Future Con Unites the Brightest Stars of Stage & Science at Awesome Con 2018

Press Release:

Science experts and entertainers will unite this month at the Smithsonian magazine Future Con, a themed pavilion celebrating science, technology, science fiction and fantasy within the Mid-Atlantic’s premiere pop culture convention Awesome Con. From March 30-April 1 Future Con presents three days of special programming that will include tech demos, meet-and-greet opportunities with scientific leaders and the opportunity to dive into the stimulating and fantastical overlaps between real-world science and science fiction. Attendees of all ages can engage with panels and discussions as well as hands-on tech demos and workshops, all focused on fostering awareness and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“Future Con is an opportunity for all of us to think about the future in a fun and engaging way through pop culture and science fiction,” says Awesome Con Founder Ben Penrod. “It’s important to showcase the people and organizations who take inspiration from pop culture, to solve real-life problems and create a better world for us all. In 2018, we’re partnering again with the Smithsonian to bring that message to fans at Awesome Con through Future Con.”

Awesome Con is proud to welcome the brightest minds from organizations leading scientific advancement and education to Future Con, with representatives from Boeing, National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Psychological Science, and the Planetary Society leading programs and workshops throughout the weekend.

“Going to Future Con is like stepping into a time travel machine,” says Michael Caruso, Future Con founder and Smithsonian magazine Editor in Chief and Vice President of Live Events. “Future Con is a great mashup of science and science fiction, a way for people to experience the very real science that is making technology writers and filmmakers have only dreamed of actually come to life around us. This year, we’re partnering with some remarkably forward-thinking organizations – including NASA, Netflix, and X, The Moonshot Factory – to bring that great experience to our Future Con fans.”

Panels like Turning Science Fiction Space Travel into Science Fact presented by Boeing will bring together visionaries and engineers to share how ongoing scientific developments and research are laying the foundation for future space exploration. Learn from experts about what it takes to survive in space, travel to Mars, launch the largest rocket ever into space, and more.

Science lovers will also be able to sit in on Future Con events like the Netflix: “Lost in Space” panel presented in partnership with Netflix, an exclusive preview of the upcoming dramatic re-imagination of the classic show and an exploration of the goals of modern space travel. Attendees can stop by the Future Con pavilion and into an immersive “Lost in Space” pop-up complete with show props and décor that will be featured on the galactic adventure show.

In the panel Science behind Mad Science, X, The Moonshot Factory’s Rich DeVaul will reveal how the moonshot factory brings science fiction-sounding technologies such as driverless cars and balloon-powered internet to life. DeVaul will also share tips for aspiring moonshot takers and unveil some never-before-seen explorations. At the X booth at Future Con, show attendees will be able to see some of X’s prototypes up close and learn more about how engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs are part of X’s early-stage work. The X booth will also allow attendees to play a rapid-fire moonshot thinking game, learn about rapid prototyping and meet some of the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs behind X’s technology.

Star Wars fans will be delighted with exhibits and events presented as part of Future Con, with franchise film stars John Boyega, Joonas Suotamo, and Jeremy Bulloch planning special appearances over the weekend.

Sci-fi movie fans can also attend a Science of “Pacific Rim” panel inspired by the blockbuster 2013 film. Dr. Rich DeVaul, Director of Mad Science at X, and Legendary Comics’ Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy Barnaby Legg clue attendees in to how close to we are to building defensive robots known as ‘jagers,’ whether we can merge consciousness and share memories and feelings with other individuals, and delve into the scientific principles explored in the film.

Future Con also takes a fun look at fiction vs. fact in the comics world, with panels like The Technology of Dark Nights: Metal featuring a discussion with “Batman” artist and writer duo Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder about the technology at the iconic character’s disposal.

Special Guests

 Industry Experts

  • Dr. Rich DeVaul (Director of Mad Science, X, The Moonshot Factory)
  • Dr. Suveen Mathaudhu (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, University of California-Riverside)
  • Dr. Erin McDonald (“Dr. Erin Explains the Universe,” Stanford University)
  • Dr. Theresa McCulla (Beer Historian, Smithsonian)
  • Jared Espley (Planetary Scientist, NASA)
  • Terry Hurford (Planetary Scientist, NASA)
  • Carie Lemack (CEO, DreamUp)

Entertainment Guests

  • John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Pacific Rim Uprising)
  • Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Spectre)
  • Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, The Walking Dead)
  • Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Gilmore Girls)
  • Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
  • Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Newcomers, Doctor Who)
  • John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Arrow, Torchwood, Legends of Tomorrow)
  • Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Future Con takes place March 30-April 1, 2018 inside this year’s Awesome Con, and no separate ticket is needed to attend Future Con events—admission to Awesome Con includes access to Future Con’s speakers, exhibits, and events. For tickets to Awesome Con, visit www.awesomecon.com. For more information on Future Con, please visit www.awesomecon.com/future-con, or follow Awesome Con on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and search for #FutureCon.

