World Science Festival organisers hope to overcome coronavirus tourism hit

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“For any large event there’s always concerns about cold and flu season and things like that, but I think what we’ve seen over the last four years, and will see again this year, is the overwhelming support for the festival.”

More than 700,000 people attended the festival over the past four years, generating an estimated $32 million for the state’s economy in flow-on revenue.

It’s hoped an expanded regional program for this year’s festival will help to bolster it against any potential downturn in visitors to the main event, with the regional program adopting the title of the “World Science Festival Queensland”.

The does not feature any prominent discussion of pandemics or disease control but it will feature a range of lectures and events around the theme of “The Wonder of Why”.

The festival’s co-founder, astrophysicist Brian Greene, will once again host the marquee presentation, this year celebrating Einstein’s development of the general theory of relativity, which underpins much of scientific thinking to this day.

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Other highlights include regular festival fixture Dr Karl Kruszelnicki headlining a number of events including Q&A with Dr K, an examination of science in sport with HOWZAT! The Science of Cricket, and a look at how science and the arts combine in Science of Pointe.

The festival’s popular Street Science events have been expanded and rebranded, with the new City of Science to run over four days, featuring free, interactive displays across the festival precinct at South Bank.

Queensland Museum chief executive Jim Thomson said the festival was building on the previous four years to provide something for everyone, from kids to adults, and from scientists to science enthusiasts.

“This year we will explore everything from the science of cricket and ballet to volcanoes, climate, artificial intelligence and big data,” Dr Thompson said.

“World Science Festival Brisbane in 2020 looks at the Wonder of Why and will spark endless curiosity and have visitors asking why.”

The World Science Festival Brisbane runs from Wednesday March 25 to Sunday March 30, with the full program and event tickets available at the festival’s website.

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