Mars missions, the future of AI, robot wars and delightfully dorky shows – World Science Festival launches its thrilling 2024 program
Hold onto your hats! World Science Festival is making a triumphant return this March with a spectacular series of events that will see some of the greatest thinkers, dreamers and storytellers come together to take science from laboratories and into the streets, galleries, museums and arts venues across Brisbane. This year’s dynamic, boundary-pushing program has just been launched into the stratosphere – and it’ll absolutely blow your curious mind. Here’s what’s in store.
Running from March 15–24, 2024, World Science Festival will host more than 50 free and ticketed events, family-friendly activities, talks, debates and engaging conversations, set to both challenge and illuminate your thoughts and knowledge in equal measure. Embracing the theme of ‘thinkers and dreamers’, the festival’s 2024 program will have more than 175 sessions to choose from, as some of the greatest minds take us all on an exhilarating deep dive to reveal the true impact of science and how it has transformed medicine, technology and our understanding of the natural world.
Renowned physicist, author and co-founder of World Science Festival, professor Brian Greene, is a highlight in the program’s Conversation Series and will take to the QPAC stage for several must-see shows. Starting with a journey across the cosmos with Beyond the Stars on Wednesday March 20, professor Greene will then weigh in on the concerns of artificial intelligence in Navigating Tomorrow: AI’s Promise and Peril on Thursday March 21, before discussing a moon landing in 2025 with Space Rocks to Moon Rocks: NASA Frontiers on Saturday March 23.
Those interested in cleaning up their act for a more sustainable future can secure a seat at Dream On: The Waste and Climate War on Saturday March 23 for a no-nonsense chat led by environmental provocateur, Craig Reucassel, and a band of leading professors in the field. Family-friendly conversation series Everything You Need To Know About returns to Queensland Museum across the weekend of March 23–24, covering everything from parasites (and whether they are blood-sucking freeloaders or a medical miracle) to insects being nature’s ultimate superheroes, with intriguing insight from a venom scientist and a nanobiotechnologist. Torres Strait Islander journalist and broadcaster Rhianna Patrick will cover the future of food from a First Nations perspective, including how bush foods and botanicals could be vital for food security, in Cultivating The Future of Food at QPAC on Thursday March 21.
Stay up late on Friday March 22 for the adults-only Social Science evening, which will blur the lines between science and art through workshops, live programs and activations – all enjoyed with a science-infused cocktail in hand. The larger-than-life event will feature everything from a camp take on the birds and the bees to a mechanical inspect-pinning workshop, live painting by Phoebe Paradise and tunes from femme queen and DJ Neesha Alexander.
On Saturday March 23, media personalities Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb will host an ensemble of local and international scientists to unravel the mysteries of the universe (with a dose of fun) at An Afternoon of Science at QPAC’s Concert Hall. Later that evening, Night of the Nerds – Brisbane’s delightfully dorky variety show – will see two teams of scientists, tech heads and funny folk test their knowledge in the ultimate nerdy face-off.
The family-friendly City of Science will return to South Bank with a stacked program of hands-on activities for science enthusiasts of all ages, while robot fans can take front-row seats to watch electrifying live battles at Robowars at the South Bank Piazza. Over at Queensland Museum, the ever-popular Turtle Hatchery will once again give visitors the opportunity to witness the wonder of Loggerhead turtles hatching during specific windows of time during the festival.
That, folks, is just the tip of the iceberg. To view the entire program and plot out your favourite events, head to the World Science Festival website.