World Science Festival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World Science Festival
WSF logo 300.jpg
The festival's logo
GenreScience festival
Location(s)New York City, New York
CountryUnited States
Inaugurated2008 (2008)
Patron(s)Founding benefactors: Simons Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation
SponsorWorld Science Foundation

The World Science Festival is an annual science festival hosted by the World Science Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York City.[1] There is also an Asia-Pacific event held in Brisbane, Australia.

The foundation's goal is to create a broad public that is 'informed about science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and willing to consider its impact on the future."


The festival was founded and established by Brian Greene, professor of mathematics and physics at Columbia University and author of several science books (including The Elegant Universe, and The Hidden Reality); and Tracy Day, a four-time National News Emmy Award-winning journalist, who has produced live and documentary programsfor the nation's most prominent television news departments. Greene is now chairman of the World Science Foundation and Day is executive of the World Science Festival.[2]

The festival's events are rooted in science, but also meet the production standards of professional television and live theater events. Founding benefactors include the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.[3]

Board of directors[edit]

The founding benefactors were the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.[4]

Inaugural festival[edit]

The inaugural festival took place May 28 - June 1, 2008, at 22 venues in New York City. The festival, described by The New York Times as a "new cultural institution," included 46 events, a street festival, and, on the first day, the day-long World Science Summit at Columbia University. Among the more than 150 participants, speakers and artists were 11 Nobel Prize laureates. Venues included the American Museum of Natural History, Abyssinian Baptist Church, and New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at Gould Plaza. The total audience was more than 120,000.[5]

World Science Festival venues[edit]

Audience preparing to watch "Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe" by Eric Whitacre in Brooklyn Bridge Park

New York City[edit]

Over the past 10 years, the festival has attracted more than two million visitors, with millions more viewing the programs online. Programming includes discussions, debates, plays, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons and large outdoor events in parks, museums, galleries and performing arts venues throughout New York City. For a complete list of program, visit the festival's official website, launched in 2004.


Since 2016, another event has been held each year in Brisbane, Australia. It is organized by Queensland Museum Network, which holds the exclusive license for in the Asia Pacific region from 2016 to 2021.[6]

Past participants[edit]

Past participants have included:

Nobel Laureates

The following Nobel Laureates have participated:

The full list of participants can be found on the festival's official website.


The World Science Festival maintains educational programs for students and adults around the world in many scientific disciplines.

Scholars have the rare chance to engage with Nobel Laureates, Breakthrough Prize recipients, and other cutting-edge researchers who serve as WSS professors.

World Science Scholars[edit]

The prestigious World Science Scholars program allows "high school students with exceptional mathematical talent to be mentored by world-renowned scientists and connect both online and in person with an elite group of peers." Scholars work together on projects, internships, exercises and discussions on topics such as particle physics, computational thinking, astrobiology, and string theory. The free two-year program is funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Previous World Science Scholars have included Brian Greene, Mandë Holford, Miguel Nicolelis, Stephen Wolfram, Cumrun Vafa, and Suzana Herculano-Houzel.[7]

World Science U[edit]

World Science U offers everyone from high school students to adults the opportunity to explore science topics with researchers and educators.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Non-profit status and chairman position from the foundation's 990-EZ form for 2006, accessible online via "GuideStar". GuideStar USA, Inc. 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.. Current board of directors from World Science Festival (April 2008). "Board of directors". Science Festival Foundation. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  2. ^ Cf. Musser, George (April 25, 2008). "A Science Fête Project: A Q&A with Brian Greene". Scientific American. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  3. ^ "Sponsors".
  4. ^ "Sponsors and Partners – World Science Festival – June 1–5, 2016 – New York City". World Science Festival – June 1–5, 2016 – New York City. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ – Venues and event numbers: Overbye, Dennis (June 3, 2008). "An Overflowing Five-Day Banquet of Science and Its Meanings". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
    – Summit: Timmer, John (May 28, 2008). "First Kavli Prize Winners in New Fields of Science Announced". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
    – Attendance: Souccar, Miriam (June 6, 2008). "City's Science Festival Attracts Record Numbers". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  6. ^ "About the World Science Festival Brisbane". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  7. ^ "World Science Scholars". World Science Festival. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  8. ^ "World Science U". World Science U. Retrieved June 13, 2021.

External links[edit]