Big Bang: Party After Dark

SAN FRANCISCO (March 11, 2015) – The California Academy of Sciences will host its 29th annual Big Bang Gala on April 23, 2015. This year’s event theme is illumination and attendees will mingle with visionary leaders in STEM education and technology, essential platforms at the core of the Academy’s mission—all within the greenest museum on the planet.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 pm, followed by guests' choice of two Illuminating Conversations. In Creating Global Solutions through Science Education, Larry Brilliant, former President of Skoll Global Threats Fund, and Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California and former Secretary of Homeland Security, will discuss the critical role that science education plays in creating solutions for global issues. In STEM: Access and Opportunity for All, Twitter Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger and social entrepreneur Leila Janah will discuss breaking down the barrier of entry for women and underserved populations in technology through hands-on experience, in a conversation with Khan Academy founder Sal Khan. 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 decadent desserts and an open bar of inspired libations, Gala and Party After Dark guests will enjoy electrifying entertainment, including a live DJ set by acclaimed indie-chillwave act Toro y Moi, an interactive art installation “Between Dimensions” that will use a camera to project beautiful fractal images against the museum exterior, a light-covered, computerized VW Beetle known as LIGHTMOBILE, savory bites served up by gourmet food truck Chairman Bao, a silent disco, photo booths, and more.

The Big Bang Gala is a fundraising event to support the California Academy of Sciences’ world-class science education programs, aimed at exploring, explaining, and sustaining life and increasing public knowledge of these vital topics. Event Chairs Kate and Bill Duhamel, Honorary Co-Chairs Janice and Matthew Barger and Diana L. Nelson and John C. Atwater invite guests to attend in dazzling cocktail attire. Major supporters include Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher, Kat Taylor and Tom Steyer, and Mary and Jerome C. Vascellaro. Corporate Chairs include Oliver Jenkyn, Visa Inc. and Geisha J. Williams, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The evening is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Cocktail Reception Sponsor Franklin Templeton Investments, and Party After Dark Sponsor Carmel Partners.

SOCIETY EDITORS NOTE: Photos available following the event.

What: 29th Annual Big Bang Gala (

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

When: Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 6:00 pm to midnight

Tickets: Big Bang Gala tables start at $25,000; advanced tickets to Big Bang: Party After Dark are $75 ($100 after March 23). Proceeds benefit Academy science education programs. To purchase, visit or call (415) 379-5411.

Press Contacts

If you are a journalist and would like to receive Academy press releases please contact

Digital Assets

Hi-res and low-res image downloads are available for editorial use. Contact us at to request access.