The World Science Festival has announced complete programming for the 10th anniversary Festival, which will bring science to the crossroads of the world, Times Square, and to locations across the five boroughs of New York City, with more than 50 events, May 30 - June 4, 2017.
At a time when science is at the heart of pressing policy debates, the Festival will provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage with revolutionary discoveries, the thinkers behind them, and their wide-ranging political and cultural implications. The programming includes world-class performing arts productions, lively debates, lectures, intimate discussions, and interactive demonstrations for both kids and adults. Many events are free.
The 2017 World Science Festival will launch with Time, Creativity, and the Cosmos, the latest in a series of original multimedia works produced by the Festival, May 30 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Acclaimed physicist and World Science Festival Co-Founder Brian Greene will tell a cosmic journey that wends its way from the Big Bang to the end of time, celebrating the human spirit of exploration, creativity and discovery. The production, co-created by Greene and the innovative dance troupe Pilobolus, will feature an eclectic, star-studded lineup of artists including famed violinist Joshua Bell; David Draiman, lead singer of the iconic hard rock band Disturbed; opera star Renée Fleming; inventive dance troupe Pilobolus; and the string trio Time for Three; among others.
For the first time, the Festival will be anchored in Times Square, significantly furthering its mission to engage a broad general public. Between May 31 and June 3, the Festival presents Science in the Square, a program of activities, demonstrations, and installations that educate, entertain, amaze, and inspire. From June 1 - 3, the centerpiece will be Holoscenes, an epic performance-installation that connects everyday actions to climate change. Created by the artist Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera, and born out of the widely-shared concern that rising seas, melting glaciers, intensifying floods, and extended droughts will be defining issues of the 21st century, Holoscenes takes place in a twelve-ton glass aquarium that, over the course of five hours each day, periodically floods and drains, requiring a rotating cast of performers to continually respond to changing water levels. This spectacular and haunting work of public art is co-presented by the Festival and Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance.
During the Festival week, Main Stage lectures and discussions will take place in a variety of New York venues, and will feature renowned scientists, philosophers, historians, authors, journalists, and other luminaries..
Philosopher Jim Holt will moderate an exploration of the deep questions of cosmic origins with pioneers of the inflationary theory and Kavli Prize Laureates Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, Templeton Prize Winner George Ellis, Philosophers David Albert and Barry Loewer, and string theorist Veronika Hubeny. John Hockenberry will moderate The Evolution of Evolution: Are We the Masters of Our Fate, in which Hank Greely, Sam Sternberg, Ian Tattersall, and Sarah Tishkoff will discuss the impact of genomic engineering on evolution. In Computational Creativity, John Schaefer will lead a debate onthe controversial capacities of computers with Sougwen Chung, Jesse Engel, Peter Ulric Tse, and Lav Varshney. In Much Ado about Nearly Nothing, Walter Isaacsonwillmoderate a discussion on the promise of nanotechnology to meet exploding energy demands, with.Sanjoy Banerjee, Yury Gogotsi, Patricia Holden, and Paul Weiss. Additional events will explore neuroscience and the roots of cooperative behavior; regenerative medicine; and the Human Connectome Project's exciting potential to inform clinical practice and illuminate the nature of consciousness.
On June 3, moderator John Donvan and participants France Córdova, Brian Greene, Dan Kahan, and Paul Nurse come together for Science in a Polarized World: A Global Town Hall Meeting, a timely discussion examining how the public's response to scientific information depends on psychology, emotion, peer pressure, politics, and cultural influences-and how we can navigate our differences and implement smart policy in a contentious society.
This year, the Festival will also recognize the achievements of women in science. On June 1 at Ace Hotel's Liberty Hall, actress Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory") hosts Nevertheless, She Persisted in which some of the most accomplished female scientists-Sarah Demers, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Diana Reiss, Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, and Maryam Zaringhalam-will tell their stories of trial and triumph.Broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr will moderate Hidden Figures No More! Heroines of Space Science Past, Present, and Future, a discussion featuring scientists and astronauts who shattered the glass ceiling that constrained women in the field, including Yvonne Cagle, Cassie Kloberdanz Lee, Lesa Roe, and Ellen Stofan. The event takes place June 2 at NYU Global Center's Grand Hall.
Additional Festival highlights will include If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face?, a conversation between Alan Alda and Tina Fey about the art and science of communication, June 1 at the New-York Historical Society; Mummy Knows Best, a trivia night at the American Museum of Natural History, hosted by author, comedian, and "CBS Sunday Morning" contributor Faith Salie, on June 2; and a special advance screening of Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn's new film The House of Tomorrow: Buckminster Fuller and the Science of Sustainable Design,moderated by John Hockenberry, May 31 at the Museum of the Moving Image's Redstone Theater.
Additional outdoor programming will include the Festival favorite Saturday Night Lights: Stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Pilobolus; a catch-and-release fish count in the waters surrounding New York City; and family-friendly Scientific Sails in New York Harbor, all on June 3.
