Seattle Science Festival promises to be ‘the bumbershoot of science’

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Mark your calendars for the second annual Seattle Science Festival, an 11-day extravaganza celebrating the work that is being done in our region within the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The event features luminaries from the science world, a free Science EXPO Day with hands-on activities and special stage programs, and a variety of Signature Programs at venues around the region.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get people excited about science,” says Crystal Clarity, V.P. of Marketing and Communications for Pacific Science Center.

The museum is organizing the festival in collaboration with dozens of partners, including research organizations, businesses, other museums and educational institutions. “It’s all about showcasing the innovation and research in the region, as well as providing a platform for people to see how they can get involved in these fields,” adds Clarity. The festival gets started with an opening night event at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.

“Beyond Infinity? The Search for Understanding at the Limits of Space & Time” will explore the question of the origins of the universe and its implications for time travel. It will feature three of the country’s greatest physicists, including Dr. Brian Green, Dr. Sean Carroll and Dr. Adam Frank, as well as the performance of an exciting new multi-media work. Dr. Green is recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory, and is the author of several books. His most recent, The Hidden Reality, delves into the issue of whether ours is the only universe. Dr. Carroll’s research focuses on theoretical physics and cosmology, especially the origin and constituents of the universe. Also a prolific author, Dr. Carroll has appeared on several TV shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “Through the Wormhole,” and frequently serves as a science consultant for film and television. Dr. Adam Frank’s work is on star formation and stellar evolution. His popular writing concentrates on issues of science in its cultural context and the role of technology in the human experience of time. Another of the evening’s highlights is the West Coast premiere of “Icarus at the Edge of Time,” a stunning multimedia show about a boy who challenges the formidable power of a black hole. Based on Dr. Greene’s book, the piece features an original orchestral score by Philip Glass, which will be performed by the Garfield Orchestra.

Science EXPO Day follows with a full line-up of free activities, demonstrations and performances at Seattle Center that show how integral science, technology, engineering and math are to the region’s culture and prosperity.

Organizations from across the state such as NOAA, UW, NatureBridge, Aerojet, Lockheed Martin, EMP Museum, Boeing, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle University , PSE, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, KOMO 4 and more will be on site to show visitors how these fields contribute to their work.
Throughout the 11-day festival, the public will get the chance to attend over a hundred events, programs and tours of labs and research facilities throughout the region. Participants can explore watersheds with Salish Sea Expeditions, sail Puget Sound with Sound Experience, build and fly a remotely operated vehicle with Atlantis Inc. ROV Team, star gaze at various planetariums around the state, learn how to tune their bikes with West Seattle Fixers’ Collective, enjoy an architectural tour of EMP and design and produce a video game at various Microsoft stores, among other fun and educational activities. The festival will close with a special event dedicated to the important issue of climate change.

“Our 11th Hour: Straight Talk on Climate Change from People Who Know” will feature engaging multimedia presentations by world-leading climate scientists Dr. Kevin Trenberth and Dr. Richard Alley, as well as by award-winning New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin. Dr. Trenberth is a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Alley, a professor at Pennsylvania State, is an author and recipient of many top awards, as well as the host of the cent PBS miniseries,“Earth: The Operators’ Manual.” Revkin, a Senior Fellow For Environmental Understanding at Pace University, writes the award-winning “Dot Earth” blog for the Op-Ed section of the New York Times. A veteran journalist, he has covered the assault on the Amazon rainforest, changing conditions around the Arctic and the troubled politics of climate science. An uplifting 30-minute opera about environmental stewardship, set in the Pacific Northwest, will conclude the evening. Titled, “Heron and the Salmon Girl, the piece is the first of three new half-hour operas in the “Our Earth” cycle recently commissioned by Seattle Opera. It will be performed by Seattle Opera and Seattle Opera’s Youth Chorus.

“We are very excited about the festival this year,” comments Clarity. “It has something for everyone. It is like the Bumbershoot of science!”

What: Seattle Science Festival
When: June 6th – 16th
Where: Various venues in the region
For more information:

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