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Big science on show at World Science Festival Brisbane 2017

Queensland is preparing to host another supercharged celebration of science when the World Science Festival Brisbane returns from 22-26 March 2017.

Speaking from the Queensland Museum, Science Minister Leeanne Enoch today unveiled program highlights confirmed for the 2017 festival.

“The World Science Festival 2017 will build on the momentum of this year’s incredible inaugural event that saw more than 120,000 people attend Festival activities and injected more than $5 million into the Queensland economy,” Ms Enoch said.

“Next year’s festival will welcome the return of family-favourite free program, Street Science!, alongside new theatrical performances, workshops and curated discussions on cutting-edge science and discoveries.

“Securing exclusive rights to host the World Science Festival in Brisbane underscores the Palaszczuk Government’s $405 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland agenda.

“Queensland Government investment in the World Science Festival bolsters Queensland Museum’s position as Australia’s most visited museum, showcases our regions, and reinforces the state’s reputation as a destination for big events in the world’s spotlight.”

World Science Festival co-founder, Brian Greene will return with a new mainstage event, Gravitational Waves: A New Era of Astronomy Begins, where a panel including former Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Director Barry Barish will discuss when the century-old prediction by Albert Einstein was proven in 2015.

From gravitational waves to waves of a different kind, Ocean Action will form a discussion around the effects of the industrial revolution on the ocean and how science can save it.

What We Don’t Know: Big Science, Big Rewards will welcome Australian Chief Scientist Alan Finkel and renowned scientist Ian Frazer to the mainstage to discuss the risks, rewards, and discoveries of a long-term approach to investment in scientific research.

Offering a glimpse into the future, Towards 2050: 100% renewables by 2050? will discuss the role of renewable energy in the coming decades, while four of the world’s greatest minds under 16 years of age will provide insight into the scientific leaders of tomorrow in The Future is in Good Hands.

Queensland Museum CEO and Director Professor Suzanne Miller said the 2017 program would provide something for everyone with a mix of free and ticketed events with performances, debates and demonstrations.

“One of the most endearing things about the World Science Festival Brisbane is it takes science out of the labs and into the streets, connecting and inspiring people, young and old,” Ms Miller said.

“Following the success of our regional program in 2016, I am pleased to announce we will again take the World Science Festival Brisbane into the regions which will include Chinchilla, Townsville, Gladstone and Toowoomba.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, said the 2017 festival program would put Queensland’s dynamic arts and cultural experiences in the spotlight, drawing thousands of visitors to Brisbane.

“Last year more than 120,000 people from across Australia and around the world visited Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct to take part in the festival, delivering an outstanding boost to local tourism businesses and the economy,” Ms Jones said.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Australia’s New World City and the World Science Festival Brisbane were perfect partners to showcase world-leading innovation and scientific endeavours.

“The World Science Festival Brisbane gives us the opportunity to celebrate and showcase the work of our leading research and innovation institutions on the world stage,” Cr Quirk said.

“Brisbane is proud to host this premier international event, which brings together some of the world’s greatest minds and encourages our residents and visitors to discover first-hand the wonder and importance of science.”

The World Science Festival Brisbane 2017 joins a blockbuster year of exhibitions for Queensland Museum including Hadron Collider: step inside the world’s greatest experiment (9 December 2016 – 25 April 2017), David Attenborough’s Virtual Reality Experience (11 March 2017- 15 April 2017) and Other Worlds: Visions of our Solar System (4 March – 2 July 2017).

The World Science Festival Brisbane is presented by the Queensland Museum with support from Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing, Queensland Government, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, Queensland Gas Company, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Arup, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, and South Bank Parklands.

Tickets to the World Science Festival Brisbane 2017 are now on sale at www.worldsciencefestival.com.au (external site).