Harold Varmus, Yo-Yo Ma, Steven Weinberg, Philip Glass, Eric Lander, Steven Chu, Chuck Close, Richard Leakey, Bobby McFerrin, Sylvia Earle, Anna Deavere Smith, Oliver Sacks, Liev Schreiber, Mary-Claire King, Charlie Kaufman, Bill T. Jones, John Hockenberry, Elizabeth Vargas among many others.
The annual Festivals have collectively drawn more than 1.3 million visitors since 2008, and millions more have viewed the programs online.
World Science U is the Foundation’s online education arm where students and lifelong learners can dive more deeply through artfully produced digital education content presented by world-renowned scientists. hort courses, suitable for a broad spectrum of learners, typically require two to three weeks to complete and have no homework or exams. University courses are university-level offerings that typically require eight to ten weeks to complete. Students work at their own pace and can earn World Science U certification upon successful course completion. Science Unplugged provides hundreds of short video answers to a wide range of questions from “What is a Higgs Particle?” to “What happens to time near a black hole?” World Science U offers classes designed by prestigious scientists from leading research universities. The materials can generally be covered in a few hours. Students can earn World Science U certification upon successful class completion.