In 2011, the inaugural Bay Area Science Festival set a standard for science festivals, with an ambitious lineup of lectures, interactive presentations, lab experiments and all-ages fun for even the most jaded of the science-fearing among us. This year’s third annual Bay Area Science Festival returns with a ten-day smorgasbord of wonders. The festival has a stated goal of supporting youth, parents and teachers alike in a quest to make science engaging and fun — and to convince policymakers that science education and resources need to be investment if they are to continue.

We at Oakland Local, in full support of both fun and education, wish you a wonderful Bay Area Science Festival 2013. Here are our top picks for this year’s not-to-miss events on this side of the bay:

Sinful Science

Indulgences may not have anything to do with virtue or good vs. bad, per se, but we always seem to talk about “guilty pleasures” and “vices” when it comes to stuff like chocolate, martinis and mac n’ cheese. This Sinful Science event at the beautiful Chabot Space & Science Center features local faves like Doughnut Dolly, Linden Street Brewery and the Octopus Literary Salon to bravely venture into — and tempt you into — the world of sinful pleasures. Cream-filled doughnut, anyone?

WHEN: TONIGHT, October 25, at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland
COST: $12

The Moth: The Big Bang

The Moth, a storytelling podcast that took the airwaves by storm, is now also a live storytelling phenomenon, with The Moth StorySLAM events happening in cities all over the world. For the Bay Area Science Festival, The Moth throws its hat into the ring with a curated lineup of storytellers that include Adam Savage and Holly Hughes, to regale us with “explosive tales of discovery, creation and chaos, where eruptions in the laboratory of mind or spirit (eureka!) yield fiery results.”

WHEN: Monday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
COST: $25 – $45

Nerd Nite at Sea

To prove that any good idea can be made better by taking that good idea onto a boat, Nerd Nite hosts a special edition of its monthly geeks-with-beers bonanza on the USS Hornet, an historic aircraft carrier docked in Alameda that also happened to be the recovery vessel for the Apollo 11 mission (you know, the one in 1969 that landed Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon). Along with nerd talks about synesthesia and asteroids, there’ll be portable planetarium shows, docent-led ship tours, meteorite samples and, of course, beer. All aboard!
NOTE: The regular ol’ monthly Nerd Nite East Bay on land is also still happening! It’s scheduled for Monday, October 28, at the New Parkway.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 30, at 6 p.m.
WHERE: USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Avenue #3, Alameda
COST: $27.50

Radiolab Live: Apocalyptical

The incomparable Radiolab Live show returns this year, featuring the uber-popular NPR radio show live!, onstage!, for two shows at the Paramount Theatre. Accompanied by a live cinematic score, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich join forces with Reggie Watts to tackle the theme “Apocalyptical,” in which they explore endings again… and again… and again.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 12, and Sunday, November 17, at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland
COST: $47 – $148


But that’s not all, folks! There are also hands-on science exhibits at local farmer’s markets, a kid-friendly Halloween weekend event at the Oakland Zoo, open labs at science centers, and all manner of events celebrating the wonders of what we know and don’t know. For a full festival schedule, see

It’s a one-of-a-kind science festival tailored to the Bay Area.

Need proof? These scientists say “hella.”


Oakland Social is a weekly arts and culture column devoted to upcoming events, new places, and narratives about going out in Oakland. Have ideas for what to cover? Contact

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