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

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

There are no notifications at this time.


Big Bang Gala 2014

See what the Big Bang is all about!

Event Information

April 24, 2014
6:00 pm to midnight

The Big Bang Gala is one of the Bay Area’s most exciting parties, blending real science with delectable refreshments and inspired entertainment to thank friends with one glorious evening. On this special night, we will celebrate exploration and the pioneering spirit—a topic at the core of the Academy’s mission to Explore, Explain, and Sustain life.

Event Chairs: Matthew and Janice Barger and Bill and Kate Duhamel

Honorary Chairs: Randi Fisher and Wendy Schmidt

Vice Chairs: Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher, Diana L. Nelson and John C. Atwater, Jerome and Mary Vascellaro

6:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm

Insightful Conversations

The Big Bang celebrates breakthrough thinkers who are expanding our perspectives on life and our sense of what’s possible.

Anne Wojcicki

Journey through your DNA

Featuring Anne Wojcicki in conversation with Dr. Moira Gunn of NPR’s Tech Nation

What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored and available for analysis? Hear from 23andme co-founder Anne Wojcicki as she forges the path into a new era of personalized, gene-based data.

Daniel Nocera and Tom Steyer

A Renewable Horizon

Featuring Daniel Nocera and Tom Steyer in conversation with Greg Dalton of The Commonwealth Club’s Climate One

As the Earth heats up at a dangerous rate and fossil fuels diminish, forward thinking citizens and businesses are leading the way in exploring clean, renewable sources of power. Hear professor-inventor Daniel Nocera and investor-environmentalist Tom Steyer share their perspectives on the latest innovations in renewable energy.

Speaker Bios

Anne Wojcicki
Co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, a Silicon Valley start-up named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes that form the structure of human DNA, Wojcicki is helping to usher in a new era of healthcare. Among the first to bring genetic testing to consumers, 23andMe was named “Invention of the Year” by Time magazine in 2008 for its novel, web-based approach to personalized genetics.

Tom Steyer
Steyer is the President of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. As an investor, philanthropist and Californian, Steyer is actively engaged in climate politics, economic development, and environmental protection in the state. Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes.

Daniel Nocera
Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Daniel Nocera applies scientific innovation to help solve important societal problems, providing energy for the world’s poorest people and cultivating sustainable energy supplies for the future through energy conversion. By inventing an “artificial leaf,” he developed a groundbreaking method for generating hydrogen from water using solar power to mimic photosynthesis.

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.

Tables and Tickets

Intrepid Explorers (table for ten, $100,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one featured Big Bang Explorer
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join the Academy’s Ethiopia expedition in 2015

Visionary Voyagers (table for ten, $50,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one Academy Explorer
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join the Academy’s Ethiopia expedition in 2015

Bold Adventurers (table for ten, $25,000)

  • Preferred dinner seating
  • Preferred seating to an Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join the Academy’s Ethiopia expedition in 2015

Individual Ticket ($5,000 each)

  • Premium dinner seating with one Academy Explorer
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation

Individual Ticket ($2,500 each)

  • Preferred dinner seating and a preferred seat to an Insightful Conversation

Individual Ticket ($1,000 each) (SOLD OUT)

  • Seating for dinner and to an Insightful Conversation

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 information, or to purchase individual tables or tickets by phone, please contact Elizabeth Hundt at (415) 379-5423 or email at .

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

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

Corporate Sponsorship Prospectus PDF [2.9mb]

Host Committee

California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees

Bruce Alberts, Ph.D.
James N. Alexander
John C. Atwater*
Matthew Barger
Elizabeth Blackburn
Richard C. Blum
Teresa Briggs
Dan Carroll
Peter Y. Chung
Penny Coulter
Troy Daniels
Juliet de Baubigny
William F. Duhamel
Gregory C. Farrington, Ph.D. †
Peter Fenton
John H.N. Fisher
Randi Fisher
Edward A. Gilhuly
Rosemary Gillespie, Ph.D
Diane B.Greene
John Hafernik, Ph.D. ‡
Glenn W. Holsclaw
  Oliver Jenkyn
David M. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Salman Khan
Roger Kuo
Sharon Long, Ph.D.
Susan Oberndorf
Emilie Munger Ogden
Elizabeth R. Patterson
Gary Pinkus
William S. Price, III
Marta Salas-Porras
Kurt N. Simon
Jill Tarter, Ph.D.
Virginia Goss Tusher, Ph.D.
Jerome C. Vascellaro
Geerat Vermeij, Ph.D.
Summer Tompkins Walker
Richard Yorke
Adrienne L. Zihlman, Ph.D.
Mary Zlot
* Chair    † Executive Director    ‡ President
Individual Sponsors
Linda and Andrew Ach
Barbara and Timothy Arnstein
Martha and Bruce Atwater
Gretchen and John Berggruen
Susie Tompkins Buell and Mark Buell
Shawn and Brook Byers
Stacey B. Case Family Foundation
Mei and Herald Chen
Martha E. Conte
Carlson Family Foundation
Doris Fisher
Laura and John J. Fisher
Sako and Bill Fisher
Marcia and John Goldman
Katie A. Hall and Tom Knutsen
Carol and John Hamilton
Sabrina and Mick Hellman
Barbera Brooks and Henrik Jones
Mimi and Dan Kingsley
Gary Lauder
Laura and Michael Lazarus
  Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Celeste and Anthony Meier
Dorothy and David Messerschmitt
Tammy and Kurt Mobley
Jessica and Jason Moment
Nancy and George Montgomery, Jr.
Meridee Moore and Kevin King
Julie and William Parish
Krutika and Raj Patel
Laura and Mike Patnode
Lisa and John Pritzker
Julie and Joe Ratner
Kyle and Jamie Redford
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock
Elizabeth and Andrew Spokes
Roselyne C. Swig
Lisa Tarter and Sean Carroll
Meagan Wilson Tickner and Geoff Tickner
Pauline and Thomas Tusher
Stephanie and John Warren
Lynn and Peter Wendell
Diane Wilsey
As of 2/27/14

