SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area Science Festival (BASF) will celebrate its 10th anniversary from Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 25, by hosting over 125 online events including presentations from UCSF’s radiology department.

BASF is Northern California’s largest education event and it is organized by the Science & Health Education Partnership at UC San Francisco in collaboration with cultural institutions, libraries, corporations, museums and others. According to Pete Bartelme, spokesperson for BASF, in previous years about 50,000 people would participate in the festival over the course of 10 days and would gather at Oracle Park for Discovery Day to finalize it. This year it will host more than 125 events online for free featuring virtual experiences such as scavenger hunts, reading activities, forums —including one for women in STEM— virtual tours of labs, panels and discussions.

This will be the eight year that UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging participates in BASF. They will host two presentations on the opening day of the festival. Dr. Nagarajan, professor at the department, will present “Imaging brain oscillations” and will explain his research about the plasticity of the human brain and neural mechanisms of speech motor control. The other presentation will be about PET scans and CT’s and how both technologies are used to detect cancer in people. This topic will be presented by Nuclear Medicine Technologist Erika Padilla Morales.  

“We find it rewarding to answer questions from both parents and children related to ‘What is radiology?’” said UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging on their website.  “It gives us a chance to interact with Bay Area residents, share our experience and spread our knowledge” 

BASF’s purpose is to ignite the community’s interest in science. According to their website, they want to show people that science is part of everyday life, they want to inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM, they want to shine a light on the resources that the Bay Area has for those who love science and they want to increase the dialogue about these topics. 

“To celebrate our 10th year, UCSF, partners & friends are curating 120+ virtual events,” BASF said via Facebook. “It’s our way of sharing our passion for changing the world through science and showcasing incredible STEM opportunities in the Bay Area.”

“More than ever, the critical role science plays in our daily lives is self-evident and is sparking interest in STEM,” said Katherine Nielsen, co-founder of the Bay Area Science Festival, in an official statement. “We had an overwhelming response to transforming the festival from in-person to virtual, resulting in a huge collection of fun, fascinating and unexpected opportunities for people of all ages to discover science together.”

This is a family friendly festival and people can register on their website. A schedule of the event can be found here.