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 2013

See what the Big Bang is all about!

Event Information

April 18, 2013
6:00 pm to midnight

This special evening will celebrate the diverse and delicate nature of life and imagine innovative ways to cultivate a vibrant future—a topic at the heart of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and sustain the natural world.

Event Co-Chairs: Matthew Barger, Randi Fisher and Wendy Schmidt

Vice Chairs: Diana L. Nelson and John C. Atwater; Kate and William F. Duhamel; Jennifer Caldwell and John H. N. Fisher

Corporate Chair: Jes Pedersen, CEO, Webcor Builders

6:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm

Insightful Conversations

Explore the vital importance of our natural world’s remarkable and dwindling biodiversity with the visionary thinkers who are inspiring tomorrow’s scientists and environmental stewards.

  • The Art and Science of Chasing Ice Featuring James Balog - Planetarium
  • The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance Featuring William McDonough - Tusher African Hall

8:00 pm

Seated Dinner

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.

Cocktail Attire

Big Bang Speakers

James Balog
James Balog
A master photographer and founder of the EIS (Extreme Ice Survey), James Balog has redefined environmental photography, whether capturing endangered animals, North America’s old-growth forests, or polar ice. His work aims to combine insights from art and science to produce innovative, dynamic and sometimes shocking interpretations of our changing world. In the award-winning 2012 documentary Chasing Ice, Balog captures the rapid depletion of thousand-year-old glaciers around the world with beautifully moving photographic imagery.


William McDonough
William McDonough
Recognized as a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, architect William McDonough is a globally renowned leader in sustainable development and recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor. In 2011, he was acknowledged for his design of NASA’s new “space station on Earth,” Sustainability Base. McDonough believes green design can prevent environmental disaster and drive economic growth. He champions Cradle to Cradle-inspired design, which considers the full life cycle of a product—from creation with sustainable materials to a recycled afterlife.


Tables and Tickets

Champions (table for ten, $100,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one featured Big Bang Innovator
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation for 10 to an upcoming reception with the Academy’s newly appointed Chief of Science and Sustainability

Protectors (table for ten, $50,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one Academy Innovator
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation for 4 to an upcoming reception with the Academy’s newly appointed Chief of Science and Sustainability

Guardians (table for ten, $25,000)

  • Preferred dinner seating
  • Preferred seating to an Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation for 2 to an upcoming reception with the Academy’s newly appointed Chief of Science and Sustainability

Individual Ticket ($5,000 each)

  • A premium seat to your preferred Insightful Conversation and premium dinner seating with an Academy Innovator

Individual Ticket ($2,500 each)

  • A preferred seat to an Insightful Conversation and preferred dinner seating

Individual Ticket ($1,000 each) Sold Out

  • A seat to an Insightful Conversation and dinner

All ticket levels include admission to 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 event information, or to purchase individual tables or tickets by phone, please contact Elizabeth Hundt at (415) 379-5423, or e-mail at .

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

To learn more about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rebecca Schuett at (415) 379-5409, or e-mail .

Host Committee

California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees
Bruce Alberts, Ph.D.
James N. Alexander
John C. Atwater*
Matthew Barger
Richard C. Blum
Teresa Briggs
Dan Carroll
Peter Y. Chung
Penny Coulter
Troy Daniels
William F. Duhamel
Gregory C. Farrington, Ph.D. †
Peter Fenton
John H.N. Fisher
Randi Fisher
Peter M. Folger
Mark Gaumond
Edward A. Gilhuly
Rosemary Gillespie, Ph.D
Diane Greene
John Hafernik, Ph.D. ‡
Harry Hagey
Susan Desmond-Hellmann
  Glenn W. Holsclaw
Nelson Ishiyama
Oliver Jenkyn
David M. Kennedy
Salman Khan
Roger Kuo
Sharon Long, Ph.D.
Susan Oberndorf
Emilie Munger Ogden
Liebe Patterson
Gary Pinkus
William S. Price, III
Wendy Schmidt
Kurt N. Simon
Jill Tarter, Ph.D.
Thomas W. Tusher
Virginia Goss Tusher, Ph.D.
Jerome Vascellaro
Geerat Vermeij, Ph.D.
Summer Walker
Richard Yorke
Adrienne L. Zihlman, Ph.D.
Mary Zlot
* Chair    † Executive Director    ‡ President
Individual Sponsors
Linda and Andrew Ach
Bianca and James Alexander
Martha and Bruce Atwater
Susie and Riley Bechtel
Cynthia L. Hill and Steven Beckendorf
Stephen Brady
Josie Brownback
Susie Tompkins Buell and Mark Buell
Shawn and Brook Byers
Carlson Family Foundation
Carolyn Klebanoff and Fred Cohen
Penny and James G. Coulter
Carla and David Crane
Lucinda and Charles Crocker
Ann and John Doerr
Dana and Bob Emery
Courtney Benoist and Jason Fish
Doris Fisher
Laura and John Fisher
Sako and Bill Fisher
Janie and Donald Friend
Elizabeth and Richard Fullerton
Patricia and Richard Gibbs
Cynthia Fry Gunn and John A. Gunn
Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Carol and John Hamilton
Margaret and William Hearst, III
Leslie and George Hume
Barbera Brooks and Henrik Jones
  Meridee Moore and Kevin King
Mimi and Dan Kingsley
Laura and Michael Lazarus
Adrienne Zihlman and Jerold Lowenstein
Celeste and Anthony Meier
Steven Merrill
Nancy and George Montgomery, Jr.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Julie and Will Parish
Laura and Mike Patnode
Mary and Gary Pinkus
Amy Rao and Harry Plant
Lisa and John Pritzker
Mary Murphy and Terry Reagan
Sibylle Szaggars Redford and Robert Redford
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock
Helen and Charles Schwab
Melanie and Tom Staggs
Cynthia Woods and Myron Sugarman
Susan Swig
Susan and David Tunnell
Mary and Jerome Vascellaro
Summer and Brooks Walker
Sally Ward
Lynn and Peter Wendell
Diane B. Wilsey
As of 3/11/13

