World Science Festival comes to Brisbane in 2016

By AAP with AG staff 4 May 2015
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In a coup for Brisbane, the river city has secured the World Science Festival in 2016, the first time it’s ever been held outside of New York

BRISBANE HAS NEGOTIATED the right present a world-class science festival in 2016, but instead of famous scientists, a former M*A*S*H star is being spruiked as the biggest drawcard.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that the Queensland Museum would host the World Science Festivalfrom March 9 next year, becoming the first city outside of New York to do so.

The New York event has previously featured big names including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, neurologist Oliver Sacks and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

The only person confirmed so far for the event is actor and festival board member Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, and who has been a long-time advocate for science education. 

“When I was in high school, I thought that if you were interested in the arts you weren’t supposed to be interested in science,” said Alan. 

“This was hard because I was intoxicated by both. Now, after 15 years of interviewing some of the most inventive scientists around the world, I realise that the creativity, rigor and sheer fun of science is very similar to what keeps the heart beating for those of us in the arts. It makes me deliriously happy to see the World Science Festival bring art and science together again: and for the World Science Festival Brisbane to bring this unique blend to Australia.”

 Other guests would be announced in August, said QQueensland Museum director Suzanne Miller. “There will be some other very big names for the worlds of science and arts coming to Brisbane.”

World Science Festival in Brisbane for three years

The Premier said the government had contributed $650,000 to secure the rights for the festival for three years at the museum, with the option to extend for another three years.

“(The festival) will take science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and performing arts venues of Brisbane and regional Queensland,” she said.

The festival was was co-founded in 2008 in New York by renowned physicist and best-selling author Brian Greene and Emmy award-winning producer Tracy Day.