HawaiiCon, which will take place at Hawaii Island’s Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel September 12–14, bills itself as “the world's first sci-fi, science, and fantasy tropical vacation convention.” As a sponsor, IfA will play a major role in providing the science component.
Modeled on Comic Con, it will feature cast members from Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, and other science fiction series, comic book artists and writers, and those engaged in “cosplay” (costume play), as well as chances to enjoy Hawaii.
IfA will provide a remote-observing experience using the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network and speakers on scientific subjects, including killer asteroids, exoplanets, and black holes. There will also be a multidisciplinary panel of UH faculty discussing “Apocalypse How: Scientific Views of Threats to Humanity” led by Karen Meech, the principal investigator for the UH NASA Astrobiology Institute, who will speak about the cycles of extinction. Other panelists will talk about the dangers of volcanoes, the dangers of a takeover by computers, and biological hazards.
Roy Gal, IfA astronomer and outreach coordinator, said, “The HawaiiCon organizers feel (and I agree) that a sci-fi fan is also a person with a great interest in real science, especially astronomy. Given Hawaii’s unique role in astronomy, it’s a great opportunity to enhance public knowledge of the field and Hawaii’s role in it.”
Those interested in learning more about HawaiiCon should consult its website, www.hawaiicon.com.