Smithsonian and Awesome Con Introduce Future Con New Science Festival Inside Washington, D.C.’s Comic Con Kicks Off with StarTalk Live! Hosted by Astronaut Chris Hadfield
Smithsonian magazine and LeftField Media today are announcing a partnership to create an exciting new live event called “Future Con,” a three-day science, technology, and entertainment celebration that will be featured within LeftField Media’s upcoming Awesome Con on June 16-18, 2017 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Future Con will highlight the intersection of science, technology, and science fiction inside D.C.’s largest pop culture event. It is sponsored by Science Channel, features partners including NASA, the American Physical Society, the National Science Foundation, and Nerd Nite, and it will be headlined by StarTalk Live! hosted by Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who became a social media sensation through his (literally) out-of-this-world videos and performances from the International Space Station.
Driven by experts at Smithsonian magazine, Future Con will mix together interactive experiences, engaging discussions, and special guests centered around creating new awareness and advocacy for all things science, technology, engineering, and math. Previous Smithsonian Future events have featured astronaut Buzz Aldrin, oceanographer Bob Ballard, Star Trek actors William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and George Takei, and the creators of Deadpool, The Martian, and The X-Files, with the Smithsonian now bringing similar visionary names from science and science fiction together in front of a broad, public audience at Awesome Con.
Awesome Con, now entering its fifth year, attracts over 60,000 attendees and participants including Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men), David Tennant (star of Doctor Who and Jessica Jones), John Barrowman (Doctor Who and Arrow), Felicia Day (creator of The Guild and noted author, producer, and blogger), Wil Wheaton (writer, blogger, actor, and voice actor), and Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (acclaimed Batman writer and artist team). Awesome Con is a celebration of comic books, movies, television, toys, and games, and Future Con will add science to the worlds Awesome Con explores.
“The Smithsonian’s mission is to spread knowledge throughout the universe,” says Michael Caruso, editor in chief of Smithsonian magazine and Vice President of Live Events. “And we at Smithsonian are excited to partner with Awesome Con to do just that—transforming D.C.’s largest pop culture convention into a platform to showcase the individuals and organizations building the future today and communicating the important issues and technologies that will define our path tomorrow.”
“Our fans obviously love Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who, and we know they care deeply about real-world scientific advances in the same way they’re fascinated with science fiction,” says Ben Penrod, Awesome Con’s founder. “Working with Smithsonian magazine to create Future Con is one of our proudest achievements, making Awesome Con a space not just to entertain but one to inspire and educate, and we hope we can play a small part in creating the inventors, engineers, educators, and astronauts of tomorrow.”
Future Con’s kickoff event will welcome Colonel Chris Hadfield to host a special edition of StarTalk Live! Col. Hadfield is a veteran of two space shuttle missions and former commander of the International Space Station. He’s also been called the “most social media savvy astronaut” by Forbes for his ongoing documentation of his time in space to over 2 million Twitter followers. Col. Hadfield will appear at Future Con to lead a taping of StarTalk Live!, an award-winning talk show bridging the intersection between pop culture and science with humor and passion.
Future Con will see further pioneering names in space travel, artificial intelligence, nanomachines, climate science, and medical research share the stage with some of the brightest names in pop culture—with presenters including John Mather (NASA’s Nobel Laureate and head of the James Webb Telescope), Adam Steltzner (NASA’s “Rock and Roll Engineer” and head of the Mars 2020 mission), and Seth Shostak (Senior Astronomer at SETI: the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Thought-provoking talks at Future Con will include Cassini’s Spectacular Grand Finale at Saturn, Parallel and Multi Universe Theory in Sci-Fi, Mars: Past, Present, & Future, Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding, Space Lasers, and Antarctic Dinosaurs.
Future Con takes place June 16-18 inside this year’s Awesome Con, and no separate ticket is needed to attend—admission to Awesome Con includes access to Future Con’s speakers, exhibits, and events. For tickets to Awesome Con, visit awesomecon.com. For more information on Future Con, please visit smithsonianmag.com/futurecon, follow Awesome Con on Facebook and Twitter, and search for #futurecon.
ABOUT STARTALK LIVE
Science meets comedy onstage at StarTalk Live!, the StarTalk Radio road show that’s entertaining and educating sold-out audiences around the country! Just like the award-winning podcast, radio show, and Emmy nominated TV show, StarTalk Live! explores current events from the frontiers of science and includes scientists, celebrities, and comedians as featured guests. Each live show bridges the intersection between pop culture and science with clarity, humor, and passion, covering captivating subjects like space travel, human intelligence, extraterrestrial life, the Big Bang, the future of Earth, and the environment. StarTalk Live! gets its DNA from StarTalk Radio, the iTunes chart-topping radio show/podcast hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Emmy nominated TV show on the National Geographic Channel, StarTalk TV. StarTalk Live! is co-produced by Curved Light Productions and Pretty Good Friends.
ABOUT SMITHSONIAN MEDIA
Smithsonian Media is comprised of its flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space magazine, Smithsonian Books, and the Smithsonian Media Digital Network. In addition, Smithsonian Media oversees the Smithsonian Institution’s interest in the Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between the Smithsonian Institution and CBS/Showtime. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 20 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visit the museums annually. (smithsonianmag.com / si.edu)
ABOUT LEFTFIELD MEDIA
LeftField Media, LLC is an events company focused on developing face-to-face events in a range of communities rooted in contemporary culture and shared passion. LeftField was formed in 2014 by Greg Topalian (President, LeftField Media) and is now owned by Topalian and Clarion Events Ltd. With a keen sense of the ever-evolving needs of businesses and their consumers as well as new opportunities created by change, LeftField takes a clean slate approach to business. LeftField’s portfolio includes Play Fair (playfairny.com), a family-focused celebration of toys and play built with the Toy Industry Association; Awesome Con (awesomecon.com), Washington DC’s Comic Con; Rose City Comic Con (rosecitycomiccon.com), Portland, Oregon’s Comic Con; Anime NYC (animenyc.com), a Japanese pop culture festival presented by Crunchyroll; the Five Points Festival (fivepointsfest.com), a designer toy and comic art convention curated by Clutter; and the Classic Auto Show (theclassicautoshow.com), a classic and vintage auto show launched in Los Angeles. LeftField Media is headquartered in historic Trumbull, CT. (leftfieldmedia.com)