OUR PAST EVENTS
ALAN DUFFY & CARA SANTA MARIA: BEYOND THE EYE | NOVEMBER 2017For the first time, astrophysicist and passionate science communicator, Professor Alan Duffy, together with LA Area Emmy Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer and podcaster, Cara Santa Maria, join the stage in Melbourne, Australia to create Beyond the Eye. Alan Duffy has paved a reputable career from publishing over 20 award winning papers on astronomy and cosmology, communicating science across to dozens of Indigenous and metropolitan schools, to creating universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter. On the other side of the globe, Cara Santa Maria has dedicated her life to improving science literacy by communicating scientific principles across media platforms, like TechKnow on Al Jazeera America, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, as well as hosting her own weekly podcast Talk Nerdy.
JASON SILVA: AWESTRUCK | NOVEMBER 2017Filmmaker, futurist and ‘epiphany addict’ Jason Silva – to put it mildly – likes ideas. He likes their tenacity, their flexibility, their contagious nature, their impact and their ability to expand, procreate, and evolve into new ideas. And he is heading to Australia to tell us all about them. We’re also excited to have beloved triple j presenter, science enthusiast and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s right-hand woman Zan Rowe as the host for Jason Silva in Sydney and Melbourne!
Having gained a huge following through his Shots of Awe video series, Silva serves up invigorating shots of philosophical espresso in a format designed to be short, infectious and easily spread: “Think of them as inspired nuggets of techno-rapture.” In his signature rapid-fire delivery style, he pulls from a vast mental repository of tech knowledge and quotes from fellow futurists and artists to create an exhilarating, immediate experience. This November, let Think Inc. and Jason Silva pull you out of your intellectual comfort zone and launch you into a flight of possibilities.
SKEPTICON | NOVEMBER 2017Skepticon Australia 2017 is a two-day ideas festival for anybody and everybody who seeks truth and is ready to question the most recent fad. With many exciting guests including Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Dr Alan Duffy, Captain Disillusion and more.
KENAN MALIK: POST-TRUTH ERA | AUGUST 2017This August, Think Inc., is partnering with The University of Sydney’s Post-Truth Initiative, to bring the writer, lecturer, broadcaster and scientific historian Kenan Malik to Sydney for his one off show, Kenan Malik: Post-Truth Era.
Join Kenan as he explores the history of ideas, truth in the ‘post-truth’ era, and complex sociological issues of race, immigration and their impact on political policy. Kenan has long been an important voice on the left, but also highly critical of what much of the left now stands for, especially on issues such as democracy, free speech and the politics of identity. The Salman Rushdie affair was, he says, a key turning point in his thinking on such issues. He will be discussing the rise in global fear of the “other”, multiculturalism, nationalism, and the dangers associated with “defending national identity”
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: A COSMIC PERSPECTIVE | JULY 2017In July 2017, Think Inc. brings to Australia and New Zealand the return tour of “your personal astrophysicist” Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson in A Cosmic Perspective.
Beloved as an author, scientist, internet meme, and enthusiastic science communicator through his public persona, his StarTalk podcast and his hosting of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014), Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson is at the forefront of an ongoing movement to produce a society that counters ignorance and promotes scientific curiosity and literacy, critical thinking, and rational approaches to ensure our smooth transitions into a civilised future.
AN EVENING WITH DR JANE GOODALL | JUNE 2017There are few greater temptations (or pleasures) in life than viewing a documentary on primates and pointing to our closest primate relatives for their uncanny behavioural and physical resemblances to humans. Feeding each other, grooming each other, courting each other, throwing feca-…well, no, let’s not go there, because most of us have evolved beyond that. Most of us.
So when we ask ourselves “What separates us from other animals?”, we question both our differences and our similarities – a feat deemed impossible without the influence of the work of famed ethologist Dr Jane Goodall. In 2017, Goodall returns to Australian shores to help us revisit this eminent yet elusive question.
BRIAN GREENE: A TIME TRAVELLER’S TALE | MARCH 20172016 was full of highlights in the multiverse of physics – the discovery of gravitational waves, a potential ‘fifth fundamental force’, and that our universe has ten times more galaxies than previously thought, bumping the number up into the trillions. For Australia in particular, one of these highlights was the visit of superstar physicist Dr Brian Greene. His return to Australian shores in 2017 is proof of lightning striking twice.
