World Science Festival 2014: how to unlock curious minds

Date:23 July 2014 Tags:, , ,

The annual World Science Festival in New York is a celebration of all that’s good about science – a five-day feast of far-out concepts, exciting technologies, rational thought and practical wizardry far removed from the wand-toting magicians of Harry Potter movies. This year’s event was arguably the best so far, attracting big crowds and generating huge enthusiasm. PM went along for the ride… By Alan Duggan and Roxanne Palmeri

If boundless curiosity could be measured in dollars, New York’s annual World Science Festival would be a rich event indeed. They arrived in their hundreds and thousands – all eager to learn about their world, engage with their scientific heroes and explore the myriad promises of their shared future.

Bigger and bolder than ever, the 2014 World Science Festival, themed “Rethink Science”, was a winner in every respect that counted. Part of the explanation lay in the deliciously eclectic mix of subject matter, which ranged from the weirdness of quantum physics to the science of family trees, from cutting-edge astrophysics to the utterly beguiling “fun with poison”. And the Ultimate Science Street Fair in Washington Square Park, geared for children of all ages, was amazing.

Produced by the non-profit Science Festival Foundation, the event aimed to “cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future”. Did it succeed? Oh yes.

For a few snapshots from the 2014 Festival, buy PM’s August 2014 issue – on sale 21 July.