World Science Festival creates great chemistry in 2021

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Packed with innovative ideas, thought-provoking fun and scientific surprises, this year’s World Science Festival is firing on all cylinders.

Starting today and running for the next five days, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said this year’s World Science Festival – the only festival of its kind held outside of New York ­– was lighting up Brisbane across 10 locations.

“It’s exciting to be able to bring the Festival back to Queensland this year, following its absence last year due to COVID-19,” Minister Enoch said.

“Thanks to the hard work of Queenslanders, we’re able to hold this event once again and continue our state’s economic recovery.

“From today there will be 120 events held across the city, including the new City of Science which will deliver science surprises in 86 events across Brisbane.

“The live program, in combination with the online offerings, means this year’s festival is more accessible than ever.”

The Palaszczuk Government has invested $3 million every year since 2016 for the World Science Festival, which is the only festival of its kind held outside of New York. The format for this year’s New York festival is yet to be decided given the current context of COVID-19 conditions in the US.

Minister Enoch said the festival – presented by Queensland Museum – first launched in Brisbane in 2016 and had attracted more than 700,000 visitors, providing a more than $32 million boost to our state’s economy.

“The Arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year injecting $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.

“This year’s Festival will help give a boost to the state’s economy, including in regional areas which are set to host Festival events later in the year.

“Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Townsville and Ipswich are set to host a range of science activities later in the year as part of the World Science Festival’s regional program.

“Since the World Science Festival Queensland program began in these regional locations, 126 events and performances have been delivered, which have been attended by almost 43,000 people.”

Over the next five days, events will take place across Brisbane including at the Queensland Cultural Centre, West End, Fortitude Valley, Carindale and Kingston.

Tourism Industry Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said over six years the World Science Festival Brisbane had cemented a reputation as a must do event.

“Together with Curiocity, World Science Festival Brisbane has something to fascinate just about everyone,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“More than 325,000 are predicted to visit the festival in Brisbane and regional Queensland which is good news for supporting local jobs.

“Queensland is the place to be for events and we know how important they are for our economic recovery from the pandemic, which is already underway.

“The World Science Festival and Curiocity are expected to generate around $14 million and that’s why we’re keen to see them continue to grow as world-class Queensland events.”

Queensland Museum CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the festival, has built a reputation for developing and delivering world-class events, and is a cornerstone of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) engagement.

“Science has the potential to unlock many of today’s global challenges, from combating pandemics to natural disasters; tackling climate change and navigating the future of the universe,” Dr Thompson said.

“The festival provides a valuable opportunity for visitors to hear from some of Australia’s and the world’s leading scientists, discuss hot topics, get involved in science and celebrate what we’ve achieved.

“It also allows us to connect with people of all ages and enables the next generation to take a leap into science learning, how to program robots, take part in science experiments, and be curious about the world around us.”

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