Future Con Programs Announced for Rose City Comic Con 2017

Press Release:

Smithsonian Magazine and Rose City Comic Con are excited to debut the Future Con programming track September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Oregon Convention Center! Future Con panels will highlight the intersection of science and science fiction inside Portland’s largest comic event! Future Con programming is part of Rose City Comic Con programming, so a badge to Rose City Comic Con gets you access to Future Con panels.

Thought-provoking Future Con talks include:

  • The Real Science of Zombies: What TV & Films Get Right (And What They Get Wrong)
  • Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding
  • The Tech of Batman
  • Emerging A.I.
  • DARPA – Pushing the Limits of Technologies and Society
  • Artificial Gravity and Faster Than Light Travel

No separate ticket is needed to attend Future Con panels!

Guests at Rose City Comic Con 2017, such as “Weird Al” Yankovic, Peter Capaldi, Felicia Day, Dominic Cooper, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Brent Spiner, Jason Isaacs, Burt Ward, and dozens more. See our full list of guests so far, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get all the latest news.

For further details, please visit the Rose City Comic Con website: www.rosecitycomiccon.com

 

Awesome Con Welcomes Scott Adsit as StarTalk Live! Co-Host

Press Release:

Awesome Con, Washington D.C.’s premier pop culture convention, and StarTalk are proud to welcome actor and comedian Scott Adsit (Veep, 30 Rock) as a co-host of StarTalk Live! on June 16 during Awesome Con. Ticketholders for Awesome Con, which runs June 16-18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will be able to attend StarTalk Live! on a first come, first served basis with the option to purchase VIP tickets at www.awesomecon.com 

StarTalk Live! with hosts Colonel Chris Hadfield & Scott Adsit – Friday, June 16
StarTalk Live!, an award-winning talk show bridging the intersection between pop culture and science with humor and passion, will headline Smithsonian’s Future Con – an event series and science-focused pavilion within Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con. Colonel Chris Hadfield, who audiences may recognize from his documentation of his time in space via Twitter, and award-winning actor and comedian Scott Adsit (Veep, 30 Rock) will take the stage as co-hosts for this exciting program. StarTalk Live! is open to all Awesome Con ticket holders with first come, first served seating, and attendees have the option to purchase VIP tickets which include guaranteed seating and a book signing with Col. Chris Hadfield, coming soon to www.awesomecon.com. StarTalk Live! will take place at 8 PM on Friday, June 16 in the Walter Washington Convention Center.

About Col. Chris Hadfield
Called “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Col. Hadfield woke the world up every morning during a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station with greetings and updates shared with over 2 million Twitter followers. Through his 21 years as an astronaut, three spaceflights, and 2,600 orbits of Earth, Colonel Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness. 

About Scott Adsit
Scott Adsit made his mark on American comedy early on as a member of Second City’s Mainstage and ETC companies, and won Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Best Actor Award for his work there. Adsit travels avidly and teaches around the world, although audiences can catch him improvising and bringing a sharp sense of humor to the stage at Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan when he’s in New York City. Currently appearing on HBO’s Veep, Adsit has appeared on favorite television series including 30 Rock, The Office, Inside Amy Schumer, and Alias, as well as influential sketch comedy shows Mr. Show and Tenacious D. He is also the voice of Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6.

About Future Con
Future Con is a three-day science, technology, and entertainment celebration featured within LeftField Media’s Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con held annually. Future Con highlights the intersections and developments in science, technology, and science fiction inside D.C.’s largest pop culture event, and has welcomed partners including Smithsonian, Science Channel, NASA, the American Physical Society, the National Science Foundation, Nerd Nite, StarTalk, and more. Visit www.awesomecon.com for more information about Future Con.

RSVP on Facebook!

Future Con with Chris Hadfield Announced

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

Press Release:

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)

RSVP on Facebook!