55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24


Big Bang Gala 2012

See what the Big Bang is all about!

Event Information

April 19, 2012
6:00 pm to midnight

This special evening will celebrate the leading lights and bright minds making remarkable contributions in the realm of science education – a topic at the core of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world.

Event Chairs: Randi Fisher, Carrie Penner and Wendy Schmidt

6:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm

Explore the vital importance of science education in an era when science touches every aspect of our daily lives—from the physical environment to our health and economy.

  • Click Here to Learn More
    Featuring Salman Khan; introduction by Eric Schmidt — Planetarium
  • Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators
    Featuring Dean Kamen and Ira Flatow — African Hall

8:00 pm

Seated Dinner, performance by Cypress String Quartet

8:30 pm

Big Bang: Party After Dark
Dinner guests merge with Party After Dark revelers to explore the tastes, sounds and creatures of the night. Join us for dancing, dessert, and inspired cocktails all under a spectacular living roof.

Dazzling Attire

The Evening’s Bright Illuminators

Ira Flatow
Veteran NPR science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist, Ira is the host of Talk Of The Nation: Science Friday. He anchors the show each Friday, bringing listeners a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment. Flatow is also founder and president of TalkingScience, a nonprofit dedicated to creating radio, TV and Internet projects that make science user-friendly.


Dean Kamen
Nicknamed a modern-day Edison, Dean landed in the limelight with his invention of the Segway. With over 150 patents under his belt, his recent projects include portable energy and water purification for the developing world and a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers. Dean is also the founder of FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, a worldwide robotics competition for students that actually makes science cool for kids.


Salman Khan
Named "Bill Gates' favorite teacher" by Fortune Magazine, Salman is the founder and one-man faculty of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to anyone, anywhere in the world. It’s the most-used library of educational videos on the web, with 3.7 million unique students per month, over 88 million lessons delivered, and over 260 million exercises completed.


Eric Schmidt
Since joining Google in 2001, Eric has helped the corporation grow from a Silicon Valley startup to a global enterprise, earning him the spot of Executive Chairman. Prior to joining Google, he was Chairman and CEO of Novell, and Chief Technology Officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Much more than a software engineer and businessman, Eric also finds time to remain a generous philanthropist through the Schmidt Family Foundation.


Individual Ticketing Options

Brilliant Beacons (table for ten, $100,000)

Includes premium seating for dinner with one of our featured Illuminators, premium seats at your preferred Brilliant Conversation, and ten tickets to NPR’s Science Friday live broadcast from the Academy on April 20th

Radiant Beams (table for ten, $50,000)

Includes premium seating for dinner with an Academy Illuminator, premium seats at your preferred Brilliant Conversation, and four tickets to NPR’s Science Friday live broadcast from the Academy on April 20th

Shining Stars (table for ten, $25,000)

Includes preferred seating for dinner, preferred seating at a Brilliant Conversation, and two tickets to NPR’s Science Friday live broadcast from the Academy on April 20th

Bright Lights (table for ten, $10,000) Sold out

Includes seating for dinner and seating at a Brilliant Conversation

Individual tickets ($1,000 each) Sold out

Includes seating for dinner and a seat at a Brilliant Conversation

All ticket levels include admission to the Party After Dark.
Valet parking included for all gala dinner guests.
Reservations will be held at the door.
Value of goods and services for IRS purposes is $300 per seat utilized.


For additional information, or to purchase individual tables or tickets by phone, please contact Kristina Kaiser at (415) 379-5414, or e-mail .

To learn more about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sara Janzen at (415) 379-5402, or e-mail .

