Of Schemes and Memes Blog

Science Festival Round Up

This round up has been updated, you can find the latest version here..

This month on Of Schemes and Memes, science festivals are in the spotlight.

The fourth World Science Festival held in New York is currently in full swing. To keep you updated on our coverage of this annual event, we thought a summary post linking to our science festival content and others, may prove useful.

Summary of our world science series so far…..

Science festivals – part 1: The World Science Festival: an interview with Tracy Day

In this post, we interview Tracy Day, co-founder and executive director of the World Science Festival, to learn more about how this creative festival came about. We find out how her background in production has inspired the intersection of art and science.

Science festivals – part 2: Cambridge Science Festival

This is a guest blog by Nicola Buckley, Head of Community Affairs, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Science Festival manager. Nicola has been directing the festival team since 2004 and set up the Cambridge Festival of Ideas in 2008. In her post, she gives us a brief history of science festivals and looks at what inspired the Cambridge science festival.

Science festivals – part 3: Cheltenham Science Festival

We welcome a joint guest post by Sharon Bishop, the Executive Director of The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, who has been involved with the last six of the ten Cheltenham Science Festivals, and Kathy Sykes, Professor of Sciences and Society at Bristol University and Festival Director since they began in 2002. In this post, they highlight the successes of Cheltenham festival, born from which was their pioneering FameLab project.

Science festivals – part 4: The World Science Festival Opens!

Celebrities from the worlds of science and art gathered at the Alice Tully Hall in New York City for the opening of the World Science Festival. The festival commenced with the Opening Night Gala, featuring a spectacular reading of Radiance, The Passion of Marie Curie and this post summarises the powerful production

Science festivals – part 5: Science Storytellers

A gathering of journalists, writers, scientists and others interested in the fine art of telling a science story, met at the Paley Media Center in New York, to hear from successful authors about their skills and experiences with science storytelling. This post summarises the thought-provoking discussion.

Science festivals – part 6: Telling Science Stories in Print and on the Web #wsf11

A summary of World Science Festival panel, Telling Science Stories in Print and on the Web, featuring many of the big names in science writing and journalism, from the “blogfather” of science blogging, Bora Zivkovic, to the Guardian’s Emily Bell via author and PLoS blogger, Seth Mnookin. Includes a Storify archiving the tweets from the event.

Science festivals – part 7: Spotlight: Women in Science #wsf11

A post that rounds up the World Science Festival’s Spotlight event that aimed to strip away the trimmings of a traditional science presentation and add cocktails to the mix. A Storify presents the tweets from the session.

WSF Blog

The World Science Festival Blog is offering instant reactions from some of their pioneering events. Each post gives a brief summary of the event, extracting memorable quotes and pictures:

Instant Reaction: Telling Science Stories in Print and on the Web

Instant Reaction: Improvising Science

Instant Reaction: The Dark Side of the Universe

Instant Reaction: Women in Science

Instant Reaction: The Radical New Science of Longevity

Elsewhere on the blogosphere

Scientific American has also been giving us some great coverage of the World Science Festival, including some live blogging!

Thorium, Polonium, Radium, Oh My! Marie Curie and Maggie Gyllenhaal Kick Off the 2011 World Science Festival

Guest post by Neda Afsarmanesh who appraises the Opening Night Gala, featuring the reading of Radiance, The Passion of Marie Curie.

World Science Festival: The Dark Side of the Universe [Live Stream]

Philip Yam blogs live from the Dark Side of the Universe event at the Skirball Center in New York.

Information Is Everywhere, How Can Science Protect It?

A post about Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World, which whets everyone’s appetite for the WSF Cryptology event.

Even More…

If you are interested to learn more about the World Science Festival’s unique programme and selection of shows, salons and discussions, stay tuned as we are planning to report back with coverage of more of the key events via write-ups, archives of the Twitter conversations and hopefully even some video footage.

If you were unable to attend some of the events you can also watch most of them on WSFtv.

Nature Medicine’s blog, Spoonful of Medicine, will also be covering some events so stay tuned for their reports.

Nature Network Bloggers join in…

Not only have we gone science festival mad, so have our bloggers and what better way to end our round up than with Viktor Poor’s comical example of what you should wear to a science festival!

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  1. Report this comment

    Laura Wheeler said:

    Do let us know if we have missed off any other coverage of the World Science Festival.  We will be doing an updated version, so if you want to be featured in the next summary feel free to leave a comment.

  2. Report this comment

    Jan RIISE said:

     The World Science Festival is really something special – in many ways. Its high quality productions in the arts and science interface are certainly inspirational and interesting. At the same time – when tickets are at USD 250, 500 and upwards – it is somewhat distant from the "public engagement in science" that most other festivals are committed to.

    On the other hand, maybe the 500 dollars plus audience is made up of a number of very influential persons, whose perceptions of science education and scientific literacy are highly relevant – closer to policy-makers perhaps.

    I would certainly like to see the play. And I would like to know if there are any studies or reports concerning the outcome of the events. I have no idea. But I am curious.  

    (part of a blog entry I made a few days ago on agadem.posterous.com)

  3. Report this comment

    Laura Wheeler said:

    Thanks Jan for linking us to your post, Festival Research.  I think some of the events had a price tag, however they were productions and plays that cost a lot of money to make and we have to remember that The World Science Festival is a production of the Science Festival Foundation, a 501©(3) non-profit organization.  There were other events, also part of the programme, that were free for families.

    I think you ask a really valid question. I have no idea if studies have been carried out yet, although I can certainly keep you posted?  

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