The relationship most adults have with science is one of observation: watching government agencies explore on behalf of us, but not actually exploring it ourselves. Science should be disruptively accessible – empowering people from a variety of different backgrounds to explore, participate in, and build new ways of interacting with and contributing to science. By having a fresh set of eyes from those who solve different types of problems, new concepts often emerge and go on to influence science in unexpected ways. A grassroots effort called Science Hack Day aims to bridge the gap between the science, technology and design industries. A Hack Day is a 48 hour all-night event that brings different people with good ideas together in the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building ‘cool stuff’. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.
Ariel Waldman, Spacehack.org
Ariel Waldman is the founder of Spacehack.org, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the creator of Science Hack Day SF, an event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend. She is also the coordinator for Science Hack Days around the world, an interaction designer, and a research affiliate with Institute For The Future.
Additionally, she sits on the advisory board for the SETI Institute‘s science radio show Big Picture Science, is a contributor to the book State of the eUnion: Government 2.0 and Onwards, and is the founder of CupcakeCamp. In 2008, she was named one of the top 50 most influential individuals in Silicon Valley. Previously, she was a CoLab Program Coordinator at NASA, a Digital Anthropologist at VML (a WPP agency), and a sci-fi movie gadget columnist for Engadget.
Jeremy Keith, Web Developer, Clearleft Ltd
An Irish web developer living in Brighton, England making websites with Clearleft.
Matt Bellis, Research Assoc, Northern Illinois University
Matt is a particle physicist by training and is searching for signs of New Physics using data from the BaBar electron-positron collider experiment and the CoGeNT dark matter detection experiment. To these ends he is exploring new computing solutions to these challenges.
He is interested in both data visualization and sonification. He is also involved in efforts to engage the public in science and teach them as much physics as they can handle.
Matt received his PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later worked at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University. He is currently teaching and doing research at Northern Illinois University.
In the fall, Matt will begin his new job as a professor, teaching and continuing his physics research at Siena College in upstate-NY.