Wonderfest is a nonprofit California corporation dedicated to informal science education. Wonderfest seeks to inspire and nurture a deep sense of wonder about the world. Through provocative public discourse about science, Wonderfest aspires to stimulate curiosity, promote careful reasoning, challenge unexamined beliefs, and encourage lifelong learning. Wonderfest achieves these ends primarily through public science gatherings in the San Francisco Bay Area and through online science discourse & video.
Wonderfest achieved corporate independence in September 2011. During the preceding fourteen years, Wonderfest was an educational project of, first, San Francisco University High School, then, The Branson School. From 1998 to 2010, Wonderfest produced an annual science festival—the first such community-wide event in the United States—that presented a series of expert dialogues on topics of scientific controversy. The topics were varied, covering astronomy, biology, psychology, physics, etc. In 2011, this festival was supplanted by the Bay Area Science Festival, headquartered at the University of California, San Francisco.
Its board of directors now guides its development:
- Jacob Bien, PhD candidate in Statistics, Stanford University
- Jack Conte, musician & videographer
- Kelly Fehr, V.P., Director of Business Development for Science & Technology, HOK
- Douglas Kramlich, Principal of Krambo Corporation
- Juliana Gallin, creator of Ask a Scientist
- Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education
- Eric Yao, Technical Director of Wonderfest and CEO of Picturoo
- Richard Zare, Professor and Chemistry Department Chair, Stanford University
- "Sagan Prize Recipients". wonderfest.org. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Directors". wonderfest.org. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- Keay Davidson (August 13, 1998). "Wonderfest - A weekend of scientific debate and lectures". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco: Hearst). ISSN 1932-8672. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Astronomer Geoff Marcy, Earth's Premier Planet Hunter, Wins Carl Sagan Prize". prnewswire.com (Press release). October 22, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2011.