Speaker by Various Artists

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Science comes to the Arts Festival

by Richard Easther

thinkScience began with a Twitter conversation between me, Auckland Arts Festival chair Victoria Carter and Robin Hickman, about how to make new ways for New Zealanders to connect with science.

We  have been working on this for over a year, and are hugely excited that thinkScience will make its public debut with three events at the 2015 Auckland Arts Festival on March 14, as part of the festival’s White Night and family weekend.   

First up on the day are the Science in the City panel discussions in the Spiegeltent, exploring how science predicts and shapes the future of the city.  They'll be convened by Jon Bridges and the topics are "What makes the city work?" and "How can ideas change our world?"

Panelists include Tim Hazeldine (University of Auckland, Economics), Victoria Crone (Xero, Managing Director), Steve Pointing (AUT, Ecology), Ella Henry (AUT, Te Ara Poutama), Lillian Grace (Wiki NZ), Shaun Hendy (University of Auckland, Physics), Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell, Cather Simpson (University of Auckland, Physics and Chemistry). This will be a smart discussion about the future of Auckland, so Public Address readers should feel at home here ...

The headline thinkScience event is New Zealand’s science superhero, Nanogirl (aka Dr Michelle Dickinson), live in the Auckland Town Hall, taking you and your family on a super-ride in an unpredictable science performance. Nanogirl will show us how much fun it is to create science magic. The show is a big production, coming to the Festival direct from Nanogirl's laboratory. It will an awesome event, and things will definitely explode ...

And in the evening, microbiologist and glowworm enthusiast Siouxsie Wiles is overseeing Biolumination. In Q Theatre Siouxsie and selected artists will be displaying works made with glowing bacteria. Aotea Square will play host to a photo booth with a difference, where people can step into the dark to be photographed by the light of bioluminescent bacteria, and you can even try your hand at making your own glowing art in a petri-dish.

Personally, I can't wait for the Festival events, and thinkScience has exciting plans for the future. Come, enjoy the day, and stay tuned for what happens next...

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