Dr Adam Rutherford
Dr Adam Rutherford
Dr Adam Rutherford is a science journalist, broadcaster and author. He presents the BBC's weekly science radio show Inside Science, as well as television programmes on a range of topics, most recently on the history of anatomy in art. Other shows on radio have included topics such as scientific fraud, morality, MMR and autism, epigenetics, Hollywood science, human evolution the influence of astronomy on art and literature, extinction, and sex. On telly, his work includes the award-winning The Cell (2009), The Gene Code (2010), and Horizon: Playing God (2012), on the irresistible rise of synthetic biology. He has worked as science advisor on several movies including World War Z, Bjork's Biophilia Live (2014), and on Ex Machina (2015).
As a research scientist, he completed his doctorate in developmental genetics of the retina at University College London in 2002, and then moved into journalism working at Nature as an editor, writer and filmmaker.
Adam's first book, Creation, about synthetic biology and the origin of life, was published by Viking in the UK and Penguin Portfolio in the US, and he is currently writing his next, on genetics, history and race.
Loretta has over five hours of weightless time in a 727 aircraft as a Flight Director for Zero-G Corporation. She and her husband George Whitesides are also signed up to take a sub-orbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Trained as an astrobiologist at Stanford and Caltech, Loretta has been to the Canadian Arctic to study plant life in extreme environments and to the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean with “Titanic” director James Cameron to film a 3D IMAX documentary, “Aliens of the Deep”. Loretta’s passion is using human space exploration to inspire humanity with what is possible.
As editor in chief and senior vice president since 2009, Mariette DiChristina oversees Scientific American, ScientificAmerican.com, Scientific American Mind and all newsstand special editions. She is the eighth person and first female to assume the top post since Scientific American’s founding in 1845.
A science journalist for more than 20 years, she first came to Scientific American in 2001 as its executive editor. She has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011. She is a Visiting Scholar for New York University’s graduate Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, where she has also been an adjunct professor. She is the Vice-Chair of the Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils. She is an advisor for the Citizen Science Alliance. She was president (in 2009 and 2010) of the 2,500-member National Association of Science Writers. DiChristina is a frequent lecturer and in the past year, she has made more than 20 public appearances, including speaking at several sessions for the World Economic Forum at Davos and other meetings, and, as an expert witness, at the Congressional hearing titled, “The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D,” which focused on investing in STEM education and basic research. For her digital initiatives, she won the 2014 Folio: title of Corporate Visionary for the Folio Top Women in Media Awards.
Product Design Manager, LEGO Education
Pelle Petersen is a Product Design Manager for LEGO Education based in Billund, Denmark. LEGO Education is a global company with a 30-year history developing educational resources and solutions that make learning engaging, challenging and fun for students of all ages. He has more than 20 years of product design experience and is responsible for the design and concept development of LEGO sets for use in global education, including the recently launched LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3. Previously, he served as a designer for LEGO Technic within The LEGO Group, where he was responsible for designing LEGO Technic product lines, from initial ideas to launch, which resulted in new product lines including Bionicle, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT and the LEGO Technic Starter Kit to name a few. Pelle uses nontraditional thinking when facing a challenge and aims to make the impossible possible. LEGO, play and learning are the three things he loves and is passionate about spreading into the world. In his spare time, Pelle spends time with his family, participates in amateur bike races and likes to renovate houses.
Turnipseed is an education expert who is passionate about inspiring children through education and is a proponent of hands-on learning. Most recently, he served as President Emeritus for LEGO Education and served as the President of LEGO® Education North America for more than 16 years.
He is the immediate past Chairman for The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. He is a member of both the Clinton Global Initiative and the SXSWedu Advisory Board. He also serves as a Co-Chair of the Business for Early Childhood Development Task Force organized by the Global Business Coalition for Education and Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. He is the recipient of the prestigious National Instruments Engineering Impact Award for STEM Innovation which recognizes lifetime achievement in STEM education. He serves on the boards of Education Reimagined, which offers a new vision of the future of education and the Learning Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank aimed at supplying objective research to underpin policy decisions.
Turnipseed is a veteran of the United States Air Force and is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in electrical engineering. He is the author of two books and numerous published articles. He holds two patents for the design of the TETRIX robotic system.
Rapid Evaluator, Google [x]
Rich is the leader of the Google [x] Rapid Evaluation Team and Design Kitchen, two small groups inside Google [x] who prototype, build, and test ideas, searching for the Next Big Thing for Google. He is co-founder and was the first leader of Project Loon, a Google [x] project to explore delivering the internet to the 4.8 billion people who don't have it by means of high-altitude balloon. Rich works in a secret Google lab that may or may not be filled with roving robots, space elevators, and talking refrigerators.
