Press Release

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


The annual fundraiser on April 24, 2014 invites supporters to hear fresh insights
from inspiring innovators on the cutting edge of modern research

SAN FRANCISCO (March 4, 2014) – The California Academy of Sciences will host its 28th annual Big Bang Gala on April 24, 2014. Attendees will mingle with visionary leaders in environmental research 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. Journey Through Your DNA features Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of 23andMe, a Silicon Valley start-up that brings genetic testing to consumers, in conversation with Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR’s Tech Nation. A Renewable Horizon features insights on the state and future of renewable energy from inventor Daniel Nocera and environmentalist Tom Steyer, in conversation with Greg Dalton of The Commonwealth Club’s Climate One. 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 live DJ sets by acclaimed indie rock bands Ra Ra Riot and Youngblood Hawke, luxe camp-style lounges by Shelter Co., a silent disco with the DJs of Motown on Mondays, gourmet food trucks, including mobile pizzeria Del Popolo, photo booths, and more.

The Big Bang Gala is a fundraising event to support the California Academy of Sciences’ world-class research and education programs, aimed at exploring, explaining and sustaining life and increasing public education of these vital topics. Event Co-Chairs Matthew and Janice Barger and Bill and Kate Duhamel; Honorary Co-Chairs Randi Fisher and Wendy Schmidt, Vice Chairs Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher, Diana L. Nelson and John C. Atwater, and Jerome and Mary Vascellaro invite guests to attend in dazzling 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: 28th Annual Big Bang Gala (
Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
When:  April 24, 2014 from 6:00 pm to midnight
Tables: Big Bang Gala tables start at $25,000; advanced tickets to Big Bang: Party After Dark are $75 ($100 after March 24). Proceeds benefit Academy research and education programs. To purchase, visit or call (415) 379-5411.