Idea Distillery


Festival of the Unknown

It’s about time we confess our ignorance, celebrate the ambiguous, and salute what’s left to explore. Let’s pay tribute to our age of uncertainty at The Festival of the Unknown.

We’ve brought together a series of exciting shows to take us on a journey through the world of unknowns—from science to history to our personal identities. Join us this August 12-17 for insightful, important, and powerful talks, conversations, and comedy.

Expect special live presentations from the podcasts You’re the Expert, Flash Forward, and The Story Collider, new talks by The Atlantic’s Ed Yong, Ars Technica’s Annalee Newitz, the premier of a new live show by SNL’s Will Stephen, and much more.

The Wild Project
185 E 3rd St.

Aug 12-17


Saturday Aug 13th
7:30pm and 9:30pm
You’re the Expert

You’re the Expert is a live show, podcast, and new public radio program on 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. The radio show uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Through game show segments and hilariously misguided guesses, a panel of comedians will try to get to the bottom of what a distinguished scientist studies all day. You won’t want to miss being part of the audience for this live show and podcast taping. You’re the Expert is hosted by Chris Duffy and produced by Pretty Good Friends.

Monday Aug 15th
Flash Forward Live: Expiration Date

Flash Forward is a podcast about the future. Every episode we take on a different possible (or not so possible) future scenario and try to really overthink what it might be like — everything from the existence of artificial wombs, to what would happen if space pirates dragged a second moon to Earth.

Join host Rose Eveleth for a live performance and interactive adventure. If you could find out the exact day you would die, would you?

More events coming soon!

Tuesday Aug 16th
The Story Collider

Now, more than ever, science is a part of everyone’s life. At The Story Collider, you’ll hear from scientists about all the times things went wrong, and occasionally right, in their labs, but you’ll also hear from people who haven’t had a formal connection to science since high school. We have physicists, comedians, neuroscientists, writers, actors, doctors, and many, many more telling their story. Some are heartbreaking; some are hilarious. They’re all true, and all, in one way or another, are about science.