Press Release

Kelly Mendez (415) 379-5133
kmendez@calacademy.org

The California Academy of Sciences presents Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life

Dynamic festival brings public together with brightest minds in astrobiology
through intimate lectures, evening events and family activities

SAN FRANCISCO (August 30, 2013) – Join the California Academy of Sciences for Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life, an out-of-this-world festival celebrating space exploration, astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life. From October 10-18, 2013, enjoy a range of fascinating programs, family-friendly activities, lectures and social events designed to increase scientific literacy and public education.


Throughout the festival, some of the most brilliant minds in science from NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute, B612 Foundation, California Academy of Sciences and more will be on hand to engage with the public. Festival programming will include intimate conversations, evening social events and a weekend of family fun—featuring hands-on activities and presentations from NASA, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Cartoon Art Museum and more. Hear leading scientists discuss what they know about the conditions necessary to support life, how they use scientific data to visualize what extraterrestrial life might look like and the challenges and prospects of exploring the great beyond.


A complete listing of Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life events below


Otherworldly NightLife (AGES 21+)
Thursday, October 10 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Plunge into the mysteries of our Universe (and beyond) with a cocktail in-hand during a cosmic edition of NightLife. Every Thursday evening, NightLife features provocative science, mingling, music, creatures and cocktails for adults ages 21 and up. Extraterrestrial life welcome! Tickets are $12 per person ($10 for Academy members); additional details to be announced at www.calacademy.org/nightlife. (415) 379-8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco


Eye-Opening Science: Conversation and Controversy

Cosmic Evolution: A Scientific Creation Myth Like No Other
Saturday, October 12 from 9:00 – 10:30 am
Featuring David Morrison, Director, Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow
Eugenie Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education, and Academy Fellow
Moderated by Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow

Our current standard model of cosmology is, in fact, just the latest in a long line of “creation myths.” Why does it matter that this version is told by scientists? How can we encourage the general public to adopt suggested solutions for current or pending environmental challenges, when they appear to be losing confidence in science and scientists? The speakers will share insights and discuss their latest research with Academy scientists and others in an open conversation with the public over coffee and pastries. Tickets are $35 per person ($25 for seniors and Academy members). Series passes available for $90 per person ($70 for seniors and Academy members). Tickets do not include Academy admission. To purchase, please visit www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience or call (877) 227-1831. This event takes place in the Academy's Boardroom, entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive in Golden Gate Park.


Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life Family Festival
Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Explore extraterrestrial life through fascinating programs and hands-on demonstrations for the whole family. Join real scientists from NASA Ames Research Center, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, SETI Institute, Kepler and more as they discuss the search for extraterrestrial life. Learn how scientists use rocks to determine what conditions might support life, use scientific data to visualize what extraterrestrial life might look like and discover how astrobiologists are currently studying the great beyond. Catch a kid-friendly showing of “We Are Aliens” inside a mini-dome theater. Plus, guest cartoonists Michael Capozzola, Jonathan Lemon, Erin Smith and others from the Cartoon Art Museum will illustrate life on other planets. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. For more, visit www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience or call (415) 379-8000.


A Benjamin Dean lecture

The Search for Habitability and Life Beyond Earth: From Micro ETs to Exoplanets
Monday, October 14 at 7:30 pm
Featuring Nathalie A. Cabrol, Planetary Scientist at the Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute
The last decade has seen a revolution in astrobiology—the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Results returned by planetary missions in the solar system such as Messenger, Venus Express, the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express, MSL and the Curiosity Rover, Cassini, and Kepler, as well as multi-disciplinary research in terrestrial extreme environments have resulted in a new, inclusive, vision of astrobiology. What we learn from one planet helps us understand others, including our own, and guides the design and planning of future astrobiology-focused missions. In her presentation, Dr. Cabrol will discuss this revolution in astrobiology, with the latest updates from these various missions, and where we stand on our quest to understanding habitability and finding life beyond Earth. Tickets are $12 per person, $10 for seniors and $8 for Academy members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy/org/brilliantscience.com or call (877) 227-1831. This event takes place at Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.


