World science extravaganza to hit Ipswich early next year

NEXT year's World Science Festival Brisbane is set to be bigger than ever and even feature a program that extends to Ipswich.

Minister for the Arts and Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said there would be an extended regional line-up of activities next year that will focus on the theme of Extremes and Adaptations.

"This new model will give more Queenslanders the opportunity to participate in more events," Minister Enoch said.

"World Science Festival Brisbane is the only festival of its kind held in the Asia-Pacific region, and next year there is set to be a record number of regional events, starting with Chinchilla in February, Gladstone in March, Toowoomba in April, Townsville in May and September, and Ipswich in June and November.

"This is the largest regional program ever produced in the festival's history and it will offer a range of great experiences with hands-on activities, a family-friendly street science program and stargazing activities."

Minister Enoch said the state government supports World Science Festival with $3 million in annual funding.

"This year's Festival, hosted by Queensland Museum, recorded more than 205,000 visitors, which was the largest number since it began in 2016," Ms Enoch said.

"In the past four years, World Science Festival Brisbane has taken science out of the labs and onto the streets, enthralled audiences, engaged communities and injected more than $32 million into the Queensland economy.

"This year, all regional areas experienced a growth in attendances, and we hope this will grow even further at next year's festival.

"Next year's new vision also furthers our vision to establish our state as a place that recognises, supports, advocates and engages in science and the jobs it underpins."

Queensland Museum CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the festival grew bigger every year.

"Through a compelling program of signature events, conversations, and cinema the program will allow audiences the chance to explore the diversity of nature, the miracle of human existence and ingenuity, physics, and the mind-blowing promise of space," Dr Thompson said.

"In Brisbane we will expand the popular Street Science! event to include four jam packed days of science activities.

"Science plays a major role in people's lives - regardless of where they live - and it's great to know visitors to Brisbane and our regional communities will be able to engage with leading scientists and teachers during the festival," Dr Thompson said.

A full program of events will be announced in early 2020.