Host Committee

California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees
Bruce Alberts, Ph.D.
James N. Alexander
John C. Atwater*
Richard C. Blum
Peter Y. Chung
Penny Coulter
Gregory C. Farrington, Ph.D.†
John H.N. Fisher
Randi Fisher
Peter M. Folger
Mark Gaumond
Edward A. Gilhuly
Rosemary Gillespie, Ph.D.
Diane B. Greene
John Hafernik, Ph.D.‡
Harry Hagey
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
Glenn W. Holsclaw
David A. Hoyt
  Nelson Ishiyama
Oliver Jenkyn
Roger G. Kuo
Sharon Long, Ph.D.
Craig Moritz, Ph.D.
David Morrison, Ph.D.
Susan Oberndorf
Emilie Munger Ogden
Liebe Patterson
Carrie W. Penner
Gary Pinkus
William S. Price, III
Wendy Schmidt
Jill Tarter, Ph.D.
Thomas W. Tusher
Jerome Vascellaro
Geerat J. Vermeij, Ph.D.
Adrienne L. Zihlman, Ph.D.
Mary Zlot
* Chair    † Executive Director    ‡ President

Corporate Sponsors

Individual Sponsors

Barbara and Timothy Arnstein
Martha and Bruce Atwater
Pamela and Larry Baer
Barbara and Gerson Bakar
Sloan and Roger Barnett
Courtney Benoist and Jason Fish
Wendy and Dick Bingham
Barbera Brooks and Henrik Jones
Sabrina Buell and Yves Behar
The Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation
Kelli and G. Steven Burrill
Carlson Family Foundation
Margaret and Charles Charnas
Martha Ehmann Conte
Lauren and Alan Dachs
Leslie and Troy Daniels
Gretchen de Baubigny
Juliet de Baubigny
Betsy and Don Dixon
Ann and John Doerr
Abby and Egon Durban
Dana and Robert Emery
Lynn Feintech and Tony Bernhardt
Laura and John Fisher
Sako and Bill Fisher
Elizabeth and Richard Fullerton
Marcia and John Goldman
Emma and Fred Goltz
Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Virginia Hammerness
Andrea and John Hennessy
Jeanne Hittell
Leslie and George Hume
The James Family Foundation
Maryellie and Rupert Johnson
Ann and Charles Johnson Foundation
Gretchen B. Kimball
Laura and Michael Lazarus
Marie and Barry Lipman
Laura Mateo
Ann and Andy Mathieson
Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Betsy and Ed McDermott
Celeste and Anthony Meier
Tina and Hamid Moghadam
Nancy and George Montgomery
Diane L. Morris
The John C. and Katherine M. Morris Foundation
Katie and Hans Morris
Stasia Obremskey and Dan Carroll
Laura and Mike Patnode
Alison and Mark Pincus
Gina and Stuart Peterson
Amy Rao and Harry Plant
Lisa and John Pritzker
Kendra and Erik Ragatz
Julie and Joseph Ratner
Sibylle Szaggars Redford and
    Robert Redford
Kelley and Mark Roberts
Helen and Charles R. Schwab
Nancy and Greg Serrurier
Ram and Vijay Shriram
Melanie and Tom Staggs
Roselyne C. Swig
Laurie and Jeffrey Ubben
Lynn and Peter Wendell
Sandra and Michael Whitman
Diane B. Wilsey

Event Information

April 19, 2012
8:30pm to midnight
For adults 21+

Explore the tastes, sounds, and creatures of the night at the California Academy of Sciences during the Big Bang: Party After Dark, a special evening benefiting the Academy research and education programs, featuring live music by Fitz and The Tantrums, late-night bites, and an open bar.


We’re thrilled to announce that tickets for tonight’s Big Bang: Party After Dark are now SOLD OUT. Proceeds from tonight will benefit the Academy’s research and education programs. Thank you for all of the support!

The California Academy of Sciences is dedicated to exploring, explaining, and protecting the natural world. Proceeds from the Big Bang Gala and Big Bang: Party After Dark benefit the Academy’s world-class research and education programs ($45 of each ticket is tax-deductible).

For more information call 415.379.5411 or email events@calacademy.org.

