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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

The Exchange

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Scientist Spotlight: Paul Weiss

Interested in science from an early age, Paul Weiss’ interest in chemistry started with a bang. His advice to the next generation is to find something that you enjoy so much that you cannot wait to get up in the morning to get going.  He’s the director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, home of The Exchange. 

Tell us about your background. Were you interested in science as a kid?

Featured Entertainer: Max Borenstein

Max Borenstein's meteoric rise through Hollywood began long before he graduated from school.  He's wanted to be a screenwriter his entire life and very proactively pursued the craft when most of us were awkwardly trying to get through junior high.  While he was still at Yale, he made a film, Swordswallowers and Thin Man, that won awards for best feature film and best screenplay at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival.  Twice chosen for a much coveted selection to the "Black List," Max quickly gained a reputation for writing smart and entertaining screenplays since gra

Scientist Spotlight: Janet English

Bringing science, entertainment, and education together, Janet English is a science and broadcast journalism teacher in Orange County California. A go-to resource for The Exchange, she has served as director of education services for KOCE-TV, and received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Do you think a show like the The Big Bang Theory, whose characters are modeled after researchers at Caltech, has a positive or negative influence on young people choosing careers in science?

Featured Entertainer: Gabrielle Neimand

Gabrielle Neimand is a development executive and producer for Strike Entertainment, the production company that created Dawn of the Dead, Children of Men, The Last Exorcism, and In Time among many others.  We sat down with her recently and asked her all about how she worked her way into her very cool job and what it is, exactly, that a development executive does within the filmmaking process.  And how do folks in her position make use of science and scientists?

Scientist Spotlight: John Spencer

Many people dream of exploring space, and John Spencer, space architect and Exchange consultant, is working to make that dream a reality.

Tell us about your background. You are an architect, so what sparked your interest in science? How did you end up becoming a space architect/designer?

Featured Entertainer: Chris Morgan

Since 2004, Chris Morgan has been one of the top action film writers in Hollywood. His credits include Cellular, Wanted, and The Fast and the Furious three thru five (number six is in the works!). He is, above all else, a storyteller who revels in the art of character and plot. He recently sat down to tell us all about how he made it in Hollywood, why he loves talking about stories all day long, and what he thinks is the most perfect film ever made.

Scientist Spotlight: Kevin Hand

From exploring the ocean depths with James Cameron, consulting on Thor, and fond memories of Cosmos, Kevin Hand, Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab’s deputy chief scientist for solar system exploration, takes us on a science adventure.

Tell us about your background. What inspired you to become an astrobiologist?

Featured Entertainer: Jaime Paglia

Eureka was the first show to be considered appointment viewing on the SyFy network for many cable subscribers. Like Mad Men for AMC, Eureka caused the industry to take notice of an entire channel for the first time, thanks to its clever writing, great characters, and unique blend of science fiction and soap. We had a chance to ask a few choice questions of one of the show’s creators, Jaime Paglia, and learned all about his roots, interests, tastes, and what is next now that Eureka ended its brilliant run.

Scientist Spotlight: Michel Maharbiz

When most people think of cyborgs they think of edgy science-fiction/fantasy creatures, the stuff of futuristic action movies. Berkeley’s Michel Maharbiz has a different thought: “I can make one of those!” At his  lab, Professor Mahabiz successfully hacked a Nintendo Wii remote and used it to fly a cyborg beetle, but we will let him tell you all about it…

Tell us about your background. What inspired you to become a scientist?

Featured Entertainer: Alex Tse

It’s hard to believe screenwriter Alex Tse once thought he didn’t “get” film theory. One half of the screenwriting duo behind 2009’s Watchmen, it’s easy to see that Tse “gets” it. We recently caught up with Tse to ask him a few questions about on his screenwriting background, his next project (his directorial debut ’87 Fleer), and how speaking with a scientist can help the writing process.

Tell us about your background. Why did you become a screenwriter?