The best and brightest minds in science will descend on New York City for the 2011 World Science Festival, June 1-5. New York University will be among the hosts for the highest-profile event of its kind in the United States. Now in its fourth year, the World Science Festival will feature 50 events in scientific disciplines ranging from astronomy, physics, and genetics to neuroscience, robotics, and mathematics. The Festival’s programs will also integrate traditional arts disciplines – dance, theatre, music, and visual arts.
The Festival will conclude with its Youth and Family Street Fair in and around Washington Square Park on Sunday, June 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This free, day-long public event will feature a program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows designed to entertain and inspire. Performances and exhibits will include: Dancing Mad Scientist Jeffrey Vinokur; Franklin Institute’s Traveling Scientists; Central Park Zoo’s Wild Life Theater; characters from the Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid television shows; American Museum of Natural History’s Moveable Museum—Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries; The Science of Ping Pong; What Lies Beneath: Science of Underwater Exploration; The Smell Lab: Test your smell IQ; The CSI Experience; and more. For additional information, click here.
Among the 2011 World Science Festival events are the following:
· “The Dark Side of the Universe,” Thursday, June 2, 8-9:30 p.m., NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South)
For all we understand about the universe, 96 percent of what’s out there still has scientists in the dark. Astronomical observations have established that familiar matter—atoms—accounts for only 4 percent of the weight of the cosmos. The rest—dark matter and dark energy—is invisible to our telescopes. But what really is this dark stuff? How do we know it’s there? And what does it do? From the formation of galaxies to the farthest reaches of space, it appears that darkness rules. Without dark matter and dark energy, the universe today and in the far future would be a completely different place. Join us in a discussion with leading researchers who smash together particles, dive into underground mines, and explore the edges of the known universe in search of clues to nature’s dark side. Panelists include Columbia University Professor Brian Greene, co-founder of the World Science Festival, and NYU Physics Professor Glennys Farrar.
· “The Unbearable Lightness of Memory,” Friday, June 3, 8-9:30 p.m., the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue
It’s the thought of your childhood home. It’s that comforting aroma you can still smell 10 years later. It’s the way you define yourself. It’s your memory. Where is memory stored? How do we recall? Why do we forget? We’ll shine a light on these and many other questions about memory from a molecular, psychological, and emotional perspective. Discover how your long-term memories can be naturally twisted, tweaked, and changed. Understand how memories of the past can also help us peer into the future. And explore the bumpy road even a youthful mind sometimes travels when experiencing déjà vu, succumbing to suggestibility, or having a “senior” moment. Panelists include NYU Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Elizabeth Phelps and Harvard University Psychology Professor Daniel Schacter.
· “Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World,” Saturday, June 4, 3-4:30 p.m., NYU’s Eisner and Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center for University Life (60 Washington Square South at LaGuardia Place)
Since the earliest days of communication, clever minds have devised methods for enciphering messages to shield them from prying eyes. Today, cryptography has moved beyond the realm of dilettantes and soldiers to become a sophisticated scientific art—combining mathematics, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. It not only protects messages, but it also safeguards our privacy. From email to banking transactions, modern cryptography is used everywhere. But does it really protect us? Join us in a discussion of cryptography’s far-reaching influence throughout history (from Julius Caesar’s reign to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks), and the ways in which it—and our privacy—are constantly under assault today as threats lurk behind IP addresses, computational power increases, and our secrets move online. Speakers include Tal Rabin of the Cryptography Research Group at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center and Simon Singh, a documentary filmmaker and author of The Code Book.
· “Music and the Spark of Spontaneity,” Saturday, June 4, 8-9:30 p.m., Cooper Union's Great Hall (30 Cooper Square at Lafayette)
Music. Improvisation. Spontaneous creativity. How does the brain do it? In the world of improvised music, eighteen-time Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is a legend. Take a live tour of his masterful musical mind at work as he performs and engages in discussion with leading scientists who are also all musicians—Jamshed Bharucha, whose research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience will identify and interpret the biological center of creativity; Charles Limb, an otolaryngologist, surgeon, and neuroscientist who uses fMRI to study musicians while they improvise; Gary Marcus, a NYU developmental psychologist who taught himself to play guitar at age 40 in order to examine the process of learning music; and Aaron Berkowitz, author of The Improvising Mind: Cognition and Creativity in the Musical Moment. Through performance and conversation, the program will explore the neurological processes underlying improvisation and what they tell us about human creativity and the structure of the brain.
A full schedule and ticket information is available at www.worldsciencefestival.com.
NYU is a university partner of the 2011 World Science Festival.
Media requests for tickets should be submitted to email@example.com or call Goodman Media International at 212.576.2700. Media seating is limited, so all requests should be submitted as early as possible. Media credentials will be required for entry.
About the World Science Festival
The World Science Festival is an annual celebration of science that brings together great minds in its mission to cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future. The World Science Festival is a production of the Science Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in New York City.
About New York University
New York University is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Founded in 1831, it is one of America’s foremost research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. It is one of the largest private universities, it is a leader in attracting international students and scholars in the U.S., and it sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university. Through its 18 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.
NYU Skirball Center
The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. For more, go to: www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu.