Nerds in Paradise: Science & Sci-Fi Convention Lands in Hawaii

HawaiiCon promotional image
Sci-fi celebs and science geeks will spend three days reveling on a tropical island at HawaiiCon. (Image credit: GB Hajim)

Sci-fi celebrities and science geeks will surf in to Hawaii this weekend (Sept. 12-14) for HawaiiCon, an event that bills itself as "the world's first sci-fi, science and fantasy tropical vacation convention."

The festivities will feature panel discussions with cast members from hit sci-fi shows such as "Star Trek" and "Stargate Atlantis"; scientists including NASA flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi (who became famous as the "Mohawk Guy" after helping the agency land the Mars rover Curiosity on the Red Planet in 2012); and experts on ancient Hawaiian culture.

The convention kicks off Friday afternoon local time, with talks about the role of women in sci-fi and an overview of the year's biggest discoveries in astronomy. Later in the evening, there will be a panel discussion with the stars of the space opera TV show "Babylon 5," as well as a talk on lessons from the first Hawaiian ocean voyagers. [Science Fact or Fantasy? 20 Imaginary Worlds]

Saturday features a slew of workshops on acting, cosplay (fictional costume play), robotics and 3D printing. The program is also sprinkled with talks about living in space, saving the Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids and the science of science fiction.

On Sunday, attendees will be regaled with panels on the history and future of Earth, the science behind the TV series "Stargate Atlantis" (which aired from 2004 to 2009), astronomers' planet-hunting efforts, as well as many others.

Also during the convention, members of the cast of "Stargate Atlantis" will be celebrating their 10-year reunion, and "Star Trek" star Walter Koenig (who played the character Chekov) will celebrate his 78th birthday. Actors from the TV shows "Babylon 5," "Battlestar Galactica," "Game of Thrones" and others will also be soaking up the Hawaiian sun at HawaiiCon.

Conference attendees will also enjoy dinners, tours, a Hawaiian luau ceremony and beach time with the celebrity guests. Convention and workshop tickets are on sale on the HawaiiCon website through the end of this week, and start at $75.

Editor's Note: This story was generated during a trip paid for by the Hawaii Tourism Bureau.

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Tanya Lewis
Staff Writer
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.