World Science Festival events

Posted by David Eicher
on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Brian Greene during the 'Light Falls' Einstein show, New York, May 27, 2015.
The World Science Festival, held May 27–31 in New York City, was a great event. I previously blogged about one of the largest activities associated with the festival, Astronomy magazine’s star party held in conjunction with Celestron, Discover magazine, Scistarter, and the Science Cheerleaders.

Many other events took place during the week. On the first night I arrived, Wednesday the 27th, I was struck with the opening event held in an auditorium at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, near the southeastern edge of Central Park.

Brian Greene, the festival’s organizer, put on a 90-minute show for our audience of about 600 called “Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein.” Brian narrated the life and achievements of Albert Einstein, aided by a cast of actors that included Jessica Frey, Carl Howell, and Michael Winther. It was exceptionally well done, giving the audience an overview of the life of Einstein, centered on the special and general theories of relativity, with entertaining audiovisual twists and decorations.

I have included several photos of this event in the Online Reader Gallery. Unfortunately I can’t share photos of many of the other events with you because photography, even for a media partner, was prohibited.

Other events during the week were equally as absorbing. There was a great Q&A session with NASA’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, in which she described her Ohio background, present and future NASA activities, the Webb Space Telescope, and various ongoing planetary missions. An excellent session, “To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe,” was chaired by Lawrence Krauss and featured discussions of dark energy by Adam Riess, Neil Turok, and others.

Another session on dark energy saw Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute leading a discussion with Riess, Josh Friedman, and Priyamvada Natarajan, with discussions of the relationship between dark matter and dark energy.

“On the Shoulders of Giants: Ed Witten” shared the Princeton University physicist’s life story and his quest to seek a unified theory that will unite Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.

And there were others.

You can see more about the festival’s activities here.

Astronomy magazine was a proud media partner of the 2015 World Science Festival. We look forward to participating again.

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