Now is the perfect time to celebrate the advances and wonders of science. In the past year we have seen the global scientific community come together to conduct research in virology, pathology and pandemic responses, to help create effective vaccines for COVID-19.

Each year, World Science Festival Brisbane garners an increased interest, and this will be especially true in 2021.

This year’s festival will continue to inspire, ignite discussions and create a curiosity for people of all ages. In a world transformed by coronavirus (COVID-19), the festival will have a new look for the City of Science events. Festival activities will take place throughout Brisbane, from the Cultural Centre all the way to Mount Coot-tha.

For the first time many programs will be offered digitally via conversations, podcasts and audio tours. Audiences will be able to tune into 24-hour live streaming of turtles hatching, providing opportunities for all Queenslanders to become involved.

For events beyond Brisbane, World Science Festival Queensland will offer an extended program throughout 2021, so communities in Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Townsville and Ipswich can once again experience the wonders of the festival.

Since 2016, when World Science Festival Brisbane was added to the It’s Live! In Queensland tourism calendar, the annual event has attracted more than 700,000 visitors and has injected more than $32 million into Queensland’s economy. It has also become a key feature of a larger celebration known as Curiocity Brisbane, a festival that embraces creativity, innovation, science, technology and art.

The Palaszczuk Government supports this landmark event, the only World Science Festival held outside of New York, to celebrate science and explore our world. We invite you to experience and explore the exciting and inspiring 2021 World Science Festival Brisbane program.

The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP
Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade

The Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP
Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts

The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP
Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport


The last year has shown that when we face great hardships, we also demonstrate unwavering fortitude – 2020 was certainly a year of enormous challenges across the world but importantly, it was also a time of great opportunity, great innovation and great scientific achievement. It was a year that started with bushfires and ended with the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Science Festival Brisbane 2021 offers an unparalleled platform to interrogate and understand our changing world; to reflect on the human impact; and to showcase the wonder, opportunity and complexity of science in our everyday lives. It dares us to imagine what we want our future to be, and how science can make it possible.

WSFB 2021 brings people together from different ages and backgrounds to share their experiences, excitement and ideas – and to learn from science leaders and some of the world’s most innovative thinkers. It is a festival that both challenges and connects people.

It is through this lens that we have created the 2021 WSFB program. This year we have increased our online presence and developed new and innovative digital offerings. We have also increased regional programming in the communities of Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Townsville and Ipswich throughout the year.

Our programming this year ultimately aims to inspire a sense of wonder and excitement in science, technology, engineering and maths  – to inspire the next generation of thinkers, leaders and innovators who will need to take up future challenges faced by our society.

Developing and staging such an important festival would not be possible without the ongoing support of the Queensland Government, our generous partners and supporters, and our wonderful Queensland Museum and WSFB staff and volunteers. I sincerely thank all of you. Despite the many challenges this year, we have worked together to keep things moving forward, we have found innovative solutions and we’ve stood by each other. I have never been prouder.

At Queensland Museum our aim is to be a network of museums without borders that inspires curiosity to connect to the past, make sense of the present and help navigate the future in our communities, classrooms and online. This focus has never been more important, and WSFB is critical to this journey.

Welcome to WSFB 2021.

Dr Jim Thompson
Chief Executive Officer
Queensland Museum Network


Brisbane has earned a reputation as an Asia Pacific hub for science and innovation and we are proud to host the brightest minds from across Australia at the World Science Festival Brisbane.

Showcasing Brisbane’s world-class research and technology institutions, the festival has grown to be a popular fixture on Brisbane’s annual events calendar.

While this year will be a little bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are excited to be able to deliver yet another diverse and educational array of events, hosted across Brisbane’s cultural precinct.

While you’re here I encourage you to explore the things that make Brisbane such a sensational place to live, whether it’s outdoor dining, river kayaking or our peaceful parklands.

Enjoy the World Science Festival Brisbane.

Adrian Schrinner
Lord Mayor of Brisbane

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