Beginning on Tuesday, June 1st, New York will be celebrating the incredible world of science with music, art and other formats in 40 events taking place in 20 separate locations throughout Manhattan and, for the first time, Brooklyn.
Inaugurating the annual festival will be the unveiling of a full-scale model of the 80-foot long James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s latest tool designed and built to explore the most distant beginnings of the universe. The real space telescope is scheduled to be launched in 4 years. It will be on display from Tuesday morning in Battery Park and will be available for viewing all week long.
Other events scheduled include dance performances, panel discussions, and star-gazing along the Hudson River. Discussions will include such prominent individuals as the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, Fabian Cousteau, explaining the state of ocean exploration today, in the past, and what to expect for the future. The celebrated neurologist and author Oliver Sacks will hold forth on the subject “Strangers in the Mirror” along with the painter Chuck Close, who will together discuss their shared impairment, their inability to recognize faces, including their very own.
The central scientific celebrity on hand will be the iconic Stephen Hawking, the cosmologist from Cambridge who has given Black Holes their extraordinary star appeal. As one of the organizers put it, “Hawking so fully embodies what the festival is all about – courageous exploration of the unknown.”
The anchor event for the six-day festival will be the world premiere of the newest musical masterpiece by Philip Glass, “Icarus at the Edge of Time.” The piece is based on a story written by physicist and festival co-founder Brian Greene of Columbia University. The performance will feature the 62 musicians from the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, art from the London artists Al and Al and the narrator will be the noted actor and storyteller John Lithgow. This extraordinary musical work will be performed twice during the course of the festival. The first performance will take place on Wednesday night at the Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center and the second time on Sunday in the Skirball Center of NYU.
The third annual science festival is expected to be a magnificent reunion of “those long-lost lovers” science and art, as Alan Alda, the actor and amateur science buff described it. Alda is also a good friend of Dr. Brian Greene and his wife Tracy Day, organizers of this special event.