World Science Festival brings best and brightest to Brisbane

Science Minister Leeanne Enoch today (Wednesday) opened the second World Science Festival Brisbane on World Water Day, with some of the world’s leading scientists converging on the river city.

Ms Enoch said the festival will showcase more than 115 performances and events from 138 scientists and innovators over the next five days at venues across South Bank’s Cultural Precinct.

“This festival will build on the extraordinary success of last year’s event in Brisbane which attracted more than 120,000 people and injected more than $5 million into the Queensland economy,” Ms Enoch said.

“It is expected even more people will participate in this year’s festival and experience the wonder of contemporary science, learn from the scientists at the forefront of the research projects that are changing our world, and discover more about the global challenges scientists are addressing,” she said.

Ms Enoch said the festival is “all about this great collision between science and the arts which allows our young people and our community to get excited about science and its important role in our future”.

“The Palaszczuk Government invests in World Science Festival Brisbane to showcase our region and highlight our ongoing success as a destination for world-class events and unique experiences,” she said.

“The World Science Festival also supports the Queensland Government’s $405 million Advance Queensland initiative that focuses on harnessing innovation to unlock business potential, grow our regions, foster new industries, and give future generations the necessary skills and knowledge for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Ms Enoch said the festival reinforced Queensland’s global position as a knowledge hub and prompted discussions about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

“Science is front and centre in generating jobs for the future, boosting the economy and improving our lives, and World Science Festival Brisbane is a chance for everyone to explore these opportunities,” she said.

CEO and Director of the Queensland Museum Network Professor Suzanne Miller said the festival showcases a wide range of scientific fields and extraordinarily talented people through performances, demonstrations, debates, talks, displays and exhibitions.

“The family-friendly Street Science! extravaganza will turn Brisbane’s Cultural Forecourt into a huge laboratory for two days of free hands-on fun for everyone, including science demonstrations, robot coding, rocket science and daytime solar viewing,” she said.

“Other highlights of the program include an orchestral performance and film in A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a discussion about life with robots, the race to secure Australia’s energy supply, the future of driverless driving, a showcase of ancient astronomy, a celebration of women in science and the Festival Lab full of fun and quirky science events.”

Prof Miller said the World Science Festival Brisbane was a great day out, and a great way to highlight the significant strides being taken to resolve some of today’s real world issues.

“In recognition of World Water Day, the festival will offer a suite of programming about our most precious commodity – water – which will examine what it will take to achieve the United Nation’s goal of providing clean, accessible and sustainably managed water for all by 2030,” she said.

Brisbane is the only city in the Asia-Pacific region to offer the festival, which will be hosted by Queensland Museum until 2021.

Due to the overwhelming response to last year’s regional program, Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba and Townsville will this year be treated to free community events.

The World Science Festival Brisbane runs from 22 to 26 March:www.worldsciencefestival.com.au