XUIHTEZCATL MARTINEZ | FEBRUARY 2017Displaying a wisdom far beyond his years, Xiuhtezcatl (“Shu-tez-caht”) Martinez has been speaking on behalf of the planet since the tender age of six. Today still just a teenager, his extraordinary eloquence has moved audiences which include world leaders, Hollywood celebrities and other impassioned young people across continents who have joined his Earth Guardians activism movement. Through public speaking and hip-hop, Xiuhtezcatl is spreading his message and shifting human consciousness – and in 2017, his message will reach Australia and New Zealand.
Xiuhtezcatl made headlines around the world when he stood before the UN Earth Summit in 2015. Opening his statement in Nahuatl, he went on with the fluency of a spoken word poet to stress the immediacy of climate change, its impact as an issue of human rights, and to lambast politicians for over 20 years of inaction. “We have to remember, we are all indigenous to this earth and that we are all connected”.” he urged the delegates. “We are being called upon to use our courage, our innovation, our creativity and our passion to bring forth a new world.” Expect to be inspired, challenged and entertained by this impassioned young eco-warrior and musician.
JULIAN ASSANGE: NO MORE SECRETS | FEBRUARY 2017 Controversial figure and internet activist, Julian Assange returns to Oz via video link to expose the man (and woman) behind the curtain.
In February 2017, Think Inc. presents No More Secrets, No More Lies: Julian Assange in a rare opportunity for a real time interview and Q&A. From the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Assange will be transported back to Oz via video link, with shows scheduled for Melbourne and Sydney, and live screening from these shows to venues in Brisbane and Auckland.
Champion for truth and transparency or dangerous terrorist? Martyr to political conspiracy or traitor? Courageous exile or “fugitive from justice”? Hero or villain? Whatever he is, Julian Assange is certainly a divisive subject.
AN EVENING WITH DR LISA RANDALL | NOVEMBER 2016 In case anybody was convinced that psychedelics were the exclusive path to discovering ‘new dimensions’, An Evening with Lisa Randall took us to the edges of the known universe and into its hidden expanses. As many that attended would agree, the world-renowned physicist was the ideal tour guide into the into the darker corners of what is already known of dark, or rather ‘transparent’, matter. Dr Randall also stressed the importance of reasoned thinking in the current political climate.
AN EVENING WITH DR BEN GOLDACRE | SEPTEMBER 2016The ‘Nerd Evangelist’ has spoken and audiences in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney have been inoculated against the pox of ‘Bad Science’ in modern medicine. Think Inc. were delighted to make these appointments with Dr Ben Goldacre for our Thinkers in Australia and we hope you left informed, empowered and entertained at the foibles of bad medical practitioners and Bad Pharma.
With Pete Evans continuing to make headlines and big corporations shaping the way research is reported, it is more important than ever for Australians to maintain a healthy dose of scepticism and a strong grip on the data—but of course we think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.
AN EVENING WITH STEVE WOZNIAK | AUGUST 2016Although we may not have yet uploaded our consciousness into the digital realm (social media selfies don’t count), in the 21st century are our digital rights just as important as our very human rights? And how the hell do we learn to keep our enjoyable daily grind enjoyable?
The legendary Steve Wozniak (aka “The Woz”) is no stranger these questions, as he enthusiastically charged through the topics of innovation and invention, digital rights, STEM education and many more in Think Inc.’s An Evening with Steve Wozniak, taking our Thinkers and their imaginations with him for the nights across Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in August 2016. Accompanied by Kevin Vinsen and Dr Jordan Nguyen leading the discussions, audiences were treated to a challenging conversation about revolutionising the status quo and (re-?)inventing the impossible.
AN EVENING WITH SAM HARRIS | JANUARY 2016Reason and rationality. Religion and spirituality. Psychedelics and psychopathy. Free will and vegetarianism. Glenn Greenwald, and…well, let’s just leave it at that to describe the plethora of points of discussion that were had across three nights of An Evening with Sam Harris.