Event Information

April 18, 2013
8:30 pm to midnight
For adults 21+

Big Bang: Party After Dark! Come for an unforgettable mix of music, dancing, entertainment and local food, all under the Academy’s living roof. This special evening will feature a live DJ set by retro-soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne and an open bar, while raising critical funds for the Academy’s conservation and sustainability programs.


Individual Ticket $75
Bundle (15 Tickets) $1000
Groups enjoy special savings.

The California Academy of Sciences is dedicated to explore, explain, and sustain the natural world. Proceeds from the Big Bang Gala benefit the Academy’s world-class research and education programs ($45 of each ticket is tax-deductible).

Thank you for your interest. Big Bang: Party After Dark tickets are now SOLD OUT. Proceeds from the event benefit the Academy’s research and conservation programs.

Dress up!

Singer with tambourine

Music, Creatures, and Cocktails

Explore the tastes, sounds and creatures of the night amongst friends and 38,000 live animals with acclaimed retro-soul crooner and DJ Mayer Hawthorne. Complimentary late-night bites, desserts and inspired libations at open bars throughout the museum will keep the party going strong.

Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne (DJ set)

Soul singer, DJ, rapper and multi-instrumentalist, Mayer Hawthorne will headline the night. Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and John Mayer have all taken to Twitter to proclaim their adoration. Mayer Hawthorne puts a modern spin on the traditional DJ set—incorporating Motown classics and his original tracks to produce a truly one of a kind dance party.

Del Popolo mobile pizzeria

Del Popolo

Eat fresh Neapolitan-inspired pizza under the Golden Gate Park stars, catered by Del Popolo—a mobile pizzeria committed to creating rustic pizza using ingredients sourced from small, generational producers. Del Popolo is housed in a twenty-foot transatlantic shipping container that’s been re-purposed and modified into a kitchen. A wall of glass doors exposes the interior, including the traditional Italian-made wood-fired oven.

Come join us for a special sustainable pizza making demonstration by Del Popolo pizzaiolo Jon Darsky (formerly of Flour + Water and Pizzeria Delfina).



L.A.-based duo Poolside have a sound that can only be described as “Daytime Disco.” Having spent the majority of their careers in smaller indie dance bands, Poolside puts a breezy disco pop spin on classics like Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” You may feel like you’re poolside, but you won’t need sunscreen to enjoy this up tempo California vibe.

Rock the Bike

Rock the Bike

Dance the night away with Rock the Bike, an all bike-powered DJ booth, featuring DJ Izzy Wise. Take turns on the bikes to light up the night sky with El Arbol, a bike-powered art installation (pictured). Based in Berkeley, Rock the Bike is group of cyclists, musicians and innovators dedicated to creating a sustainable future, one bike at time.

Howard Wong of ALL OF IT NOW!

Illuminating Visuals by ALL OF IT NOW!

Howard Wong is ALL OF IT NOW!, a locally grown VJ and Public Works’ resident VJ. ALL OF IT NOW! Has performed with Miike Snow, Dirty Vegas, Blackalicious, Mark Farina, Rusko, Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation), Miguel Migs, Derrick Carter, Claude Vonstroke, DJ Craze, Big Freedia, and many more.

More surprises to be announced!

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

Party After Dark
Event Schedule


Star Gazing
Living Roof, 8:30 – 11pm

Del Popolo: Pizza and Presentation
East Pavilion, 8:30 – 11pm

Photo Booths
East and West Pavilions, 8:30 – 12am

Rock the Bike featuring DJ Izzy Wise
East Garden, 8:30 – 10pm

All of It Now! Visuals
Aquarium, 8:30 – 12am

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

Fragile Planet and Life: A Cosmic Story
Planetarium, 9pm & 10pm

Piazza, 9 – 10pm

Mayer Hawthorne (DJ set)
Piazza, 10 – 11:30pm

Times and locations are subject to change up until day of event.

Limited capacity in Piazza.

Thanks to our corporate


Asset Management Company



Simpson Thacher


Live music presented by


Another Planet

Thanks to our radio



Thanks to our in-kind sponsors:

  • Blue Angel Spirits LLC
  • The Bubble Lounge
  • Bulleit Bourbon
  • Caldwell Vineyard
  • Cornerstone Cellars
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Hafner Vineyard
  • Parés Balta
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Trumer Pils