Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
sstone@calacademy.org
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128
htaylor@calacademy.org

26TH ANNUAL BIG BANG GALA AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES TO FEATURE SALMAN KHAN, DEAN KAMEN, IRA FLATOW, AND ERIC SCHMIDT

The annual fundraiser on April 19, 2012 invites supporters to celebrate the bright minds transforming science education today

SAN FRANCISCO (February 23, 2012) – The California Academy of Sciences will host its 26th annual Big Bang Gala on April 19, 2012. Attendees will meet luminaries who are taking new approaches to bolstering science education, and enjoy a naturally glamorous event amongst schools of colorful creatures from around the world. In an era when science touches every aspect of our daily lives—from the physical environment to our health and economy—creative strategies to increase scientific literacy are more important than ever.
 
The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6pm, followed by guests' choice of two conversations. Click Here to Learn More features Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, the most-used library of educational videos on the Web, with an introduction by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Inspiring Tomorrow's Innovators features veteran science journalist and host of NPR's Science Friday, Ira Flatow, and Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and holder of over 150 patents. Kamen is also the founderof a worldwide robotics competition for students called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), which aims to make science fun for kids. The conversations will be followed by a seated dinner by McCalls and a performance by the Cypress String Quartet.
 
At 8:30 pm, additional guests will arrive for Big Bang: Party After Dark. In addition to dessert and an open bar, Gala and Party After Dark guests will enjoy entertainment including live music by soul/pop band-on-the-rise Fitz & the Tantrums, presented by Another Planet Entertainment; DJs J Boogie and Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist; and the Billion Jelly Bloom undulating through the museum.
 
The Big Bang Gala is a fundraising event to support the California Academy of Sciences’ research and education initiatives, aimed at exploring, explaining and protecting the natural world. Event Co-Chairs Randi Fisher, Carrie Penner, and Wendy Schmidt invite guests to attend in “dazzling attire.” The Big Bang Gala cocktail reception is generously sponsored by Deloitte, and event production is by Blue Print Studios.
 

SOCIETY EDITORS NOTE: Photos available following the event.
 
What: 26th Annual Big Bang Gala (www.calacademy.org/bigbang)
Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
When:   April 19, 2012 from 6:00 pm to midnight
Tables: Big Bang Gala tables start at $10,000; Tickets to Big Bang: Party After Dark are $75. Proceeds benefit Academy research and education programs. To purchase, call (415) 379-5414.