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World Science Festival

Starting tomorrow, June 10th, and continuing through Sunday, June 14th. In New York.

The event is chaired by Brian Greene, a physicist at Columbia University and recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory, is also well-known for his efforts to make science accessible. He’s written a children’s book about the theory of relativity and appeared on the radio program RadioLab several times.

One director on the board is Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series, M*A*S*H, and, more recently, appeared in continuing roles on ER and The West Wing.

The festival plans 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, an unprecedented annual tribute to imagination, ingenuity and inventiveness, takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, theaters, museums, and public halls of New York City, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating.”

Maybe I’m just totally out of the loop, but this is the first time I’ve seen ads for this. Whoever did their publicity did not get much past New York City. Which maybe was their point. They’ve included venues all over New York, from parks to art museums to universities.

One event that looks really fun is their Bio Blitz planned in Manhatten and Brooklyn.

“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”.”

There is a talk on Sunday featuring E.O. Wilson and Mark Moffett talking about what they’ve found on Bio Blitzes.

The festival also plans to have concerts, speakers, and all sorts of events over the weekend. It also looks like many of the events are free. If you are anywhere in the area, I highly recommend it.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.