Dazzling Attire

Dance the Night Away

Dance the night away amongst friends and 38,000 live animals with acclaimed soul/pop band Fitz and The Tantrums, presented by Another Planet Entertainment. Dessert, late-night bites, and inspired libations at open bars throughout the museum will keep the party going strong.

Fitz and The Tantrums

Soul/pop band-on-the-rise Fitz and The Tantrums will headline the night, presented by Another Planet Entertainment. Named a “Band to Watch” by Rolling Stone, and a “You Oughta Know” band by VH1, Fitz and the Tantrums puts a modern spin on Motown with their eclectic sound and powerhouse vocals.

J Boogie

San Francisco resident and world-renowned DJ/producer, J Boogie continues to challenge the boundaries of the music world across genres, styles, languages and borders throughout his 20-year career. J Boogie’s local success has earned him awards such as “SF’s Best Club DJ” by SF Weekly, “SF’s Best Radio & Club DJ” by citysearch.com and “Best Hip–Hop Radio Show” by SF Bay Guardian.

Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist

Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist made his mark on the Bay Area scene by curating top notch events featuring hip hop legends and supporting independent artists from the Bay and beyond. Ren is a professional party rocker who can put it down among the best of them with a vast arsenal of vinyl weapons to drop on any dance floor, ranging from hip hop & soul to electro, house and breaks to trip hop and acid jazz.

Billion Jelly Bloom

See the night air transform into a deep ocean inhabited by an undulating, luminous jellyfish bloom as this “polyp-morphic” performance art piece moves through the museum. As the Billion Jelly Bloom’s mobile 15-foot-tall, 640-lumen-bright articulated jellies dip and swarm, they will interact with surrounding sounds, structures and—of course—party-going life forms.


Illuminating Visuals by ALL OF IT NOW!

Howard Wong is ALL OF IT NOW!, a San Francisco based VJ. Howard is Public Works’ resident VJ. In the past 2 years he has single-handedly upped the ante in the scene with his blend of big room texture-based visuals and moody imagery. Adapting to Public Works’ large-scale projections and the main room’s challenging architecture, anyone that has witnessed his visuals will attest that bigger is better and smaller is faster. Howard has performed alongside numerous world-touring DJs on both coasts and local favorites such as The Slayers Club. He is also a familiar face at the Academy’s weekly NightLife event, where Howard has been a repeat guest VJ. However it doesn’t stop at VJing. Howard has been busy formulating a team of multi-disciplinary artist hacker types which include Peter Bagley, Danny Firpo, Alex Rivas and Kurt Wahlberg. Together they will showcase their work against the museum’s architecture and exhibits.

And more illuminating surprises around every corner!

Sorry, no refunds or exchanges. All sales are final.

Visitor Info


55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco Ca 94118

(415) 379-8000

Directions & Maps

Learn More

Support the Academy


Membership Department

(800) 794-7576


Volunteer Department

(415) 379-5111


Make a Donation

(415) 379-5405

Event Schedule


Star Gazing
Living Roof, 8:30pm – 11pm

DJs J Boogie and Ren the Vinyl Archeologist
Piazza, 8:30pm – 12am

East and West Pavilions, 8:30pm – 12am

ALL OF IT NOW! Visuals
Aquarium & Planetarium, 8:30pm – 12am

Billion Jelly Bloom
Throughout, 8:30pm – 12am

Fragile Planet
Planetarium, 9pm & 10pm

Explore the Gem and Mineral Vault
Project Lab, 9–9:30pm & 10:30–11pm

Fitz and The Tantrums
East Garden, 9:30pm

West Lounge
West Pavilion, 9:30pm – 12am

Thanks to our radio partner:

Live music presented by:

Thanks to our in-kind sponsors

  • Blue Angel Spirits LLC
  • The Bubble Lounge
  • Caldwell Vineyard
  • Cornerstone Cellars
  • Hafner Vineyard
  • Kristine Ashe Vineyards
  • The Other Guys
  • Parés Balta
  • Somerston Wine Co.
  • Trumer Pils