Once again, Thinkers, this would not have been the huge success that it was without your participation. We deeply admire the courage that each of you took to attend an event which, understandably, had inherent security concerns. Despite this, your presence was not just a gift to us; it was a wider social statement, a dismissive wave at – or, for the more outspoken among us, a great big middle finger to – those who attempt to silence the expression of ideas, whether with weapons or whines against billboards that never were.
AN EVENING WITH MAAJID NAWAZ | JANUARY 2016So…those last two weekends? Needless to say, they have been among the wildest that the Think Inc. team has experienced. We had barely wrapped up An Evening with Sam Harris and within a blink, An Evening with Maajid Nawaz rolled around. But this back-to-back was not one we’ll soon forget, and, we hope, you will not soon forget either.
Joining his co-author Sam Harris as a special guest, Maajid generated plenty of his own buzz during the rest of his stay in Australia, up until his own talks the following weekend. With numerous radio interviews and a much-discussed feature on ABC’s The Drum, Maajid lit a wick in the dark room of openly discussing extremism, even though critics have accused him of burning that same candle at both ends.
AN EVENING WITH EDWARD SNOWDEN | MAY 2016“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves: an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem because privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.”
In the realised Orwellian nightmare of government surveillance and data retention, individual privacy is threatened and swift justice is dealt to those who interfere with the workings of national security and intelligence. Few who risk their freedom exposing the secrets of the government dodge the repercussions, and for their own survival are forced to flee to tell their story. This is the story of Edward Snowden, told live to Australian audiences in May 2016.
AN EVENING WITH DR BRIAN GREENE | MARCH 2016 If you’re going to ride any waves, what better than the gravitational ones that so many of you rode in to see An Evening with Dr Brian Greene! Yet again, you wonderful Thinkers, we want to thank you for making this event across its respective cities the massive success that it was – if and when we encounter our alternate selves in the multiverse, we are the universe that has earned bragging rights to the best shows (though they might beat us to the travel…).
DR NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON | AUGUST 2015Now that gravity has done its thing and the space dust has settled, the Think Inc. team would like to thank everybody who showed up and made An Evening with Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson without a sliver of a doubt our most successful tour to date. With the majority of Dr Tyson’s talks sold out and in some cases requiring an additional injection of last-minute tickets, we were both overjoyed and relieved that Australia is so rich in inter-generational Thinkers who value scientific literacy.
AN EVENING WITH DR CORNEL WEST | JUNE 2015We at Think Inc. want to deeply thank all of you who attended the Australian talks by Dr. Cornel West in June 2015! Dr. West’s passion for social justice set venue stages ablaze through his wildly witty rhetoric, a taste of which many of you witnessed in his recent appearance on what has now become the highest-rated episode of ABC’s Q&A.
Not one to mince words, Dr. West garnered rounds upon rounds of applause with his carefully-aimed socially-critical buckshot at “…a democracy with a legacy of white supremacy and an attempt to sustain a fragile social experiment.” Though the issues that Dr. West addressed were greatly social and political in nature, he did not shy away from making known his love for blues and jazz music, and the fundamental roles they play not just as a ‘soundtrack to the movement’, but in sustaining his own sense of love and respect for each person with whom he crosses paths (and philosophies).
AN EVENING WITH JAMES RANDI | DECEMBER 2014Escape artist. Illusionist. Skeptic. Investigator. Author. There is no shortage of words to describe ‘The Amazing’ James Randi and his endless list of contributions in ushering skepticism into the mainstream. It was with wide-open, welcoming arms that the man responsible for exposing faith-healer fraud Peter Popoff, and Uri Geller–whose spoon-bending ‘powers’ are about as psychic as they are practical–was greeted upon his return to Australia, furthering his mission to help everyday people safeguard themselves from the scams and dangers of faith healers, ‘psychics’, and prolific pseudoscientists alike.
AN EVENING WITH DR MICHIO KAKU | JUNE 2014In the world of theoretical physics, Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string theory: a theoretical framework proposing that the physical world can be likened to a series of interacting ‘strings’, instrumental in explaining an existence of a multiverse and reimagining what happened before, during, and after the big bang.
But outside of the mind-boggling, brain-wrinkling intricacies of these scientific endeavours, Dr. Michio Kaku is that guy that helps us envision a future in which science fiction becomes scientific reality, and making not only foreseeable but tangible the technological wonders that had always been restricted to theatre – cinematic, and of the mind.