Get ready for the World Science Festival Brisbane

Monday, 25 February, 2019

Get ready for the World Science Festival Brisbane

The World Science Festival Brisbane, the only global extension of the World Science Festival held every year in New York City, will be held from 20–24 March 2019.

The World Science Festival explores and celebrates the entanglement of science and art through a curated program of thought-provoking conversations, inspiring theatrical and cinematic experiences, interactive workshops and engaging demonstrations. The Brisbane event, presented by the Queensland Museum, will bring some of Australia’s and the world’s most eminent scientists and educators out of the labs and into Brisbane’s cultural precinct and regional Queensland.

The 2019 program will focus on brave new ideas as panellists debate the colossal challenges confronting humankind in the face of overpopulation and escalating climate change. Experts from around the globe will discuss the changes to the Great Barrier Reef, the wonder and fragility of Antarctica, endangered species and the confrontational experimentations in de-extinction, and feeding the world in the future.

Program highlights include:

  • A gala event fusing together science and art, aptly named ‘Time and the creative cosmos’, that celebrates the human spirit of exploration and discovery.
  • World Science Festival co-founder Brian Greene will explore the challenges of sending humans to Mars, using projection, sound and lighting to bring a virtual Mars to life. Participants will include Yvonne Cagle, a NASA astronaut and physician who now works on preserving historic NASA space legacy data, and Australian-born NASA astronaut Andrew Thomas — the first Australian to fly in space.
  • The Scientia Address, delivered by palaeontologist, explorer, conservationist and 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery alongside frequent collaborator and science enthusiast John Doyle.
  • The history of science in Antarctica and the impact of climate change on wildlife conservation, tourism and Southern Ocean fisheries, led by Gwen Fenton, Australian Antarctic Division Chief Scientist and Tas van Ommen, Program Leader, Antarctica and the Global System at Australian Antarctic Division.
  • Virginijus Siksnys, part of the team who won the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience for their discovery of the powerful new gene-editing technique CRISPR-Cas9, will headline the international panel ‘CRISPR: The Modern Creation Story’.
  • Australia’s favourite science communicator, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, returns for Extreme Moments in Science, taking audiences on an excursion around a scientific landscape from the sublime moments of deep thought to the arcane and bizarre.
  • ‘The Hatchery’, showcasing and supporting turtle conservation, will give visitors the opportunity to view baby loggerhead turtles hatching from eggs that are incubated on site and timed to emerge during the festival.
  • The Street Science! extravaganza will change Brisbane’s Cultural Forecourt into a massive science experiment for two days (23–24 March) with free hands-on activities for everyone, including robots, drones and explosive science shows on the Osmosis Stage.

The festival will also increase its reach beyond Brisbane, with its 2019 regional program including Gladstone, Townsville, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Chinchilla. The programs are designed to bring a sense of wonder, imagination and creativity together to further engage regional communities in science and STEM-related activities such as discussions with leading scientists, workshops and hands-on activities. Dates and locations are as follows:

  • Gladstone: 1–2 March 2019
  • Townsville: 8–9 March 2019
  • Ipswich: 17–18 March 2019
  • Toowoomba: 22–23 March 2019
  • Chinchilla: 29–30 March 2019

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the World Science Festival Brisbane continues to grow from strength to strength as people of all ages come together to learn, share and take an active role in the world around them.

“Bringing together astronauts, physicists, mathematicians, explorers, tech designers, researchers, marine biologists plus many others is a unique way for people to see the value of science in everything we do,” Dr Thompson said.

“I look forward to welcoming everyone to the festival in March as we share ideas, spark curiosity and showcase big ideas about science.”

Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the World Science Festival Brisbane is one of the world’s most engaging, exciting and educational science events ever to be held on our doorstep, having last year attracted more than 200,000 people and delivered more than 100 events across six locations. Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, added that the 2018 festival injected $8.96 million into the state economy.

“In 2019, Tourism and Events Queensland will host the inaugural Curiocity Brisbane, which includes World Science Festival Brisbane and invites visitors to explore, create and play through the festival, the new technology and innovation event QODE, and the interactive installations called Curiocities found around Brisbane in March and April,” Jones said.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Pictured: Promo image for Brian Greene’s show ‘We will be Martians: Our Future on the Red Planet’.

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