World Science Festival gears up again


Four days of geeky fun looms for the city of Brisbane.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind – first a movie, now a concert.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – first a movie, now a concert.
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Get a healthy dose of all things science and wonderful at the World Science Festival, which will take over every corner of the Australian city of Brisbane from March 21 to 25.

This event is sponsored by the Queensland Government and hosted by the Queensland Museum. This year’s program is centred around what makes us human, and how science and humanity amalgamate.

The highpoint of the festival is the world premiere of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in Concert — a musical spectacular showcasing tunes from the iconic 1970s science fiction film. It is a collaborative effort put together by the World Science Festival Brisbane, Film Concerts Live! and Columbia Pictures.

Leading scientific speakers include the inspirational former Australian of the Year Fiona Wood and Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel. Australian National Living Treasure and science communicator extraordinaire Karl Kruszelnicki will grace audiences with his wit and unleash mountains of interesting knowledge about everything from extra-terrestrials to the secrets of healthy living.

There are many offerings for children of all sizes, with options for schools to secure group bookings.

Learn about the intriguing and ever-evolving job market that awaits future generations from the scientists that are making headway in unlikely professions. The famous international ‘mathemagician’ Arthur Benjamin will definitely get the kids thinking differently about maths. There are also apprenticeship programs that involve hands-on workshops in DNA laboratories and the Queensland museum.

Kids and adults alike can delight in the success of the conservation effort to preserve the Loggerhead Turtle as they follow the journey of the newest batch from incubation to hatching.

There are unique opportunities for budding science communicators, passionate citizen scientists and experienced science journalists to be recognised as digital ambassadors of the festival. Applications are now open and winners will be given a chance to attend various events for free, including many of the festivals highlights and use their voice to spread the word via social media.

For the cinema enthusiasts there is the Leonardo DiCaprio call to arms for climate change action, Before the Flood. Discover the stories behind unsung science heroes such as Hedy Lamarr, the lady behind the creation of the radio system, and Henrietta Lack, the woman whose ‘immortal’ line of cancer cells led to myriad medical breakthroughs.

The regional program ensures that those living outside of Brisbane can also partake in the festivities. The popular Street Science Show will use explosions and liquid nitrogen to demonstrate various marvels. Meeting Mars One Project astronaut candidate Josh Richards is an opportunity not to be missed. Enjoy a day out with family and friends filled with the most fascinating science exhibits and meet passionate scientists at the various community days.

The festival is truly a celebration of all things science and strives to bring the discipline out of laboratories and into society. Given that this extraordinary phenomenon is happening right here in Australia, make sure you have a great view of all the sensational science on show.

Geetanjali Rangnekar is a science communicator and editor, based in Adelaide, Australia.
  1. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/program/events/close-encounters-third-kind-concert/
  2. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/education-program/
  3. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/program/events/hatchery-turtle-conservation-experience/
  4. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/participate/become-festival-digital-ambassador/
  5. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/regional-program/
  6. http://www.worldsciencefestival.com.au/2018-program/
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