At Google Rich works as a researcher, small team lead, rapid prototyping specialist and in-house skateboarding consultant. He invents things, builds stuff, does math, and usually avoids (unintentionally) setting things on fire. In between filing patents and drinking coffee Rich specializes in inspiring others to be audacious, take risks, and to fail productively as quickly as possible.
Prior to joining Google in mid 2011 Rich worked in Technology Advancement at Apple, investigating new technologies, features, and approaches for Apple products.
Rich holds Master of Science ('98) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees ('04) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University (class of '93).
Dr. John Sotos
Dr. John Sotos
Dr. John Sotos, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Stanford University School of Engineering, is a cardiologist, flight surgeon, computer scientist, medical historian, and the author of the books Zebra Cards: An Aid to Obscure Diagnosis and The Physical Lincoln. With a special interest in the art and science of diagnosis, he diagnosed the genetic cancer syndrome "multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B" in President Abraham Lincoln, and was for six years a medical technical consultant to the acclaimed television series House, MD. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, a board member of the American Sleep Apnea Association, a colonel in the Air National Guard, and CEO of Expertscape.com. His personal website is http://www.sotos.com
Claudia is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and psychology lecturer. She is the presenter of All in the Mind & Mind Changers on BBC Radio 4 and Health Check on BBC World Service Radio and BBC World News TV. She is a columnist for BBC.com and regularly appears on Impact on BBC World News to discuss research in psychology. Claudia is on the part-time faculty at Boston University’s London base where she lectures in health and social psychology. She is the author of two psychology books - “Emotional Rollercoaster: a journey through the science of feelings” and “Time Warped: Unlocking the mysteries of time Perception”.
In 2013 Time Warped was awarded the British Psychological Society award for the Best Popular Science Book and the first Aeon Transmission Prize. In 2012 Claudia received the Public Understanding of Neuroscience Award from the British Neuroscience Association, the Media Achievement Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in the US and the British Psychological Society’s Public Engagement & Media Award.
Professor Steve Cowley, a theoretical physicist and Chief Executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, directs Culham laboratory which operates the only device in the world capable of generating significant fusion energy. His main research interests are the theory of fusion plasmas and the origin of magnetic fields in the universe. Steve Cowley has held faculty positions on both sides of the Atlantic. The Institute of Physics awarded Professor Cowley the 2012 Glazebrook Gold Medal. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Zeb Hogan
Dr. Zeb Hogan
Dr. Zeb Hogan has extensive experience studying the world’s freshwater ecosystems and works to merge conservation science with conservation education and action. He is currently an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, a National Geographic Society Explorer, United Nations Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Councilor for Fish, and hosts the National Geographic television series “Monster Fish.” Zeb’s research and efforts with the Mekong Fish Conservation Project and the National Geographic-sponsored Megafishes Project have aided in understanding migratory patterns and population structures of imperiled giant freshwater fish. Zeb received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California-Davis and his research has been featured in scientific journals including Science and Conservation Biology and popular publications such as Time Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. Zeb returns for the third year in a row as a Google Science Fair judge.
Chief Astronaut Instructor, Virgin Galactic
Ms. Beth Moses is an aerospace engineer at Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline. At Virgin Galactic, Ms. Moses is serving a dual role of Chief Astronaut Instructor and Cabin Program Manager. Her teams are responsible for the construction of the passenger cabin of SpaceShipTwo and the creation of the training program and equipment to prepare future astronauts for spaceflight.
Previously, Ms. Moses worked for NASA’s Johnson Space Center where she served as the Extravehicular Activity System Manager for the International Space Station from initial design through final on-orbit construction. She designed and implemented the global program of human-in-the-loop testing which verified the spacewalk mechanisms used to assemble and maintain the station. Ms. Moses also led an international engineering team that created external outfitting for two central station modules, Node2 and Node3. As a result of her contributions alongside the global team, NASA received the Robert J. Collier trophy honoring the “greatest achievement in aeronautics and astronautics in America” in 2009 for “successful design, development, and assembly of the worlds’ largest spacecraft, an orbiting laboratory, promising new discoveries for mankind and setting new standards for international co-operation in space.”
Ms. Moses received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. As a student, she was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Microgravity Research Award to conduct materials research in parabolic flight.
