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Smithsonian and Awesome Con introduce Future Con science festival – 6/16-6/18

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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 visitsmithsonianmag.com/futurecon, follow Awesome Con on Facebook and Tw