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Scifest opening rocks!

Media Release – Friday 29 June 2012

Scifest opening rocks!

New Zealand International Science Festival begins - Dunedin, 30 June – 8 July 2012

The eighth New Zealand International Science Festival, to be held in Dunedin from 30 June to 8 July kicks off this weekend, from the strange to the serious with ‘street science’ buskers and many festival events already heavily booked. The festival is themed ‘what makes us tick?’ setting the scene for nine days of over 100 inspiring and fun events for all ages.

An official opening event will take place this evening at Forsyth Barr Stadium, University Plaza Cafe, with a performance of ‘fossil rock’ by US Fulbright graduate fellow Tom McFadden and students from Tahuna Normal Intermediate School. The event will welcome visiting international and local experts, thank external event organisers, volunteers, local and national sponsors and funding partners.

Festival Director Chris Green says “this year’s festival features an amazing range of international guests; from as far as the USA, Mexico, Australia and Britain with events and workshops that will inform and inspire. The team have worked really hard to ensure events are relevant, entertaining and draw us into the amazing world of science.”

Highlights of the festival include appearances by visiting experts including Stephanie D Wilson, a NASA Astronaut; Tom McFadden, a biologist and ‘science rapper’ from Stanford, USA; Sir Ray Avery GNZM and 2010 New Zealander of the Year; Nigel Latta, popular clinical psychologist and author; and an Australian science educator and performer, Chris Krishna Pillay, with street science performances and a family fun quiz night on Sunday 1 July.

The festival will culminate in an event ‘whose science is it anyway?’, on Friday 6 July at 7.00pm - 8.30pm at the University of Otago College of Education Auditorium, Union Street East, Dunedin. The grand-prize winner of the ‘science idol’ competition supported by the US Embassy will be announced and perform live with Tom McFadden.

The event is a part debate, part theatre sports event with plenty of audience participation and laughs. Festival guests will include Nigel Latta, Mayor Dave Cull and Prof Richie Poulton as the festival closing is celebrated with a night looking at ‘wisdom of age vs. enthusiasm of youth’ suitable for all ages.

Tickets to all events are on sale now and bookings are advised, details online at; or visit the Otago Daily Times Homebase in Wall Street Mall. Some door sales will be available at events but attendees are urged to book in advance.

The 2012 New Zealand International Science Festival is sponsored by two major funding partners, the University of Otago and the Dunedin City Council.


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