National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Thomas Culhane is an urban planner and Environmental Sustainability and Justice Professor at Mercy College New York whose non-governmental organization, Solar CITIES, trains people in some of the world's poorest neighborhoods how to build and install household biodigesters, solar water heaters and other renewable energy, water, and waste management systems. Hundreds of kitchen-waste-to-cooking-gas biogas systems and home-made solar hot water systems now dot rooftops from the Coptic Christian and Islamic neighborhoods of Cairo, Egypt to the favelas of Rio De Janeiro to youth hostels and family farms in Swaziland. (See http://solarcities.eu/projects) Culhane grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where both his parents were professors at Mercy College and where he now shares his passion for sustainable development with a new generation of students.. He graduated from Harvard University with honors, earning a degree in biological anthropology.
After graduation, Culhane spent a year doing rain forest and orangutan research in Borneo as a Michael Rockefeller Fellow and later worked as a science writer before returning to education, first as an inner city high school science teacher and curriculum developer, later as a college professor and development specialist. Culhane currently lives between Essen, Germany, and New York. He completed his Ph.D. at UCLA in the fall of 2010 after living and studying agroforestry in the rain forest villages of Guatemala and renewable energy in the slums of Egypt. He spends part of each year in Africa, the Middle East, Central America and California, working on renewable energy multimedia projects and traveling to developing countries to learn appropriate emerging technologies that can be adapted to informal communities, as well as to making his own home zero-waste and energy independent. His belief is that everybody, "can have the chance to live a dignified, healthy and sustainable life because it turns out that solving our energy and waste problems at the home scale isn’t difficult at all!"
Dr. Anna Patterson
Dr. Anna Patterson
Dr. Anna Patterson thinks about the ways that computers can be taught to read and write like a human. She is currently Vice President of Engineering for Google, and Global Co-Chair of Women@Google.
During her time at Google, she helped Android over a period of exponential growth in developing back-end algorithms and systems to serve over a billion active phones. Previously she architected one of Google’s large search infrastructures serving billions of Web pages.
She is a trustee at Harvey Mudd College and a trustee at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. She is a co-founder of Progressive Women of Silicon Valley which helps host candidates and causes in Silicon Valley.
Dr. Anna Patterson received her B.S. in Computer Science from Washington University and her PhD from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She was also Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence.
Hayley Todesco is the 17-18 Age Category winner from the 2014 Google Science Fair for her project 'Cleaning Up Oil Sands Waste'. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Hayley aimed to address the environmental issues surrounding the oil sands in her home province, specifically the tailings ponds. In her project, she designed an inexpensive set of bioreactors to biodegrade the most difficult pollution in these tailings ponds and found that a full-scale implementation of her results could clean up the pollution in decades instead of centuries.
A long-time science fair veteran, Hayley Todesco has worked on various science fair projects for the last nine years. Hayley recently won the 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for the world's top water-related science fair project. After graduating from high school last year, Hayley is presently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology at the University of Alberta. She hopes to eventually work in the fields of biotechnology and environmental science.
Dr. Frances Colón
Dr. Frances Colón
Frances is the Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State where she promotes integration of science and technology into foreign policy dialogues; global advancement of women in science; and innovation as a tool for economic growth around the world. In her role as a science diplomat, Frances has overseen the creation of the Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science to empower diasporas in the United States to use their expertise to solve challenges in their countries of origin. She also coordinated climate change policy for the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas announced by President Obama in 2009, launching programs for training of glaciologists and climate change adaptation in the Caribbean. Her first steps in diplomacy were in the Muslim world, enhancing K-12 science and math education cooperation.
Her most recent adventures have her developing avenues for collaboration amongst scientists in the United States and Cuba. She is a graduate of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and a 2014-2015 Delegate of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program. Dr. Colón earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2004 from Brandeis University and her B.S. in Biology in 1997 from the University of Puerto Rico where her passion for science was sparked as an undergraduate researcher. She believes that the best scientists of the future will be those that can discover, create, communicate and lead at and beyond the bench.
Birgit Buhleier played an integral role in the evolution of National Geographic's Crittercam, a research tool she deployed on animals to study their behavior. Living and working in some of the world's most remote places, Birgit has captured the perspectives of seals and sea lions, revealed the secret lives of whales and sea turtles and continuously advanced animal-borne imaging through research and educational outreach. Birgit is sharing the animal's point-of-view through documentaries, web shorts, lesson plans, museum exhibits and lectures with the goal of inspiring people to care and conserve.