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The World Science Festival is a Fever Dream of Genius

With Disrupt, Creative Week, Internet Week, "PSFK":, the numerous art and music festivals that have run through town recently, and that great...

With Disrupt, Creative Week, Internet Week, PSFK, the numerous art and music festivals that have run through town recently, and that great Google Moogle or whatever it was called, New York looks like it’s running out of confab steam. But here comes the World Science Festival.

Tonight, while Oliver Sacks, Leslie Stahl, and others discuss the neurological effects of music on the brain, Richard Rhodes , Philip Glass, and Jennifer Choi will be celebrating electronics music pioneer George Antheil with a conversation and concert, while badass cosmologist Larry Krauss and rapper John Robinson will be talking neutrinos and the nature of the cosmos. In other words, not your typical Friday night lights.


Plus most of the fest, started five years ago by astrophysicist Brian Greene and wife Tracy Day, is streaming online (did I mention that Alan Alda is talking about flames at 4 PM today.

And on Saturday there’s a real, hardcore, bustling futuristic science fair. Innovation Square, at the NYU Poly campus, is an unusual affair for New York and Brooklyn, with talks by people like Internet chronicler Andrew Blum, a robot petting zoo, quantum levitation demonstrations, and performances by, among others, our faves Tristan Perich, Casper Electronics and Babycastles. (Motherboard editors Alex Pasternack and Derek Mead will be there, introducing some of the speakers.)

Over in Manhattan, there’s a cosmos of other events, including a panel on the Internet with net OG Vint Cerf and future law expert Elizabeth Stark, and Surface Tension, a free experimental art show focused on water, put together by Dublin’s Trinity College at Eyebeam.

“Madness Redefined,” a discussion with Cynthia McFadden, James Fallon, Kay Redfield Jamison, Susan McKeown, Elyn Saks, from Thursday, May 31.

The venues are spread out all over the city and the festival’s website explains that they’ve gone on to schedule events around the year and around the world. And soon, presumably, the universe.

World Science Festival