Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
Kelly Mendez (415) 379-5133


The annual fundraiser on April 18, 2013 invites supporters to imagine an inspired future
with leading minds in conservation and sustainable design

SAN FRANCISCO (February 28, 2013) – The California Academy of Sciences will host its 27th annual Big Bang Gala on April 18, 2013. Attendees will mingle with visionary leaders in environmental conservation and sustainability, critical topics at the core of the Academy’s mission, while reveling in a sensational atmosphere set inside the greenest museum on the planet.
The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 pm, followed by guests' choice of two Insightful Conversations. The Art and Science of Chasing Ice features renowned nature photographer and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), James Balog, whose documentation of the world’s receding glaciers was recently featured in the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice. The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance features architect William McDonough, recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, and champion of the Cradle to Cradle design philosophy which considers a product’s full life cycle. The conversations will be followed with a seated dinner by McCalls, presenting a menu of locally sourced, sustainable fare.
At 8:30 pm, a second wave of guests will arrive for Big Bang: Party After Dark. In addition to dessert and an open bar of inspired libations, Gala and Party After Dark guests will enjoy electrifying entertainment including a live DJ set by retro-soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne, presented by Another Planet Entertainment; Rock the Bike, an all bicycle-powered DJ booth with music by Fossil Fool and DJ Izzy Wise; pedal-powered art installation El Arbol; and captivating visuals by ALL OF IT NOW! Party After Dark guests will also dine on late-night eats by Del Popolo, a mobile Neapolitan-style pizzeria housed inside a restored transatlantic shipping container, and enjoy a pizza making demonstration by pizzaiolo Jon Darksy (formerly of Flour+Water and Pizzeria Delfina.)
The Big Bang Gala is a fundraising event to support the California Academy of Sciences’ conservation and sustainability programs, aimed at exploring, explaining and sustaining life and increasing public education of these vital topics. Event Co-Chairs Matthew Barger, Randi Fisher, and Wendy Schmidt, Corporate Chair Jes Pedersen, and Vice-Chairs Diana L. Nelson and John C. Atwater, Kate and William F. Duhamel, Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher invite guests to attend in cocktail attire. The evening is generously supported by Cocktail Reception Sponsor Franklin Templeton Investments and Program Sponsor Wells Fargo.
SOCIETY EDITORS NOTE: Photos available following the event.
What: 27th Annual Big Bang Gala (
Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
When:   April 18, 2013 from 6:00 pm to midnight
Tables: Big Bang Gala tables start at $25,000; Tickets to Big Bang: Party After Dark are $75. Proceeds benefit Academy conservation and sustainability programs. To purchase, call (415) 379-5411.