• Dr Karl Kruszelnicki in action. (ABC)Source: ABC
BAHFest is an opportunity for science enthusiasts to spout nonsense - all in good fun.
By
Signe Dean

19 Aug 2016 - 12:50 PM  UPDATED 19 Aug 2016 - 12:50 PM

Here’s one to wrap your head around - the Kardashians are actually made out of graphene, and scientists can harness them as a free source of wonderful new materials for the benefit of humanity.

Of course, that’s a totally nonsensical theory.

But in this case it’s not the facts that matter, it’s the presentation - the more outlandish, and yet eloquently explained, the better. If you’ve never been to a Festival of Bad Ad-Hoc Hypotheses (BAHFest), tonight there’s one taking place at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. (Later coming to a YouTube channel near you.)

Billed as a “celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theory,” BAHFest is a humorous competition where brave presenters spout totally bogus scientific sounding nonsense in front of a panel of judges, vying for the coveted trophy of a 3D-printed, shrugging Charles Darwin desk figurine.

"That's one of the premises of what we're trying to do this year - to entertain," says Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who will be giving a special keynote at BAHFest Sydney tonight.

"You don't have to be glum if you're a scientist,” he adds. “In fact, one of the things about scientists is that they have a really good time - they know how to party.”

BAHFest was founded by the cartoonist Zach Weinersmith, whose Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic contains a regular dose of tongue-in-cheek science. Originally devoted specifically to fake evolutionary theory, it’s been held eight times since 2013, entertaining sold-out crowds in London and various locations across the US.

First time in Australia, the event is happening as part of Sydney Science Festival 2016, and will be hosted by Alex Lee from the ABC TV show The Checkout.

Of course, there’s always a risk that a completely hokey theory leaks out into the world where it finds gullible ears and takes on a life of its own, but Dr Karl thinks that humour is key, and “people believe all sorts of crap” no matter what you do.

"If you can give people a good time, and they laugh and learn at the same time, they find something amazing - that's as good as the movies!"

If you find BAHFest intriguing, but don’t live in Sydney or can’t make it tonight, thankfully there’s no shortage of hilariously wrong presentation videos from previous events.

Haven’t you always wondered why cats sprint out of the room for no apparent reason?

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