Event Information

April 24, 2014
8:30 pm to midnight
For adults 21+

Join us for San Francisco’s biggest party of the year! Party After Dark spills across the Academy’s multiple indoor and outdoor venues and will feature a live DJ set by indie-rockers of Ra Ra Riot and Youngblood Hawke, photo booths, complimentary bites and open bars, light projections, gourmet food trucks and a Silent Disco.


Individual Ticket $100
Bundle (15 Tickets) $1,000
Groups enjoy special savings.

Thanks for your interest in the Big Bang Party After Dark.
Tickets are no longer available for purchase on the website, but we will have limited availability at the door.
Please email should you have any questions.

The Big Bang supports the Academy—the Bay Area’s largest cultural institution—as it shares its mission to explore, explain, and sustain life with 1.5 million visitors each year and millions more online. ($45 of each ticket is tax-deductible).

Dress to impress!


Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot (DJ set)

Acclaimed indie rock band Ra Ra Riot are fresh off the release of their new album, Beta Love, and will headline the Party After Dark with a DJ set by Wes Miles (singer) and Matt Santos (bass player). Hailing from New York, Ra Ra Riot has created an eclectic sound using a small string section that has allowed them to collaborate with Vampire Weekend and tour alongside the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins, and Postal Service.

Youngblood Hawke

Youngblood Hawke (DJ set)

Self-described as a mixture of pop, rock, indie, dance, and even a little hip hop, Youngblood Hawke (DJ set) will open up the Party After Dark. Cut from the same colorful cloth as upbeat indie pop contemporaries like fun., Passion Pit, Walk the Moon, and Imagine Dragons—Youngblood Hawke was an indie darling of 2013 with a bright future!

Lounge in the East Garden at the California Academy of Sciences

Lounge in the East Garden

Kick off your heels and relax under the stars with a cocktail in one hand and a specialty dessert in the other. The East Garden will be transformed into a posh camp site, complete with luxe camp-style lounges by Shelter Co., lanterns, photo booths and hot toddies!

Del Popolo

Food Trucks

Eat fresh Neapolitan-inspired pizza with food truck pioneer, Del Popolo—a mobile pizzeria housed in a twenty-foot transatlantic shipping container, complete with a wood burning oven from Naples. Then top it off with a s’mores flavored treat from Cupkates—the first mobile cupcake truck in the Bay Area, and among the first in the country!

Silent Disco

Silent Disco in African Hall

Dance to Motown and Top 40 through wireless headsets alongside zebras, lions, and the Academy’s live penguins in the Silent Disco—music courtesy of MOM DJs.

Specialty entertainment provided by Gregangelo and Velocity Arts & Entertainment.

More surprises to be announced—check back soon!

Thanks for your interest in the Big Bang Party After Dark.
Tickets are no longer available for purchase on the website, but we will have limited availability at the door.
Please email should you have any questions.

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


Youngblood Hawke, 9pm
Ra Ra Riot, 10pm

East Garden
Food Trucks
Photo Booth
Luxe-Campsite and Lounge

African Hall
Silent Disco with MOM DJs, 9pm

East & West Pavilions
Photo Booths
Interactive Social Media Screens
Gourmet Food Stations

Living Roof
Star Gazing, 8:30–11pm

Dark Universe, 9 & 10pm

Image Projections and Visuals

Project Lab
Gems & Minerals Tour, 9 & 10:30pm

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

Limited capacity in Piazza.

Thanks to our corporate


Asset Management Company

Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP

Simpson Thacher

Webcor Builders


Thanks to our in-kind

  • Blue Angel Vodka
  • Bulleit Bourbon
  • Caldwell Vineyard
  • Cornerstone Cellars
  • Dark Horse Wines
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Trumer Pils