The Great Fish Count and Scientific Sails are just two of many events for kids and families. Also on June 3, Alan Alda will host an hour-long program with interactive demonstrations, in which he and a team of experts will reveal how our bodies use energy and how we Will Power the world in the future. The event will also highlight the winners of the 2017 Flame Challenge, which judges scientists on how well they can communicate familiar yet complex concepts to an 11-year-old. On June 4, this year's interactive performance of Cool Jobs, hosted by Science Bob, will give young audiences the opportunity to meet some of this country's greatest science teachers. On June 4 at NYU Kimmel Center, the Festival presents Ultimate Science Sunday, a free day of indoor interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and games for families. In a range of hands-on apprentice programs on June 3 & 4, children and adults alike will learn about chemistry in baking, microbiology, urban farming, museum architecture, astronomy, zoology, urban archaeology, civil engineering, and rodentology.
The World Science Festival is the brainchild of Brian Greene, a distinguished physicist, best-selling author, and one of the world's foremost science communicators, and Tracy Day, a four-time National Emmy Award-winning producer who brought historic events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa to television audiences. Joined by Alan Alda, who continues to be a close collaborator each year, they launched the Festival in 2008, motivated by the realization that New York, a city teeming with unique opportunities for enrichment, had no festival introducing the general public to the great minds pushing the frontiers of understanding. The New York Times has hailed the Festival as a "new cultural institution."
"When we started the World Science Festival a decade ago, we conceived it as a way of introducing the diverse worlds of science to a broad audience-to take science out of scholarly journals and into the cultural mainstream," said Tracy Day, Co-Founder and CEO of the World Science Festival. "Now, more than ever, it is critical that the general public recognize how vital science is to our collective future."
Brian Greene, Co-Founder of the World Science Festival and Chairman of the Science Festival Foundation, said, "The World Science Festival is part of a movement emphasizing that science is not just a subject in school, it's a perspective on the world. Science is our most powerful tool for revealing the deep truths of reality, and the Festival is dedicated to making those truths understandable, accessible, and widely available."
Time, Creativity, and The Cosmos Featuring Joshua Bell, David Draiman, Renée Fleming, Brian Greene, Pilobolus, Time for Three May 30 at 7pm Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall (10 Columbus Circle)
The tenth anniversary World Science Festival opens with a new work celebrating the human spirit of exploration, discovery, and creativity. Told by acclaimed physicist Brian Greene as a cosmic journey that wends its way from the Big Bang to the end of time, the evening features an exceptional and eclectic group of performances including famed violinist Joshua Bell, David Draiman of the iconic hard rock band Disturbed, renowned opera star Renée Fleming, the innovative dance troupe Pilobolus, and the string trio Time for Three. The evening is a celebration of science and art examining our collective longing to transcend the boundaries of space and time.
She Runs the Lab Participants: Zsuzsa Marka, Michelle VanTieghem, Chelsea Harmon, Daphna Shohamy, Virginia Cornish, Summer Ash, Mande Holford, Jill Bargonetti, Frida Kleiman, Shahana Mahajan, Angelique Corthals, Linda Rourke, Jane Carlton, Christine Vogel, Mahal Lab, Chiye Aoki, Catalina Villamil, and Daniela Buccella May 31, June 1, June 4; various times Columbia University, New York University, City University of New York, Hunter College Invitation only
What better way to inspire the next generation of women scientists than to meet working scientists, tour their labs, and learn about their paths to exciting careers? Women in labs studying anthropology, neural science, physics, and more open their doors to NYC high school girls at universities throughout the city. Students have the rare opportunity to interact with prominent scientists, experiment with state-of-the-art equipment, and gain insight into the steps they can take now to prepare for successful future in science.
Jewish Heavy Metal Singer David Draiman Returns to Cantorial Roots with Simon and Garfunkel Cover
February 13, 2017, 7:00 PM
David Draiman considered becoming a cantor before hitting it big as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Disturbed.
Growing up in Chicago, he was expelled from three different yeshivas, and even blew up his high school rabbi’s van after a rowdy night of Purim drinking as a teenager.
Since being a cantor didn’t work out for him, he seemed to do just fine in any case. Seven Disturbed albums and millions of record sales later, Draiman is now best known for his guttural vocal yells, not his melodic cantorial voice.
This year, however, Disturbed was nominated for a Grammy for a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s song “The Sound of Silence.” This song was a total deviation from his normal fare, and it brought Draiman, 43, a bit closer to his cantorial roots.
The group made the decision to keep this track soft and acoustic. Draiman got to showcase his smoother, classically-trained voice, which made him reminiscent of his cantor-in-training days.
“I was so overwhelmed with emotion listening to the way my vocals sounded in that beautiful bed of music,” Draiman told NPR last month. “Not having heard my voice in that way for so long, it was really just very, very overwhelming.”
He also revealed to NPR that he seriously considered becoming a rabbi.
“My religious upbringing was always something that was difficult for me to swallow willingly, but the intellectual aspect of it, the academic aspect of it was very, very appealing to me,” he said. “Studying to become a rabbi or heading down that path is really all about becoming very engrossed and very adept at interpretation of Jewish law, of the Talmud. And I had to learn to find my own truths, and little by little, as they say in Judaism, I ‘left the path.’”
Today Draiman is pretty secular, though he calls himself “intensely spiritual.” He is also a big fan of fellow Jewish musician Paul Simon.
“If we are blessed with winning the Grammy this time, I would have to dedicate it to the original songwriter himself, to Paul Simon,” he said. “No one can really take away the sheer utter brilliance of the composition of that song.”
The Grammys took place on Sunday night. Disturbed lost in the “Best Rock Performance” Category to David Bowie’s “Blackstar”.
Watch the music video for Sound of Silence by Disturbed here:
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