Since its launch in 2008, the World Science Festival (WSF) has earned a reputation as a unique forum for putting great minds in front of curious audiences, and allowing the public to engage directly with the big questions that drive scientific research and the human quest for understanding. The live, in-theater Big Ideas programs have been the cornerstone of the annual Festival in New York, and their online distribution has fueled significant growth in the Festival’s global audience.
Commencing in 2022, the Big Ideas Series will comprise three distinct categories of programs that are linked by their common focus on issues vital to understanding the universe on scales large and small, and how humankind fits within the cosmic order. Insight on these issues requires engaging with some of science’s most rich, far-reaching, and complex questions, which the Festival’s programming will pursue through an intellectually rigorous yet accessible approach. The program categories are:
A. Signature Big Ideas Programs, Live and Digital
B. Annual “On the Shoulders of Giants” Keynote Address
C. One-on-one online discussions, with Brian Greene in conversation with leading scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, theologians and other thinkers
The Big Ideas Series will engage thinkers from diverse fields to discuss and debate questions of profound relevance to humanity, through lively, spontaneous conversations, which will inspire and inform audiences worldwide. Topics will be drawn from a wide spectrum of fields including physics, mathematics, astronomy, biology, genetics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, evolution, psychology, theology, philosophy, among many others. The projected reach of the 2022-2024 Big Ideas Series is over 50 million views, cultivating a public that is excited rather than alienated by science, and is thus more willing to explore the deep questions of reality and existence--goals that are shared by WSF and JTF.