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Extra-terrestrial experiences, scientific dating

Media Release for immediate release 31 March 2006


Mass participation, extra-terrestrial experiences and scientific dating at the 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival

Get ready for mass psychology experiments, extra-terrestrial experiences, and scientifically proven dating tips, at the 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival to be held in Dunedin this winter.

The 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival (1-9 July 2006) brings some of the world's leading scientists to Dunedin, presenting fascinating lectures, experiments, workshops, theatre and cinema.

Key speakers are Dr Jill Tarter of SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, California, USA) and Chair of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) Professor Richard Wiseman. This is the first visit to New Zealand for Dr Tarter and Professor Wiseman.

Dr Tarter leads the Center for SETI Research as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI, a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

In 2004 Time Magazine named Dr Tarter as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2005 she was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization at Wonderfest, the biannual San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science.

Professor Richard Wiseman will conduct a mass experiment for the public to participate in, especially for the 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival.

Dubbed 'the thinking man’s ghostbuster' by The Times (London), Professor Wiseman started his working life as an award winning magician. The author of the best seller "The Luck Factor", he frequently appears in the media discussing his research in areas such as the paranormal, lying, and humour, and has published over 40 articles in leading academic journals.

Other attractions at the 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival include Chris Krishna-Pillay, direct from Melbourne with his cabaret show "Pre-Coital - the Science of Dating."

He reveals the truth behind pheromones, physical attractiveness, emotions, condoms and the odds of finding your perfect match, in his popular and lively presentation, described by the Canberra Times as the “pick of the [Australian Science] Festival” in 2000 and “non-stop entertainment” in the Darwin Mail (2001).

Environmental science is another hot topic at the 2006 New Zealand International Science Festival.

A panel of leading energy experts will take part in the Transpower Future Energy Debate, discussing how the public can play a role in conserving energy.

New Zealand International Science Festival Director Karen Hartshorn says the goal of the Festival is to communicate science in fresh, accessible and attractive ways to the public.

Ticket sales, a festival programme, mass experiment details, and a calendar of events will be available in May.

Professor Richard Wiseman is being brought to New Zealand by the British Council.

The mass experiment is supported by the Southland Building Society.

For news, information, and programme go to our website

www.scifest.org.nz

ENDS

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