Nerd Nite SF: Confessions of an Alien Hunter
Wednesday, October 16 at 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Featuring Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow
Ryan Wyatt, Director of Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences

Seth Shostak knew he would spend his life hunting for signs of life in the universe from the time he was just 10 years old. Now, he is the senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute. The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Shostak has published hundreds of scientific articles, written several popular books and even has his own radio show. Ryan Wyatt, director of Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, will join him on stage as Shostak reveals his latest confessions as one of this world’s leading alien hunters! We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 50 cities across the globe where nerds give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations while the audience drinks along. Tickets are $8 per person. Doors open at 7 pm and early arrival is suggested as seating is limited. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy/org/brilliantscience.com or call (877) 227-1831. This special extraterrestrial-themed Nerd Nite SF takes place at Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street, San Francisco.


Penguins + Pajamas Sleepover: Extraterrestrial Life (AGES 5-17, with adult chaperone)
Friday, October 18 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 am

Do you ever look up at the starry night sky above and wonder, “Are we alone?” Grab your sleeping bag and join us for a Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life sleepover event! Become a star gazing guru while touring our night sky at an after-hours planetarium show. Take a solar system walk to learn about our own cosmic neighborhood, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and much more. Before bedtime, enjoy cookies and milk, then attend a late night show in the planetarium, Hohfeld Hall, or even enjoy a bedtime story in African Hall. Catch a kid-friendly showing of “We Are Aliens” inside a mini-dome theater. When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for breakfast. Sleepovers include parking and next-day admission to the Academy. Tickets are $99 per person, $79 for Academy members and groups of 10+. To purchase, visit www.calacademy.org/sleepovers or call (415) 379-8000.

Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life supporting programs


Eye-Opening Science: Conversation and Controversy

Earth 2.0: Where Is It? Can We Visit? Earth: A Single Point Failure
Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 – 10:30 am
Featuring Rusty Schweickart, Chair Emeritus of the B612 Foundation, and Academy Fellow
David Des Marais, Principal Investigator, NASA Ames Research Center, and Academy Fellow
Carl Pilcher, Former Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute
Moderated by Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow

Is our search for Earth 2.0 and other exoplanets an absolute requirement for humanity’s survival? Are there alternatives to moving out? What can the climate changes we study on other worlds tell us about the potential for husbanding our world successfully? Researchers from NASA will share insights and discuss their latest research with Academy scientists and others in an open conversation with the public over coffee and pastries.
Tickets are $35 per person ($25 for seniors and Academy members). Series passes available for $90 per person ($70 for seniors and Academy members). Tickets do not include Academy admission. To purchase, please visit www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience or call (877) 227-1831. This event takes place in the Academy's Boardroom, entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive in Golden Gate Park.


Eye-Opening Science: Conversation and Controversy

SETI: The Archaeology of the Future
Saturday, October 26 from 9:00 – 10:30 am
Featuring Geoff Marcy, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, and Academy Fellow
Andrew Fraknoi, Professor of Astronomy, Foothill College
Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow
Moderated by Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair, SETI Institute, and Academy Fellow

The successful detection of a signal from another extraterrestrial technology would tell us that, on average, technology is a stabilizing influence and that we could have a long future if we get it right. Is it just a matter of time before we find extraterrestrial life? What are the statistics? What can we really learn—if we get a signal, and if we do not? How long should we listen before we transmit? Speakers will share their insights and discuss their latest research with Academy scientists and others in this open conversation with the public over coffee and pastries.
Tickets are $35 per person ($25 for seniors and Academy members). Series passes available for $90 per person ($70 for seniors and Academy members). Tickets do not include Academy admission. To purchase, please visitwww.calacademy.org/brilliantscience or call (877) 227-1831. This event takes place in the Academy's Boardroom, entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive in Golden Gate Park.