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World Science Festival: Attendance is Elementary, Dear Watson

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Why is the blue planet running on empty? Why does quantum theory give Einstein the spooks? Why is tripping trending in medicine? The wonder of why … that’s the theme of the not-to-be-missed World Science Festival Brisbane, which will be hosted by Queensland Museum from March 25 to 29.

If you thought science was only for nerds, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this world-class event which puts science in a whole new light. It explores the fusion of science and art through thought-provoking conversations, theatrical and cinematic experiences, interactive workshops and engaging demonstrations.

The World Science Festival originated in New York more than a decade ago. Queensland Museum Network secured the exclusive licence to host it in the Asia Pacific region from 2016 to 2021, and over the past few years it has brought together some of the greatest thought leaders, scientists and performers from around the globe.

Popular presenter Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, ARIA award-winning musician Clare Bowditch, and Australia’s inaugural Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, are among those who will present at this year’s Festival.

More than 95 events for people of all ages will be held in a ‘City of Science’ winding its way across Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct at South Bank. The venues are within walking distance of Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane and Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane Anzac Square, or a short journey by car or public transport for those who don’t want to leg it. With kitchen and laundry facilities in every apartment, these inner-city hotels are perfect for anyone wanting to self-cater, particularly guests seeking family accommodation or a little extra space.

Both hotels are close to a huge array of cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars. Adina Brisbane’s Donna Chang restaurant creates alchemy in the kitchen with its modern Sichuan- and Cantonese-inspired cuisine, its outstanding food a reward for days spent exploring the science of ballet and cricket, unravelling the mysteries of space and time, and pondering life’s big questions.

The festival kicks off on March 25 with Einstein and the Quantum: Unravelling the Mysteries of Space and Time, telling the dramatic story of Einstein’s discovery of the General Theory of Relativity. 

Q&A with Dr K and Future Careers in Science will see popular science communicator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki showcasing careers in science and presenting an all-ages event about the fun and quirky side of science.

Questions such as ‘How it all began?’, ‘How will it end?’ and ‘Are we alone?’ will be addressed by astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith in Hunting the Cosmic Dawn. 

There’ll be a search for the ultimate nerd, a presentation on the future of psychedelic drugs in treating medical conditions, talks on the science of love and happiness, and an open mic night where people can share their experiences of climate change.

Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Li Cunxin, will be joined by a physics guru and dance physiotherapist to explain how art and science come together in ballet, while the Festival’s most popular attraction, The Hatchery, will be back with baby loggerhead turtles hatched from eggs incubated onsite.

By taking science out of the laboratory and into public venues, the World Science Festival brings the wonders of science to a general audience. It’s yet another great reason to put Brisbane on your itinerary in March.

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