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Chicago Science Fest 2015

May 28, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - May 30, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

$10 - $30

Chicago’s awesome festival season has been missing one key element. . . SCIENCE!

In 585 B.C., the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus correctly predicted a solar eclipse. (Stay with us here.) His rigorous thinking and advocacy that phenomena are due to natural causes, rather than angry gods, made Thales incredibly influential and dubbed the “father of science.” The day of the eclipse, May 28, can thus be commemorated as the “birthday” of science. So Illinois Science Council decided to offer a celebration of this significant milestone for science lovers, and for the science-curious who are just experimenting with this new form of entertainment that tickles the brain!

Here’s an overview of Science Fest, May 28- 30, 2015, with links for details and tickets. All events will be in downtown Chicago, including venues like tech incubator 1871 and the new healthcare incubator MATTER Chicago at the Merchandise Mart. Fest programs feature experts from area institutions proving why Chicago is our nation’s true City of Science!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Panel Discussion: The Current State of Science & Technology Research and its Economic Impact on Chicago

Chase Auditorium, 10 S. Dearborn 6:30-8:00pm (discussion); 8–9:00pm (reception)

  • – Congressman Bill Foster, PhD, Physics
  • – Terry Howerton, CEO TechNexus
  • – Catherine Woolley, PhD, Neurobiology, Northwestern University
  • – Moderator – Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune

More details here.  Reserve tickets here.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Science as Art & Science in Film

National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago, 175 W. Washington St.

5:00-6:30pm    Experience a stunning digital art exhibit featuring award-winning images from the National Science Foundation and Northwestern University scientific images contests. Enjoy refreshments as you roam a gallery of high-definition monitors displaying beautiful images with interesting scientific backstories.

6:30 – 8:30pm

Film Screening of “The Believers” (full-length 90 min.) – 25 years ago they said they could save the world with cold fusion. Some people still believe them.

Film screening of “This Has Been to Space” (18 min short) – When 25 kids launch a weather balloon to the edge of space, expect the unexpected.

8:30-9:00pm   Q&A with Clayton Brown and Monica Ross, Directors & Producers at 137 Films

More details here.  Reserve tickets here.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Daylong Festival of Science Candy for your Brain!

1871 Tech Incubator and MATTER Chicago Healthcare Incubator, Merchandise Mart 12th floor 10:00am – 6:00pm

More details in the links for each talk.  All-Saturday Pass tickets here. 


The Science of GMO food. You can’t have an opinion on it if you don’t really understand how it’s done and how it works. A real expert in crop science, who’s spent decades in this field of research, will explain and answer all your questions.  10:00am-11:00am  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

The Mysteries of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe (Do they come from the dark side?) Cosmologists explain how & why they study these invisible aspects of our universe.  10:30am – 12:00noon  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Are you dirty enough? Microorganisms in you, on you, and around you. Your personal collection of microbial life – your Microbiome – is critical to your health. Come learn all about it from microbiologist Sean Gibbons. 11:00am –  12:00noon  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Meet with founders of hot tech startups and see fun science demos in a mini science & tech expo.  12:00noon – 1:00pm   Free; no tickets required.

How, exactly do electric vehicles work? How will current research and developments in battery technology change not just cars, but our entire lives? Get all your questions answered from an Argonne engineering researcher. Plus, you can look under the hood of a Tesla Model S, and even kick the tires if you want!  1:00-2:00pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Pain and Your Brain. “That pain is all in your head” doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Learn from a neuroscience researcher and a top pain MD where exactly pain exists, why it sometimes won’t go away and how it’s treated.  1:00-2:30pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Innovation Among Chimpanzees: it’s what you know and who you know.  What makes some individuals more likely to innovate than others and what environments promote the spread of new innovation?  Hear about the surprising commonalities between chimpanzee and human innovators.  2:00-3:00pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Body and Brain: How using your hands can change your mind. Learn how use of our bodies, our hands, changes the brain and how we think, and the surprising – and potentially serious – implications of handedness.  2:30-3:30pm More details here. Reserve tickets here.

Math can be as delicious as food. Learn from a mathematician how a function can be a lot like a blender, how logic is like a symphony, how math is not like ornithology but is like gluten-free brownies – and more.  There will even be pie in honor of pi!  3:00-4:00pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

The futuristic bionic man is practically here. Learn how & why researchers are putting implants into people’s brains in way that create an actual sensation of touch in prosthetic arms.  (Brain implants not included in ticket price.)  3:30-4:30pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Detecting the Invisible: Studying ghostly neutrino particles. A trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second (zing!) that were created in supernovae, in the center of the sun and at the origin of the universe. But a single neutrino can travel through more than a light-year of lead without leaving a trace. How do we investigate these elusive particles, and what can they tell us?  4:00-5:00pm  More details here.  Reserve tickets here.

So You Think You Can Science? A fun science knowledge quiz show.  Graduate students and post docs from Chicago-area universities who would like to participate (or volunteer someone you know), please fill out this form no later than May 25th.  Even if you can’t compete on a team, you can still contribute by suggesting a question and encouraging others join in.  5:00-6:00pm Details here.  Reserve tickets here.

Many thanks to our sponsors!

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May 28, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
May 30, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
$10 - $30


Chicago, IL 60602 United States