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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

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Under the Microscope: Terra Nova

Sometimes science isn’t the solution. That’s the reality of science consulting and something Kevin Grazier, Planetary Scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of The Exchange’s consultants, knows well. “Until a story starts shooting, and often times even after, the script is a living document,” he explained. “Over time, different story elements can either increase or wane in their importance.”

Scientist Spotlight: David Kirby

David Kirby wrote the book on science consulting for TV and film – literally. The molecular biologist turned Senior Lecturer in Science Communication Studies at the University of Manchester became interested in science in film and TV during his time as a professor at American University. His book, Lab Coats in Hollywood, explores the intersection of science and entertainment, with some really great examples that he discusses in the interview below.

Featured Entertainer: John Williams

Producer John Williams’ involvement with The Exchange started with fruit flies. Or rather, an Exchange event on brain abnormalities and the “cheap date” gene in fruit flies. Williams is an avid supporter of science in all forms of media, from television and film to websites and apps. With that in mind, we asked him a few questions on his background in filmmaking, the Hollywood community’s interest in science and what he thinks of The Exchange.

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

Scientist Spotlight: Mika McKinnon

Mika McKinnon has two words for women considering science: Do it! The geophysicist and Exchange science consultant is enthusiastic about how much fun science is, and that more women should be getting involved. McKinnon previously consulted for the Stargate franchise (before she joined The Exchange’s expert database), so we asked some questions about her experiences on set, as well as what science-fiction technology she wants and what messages she has to share with future scientists and entertainers.

Scientist Spotlight: Jennifer Greenhall

Jennifer Greenhall is no stranger to science. The neuroscientist and Exchange consultant is the daughter of a NASA engineer and spent her childhood surround by astronauts, scientists, and engineers who helped build her love of science. Her interest in neuroscience began in high school and followed her to the University of California, San Diego, where she studied the aging brain. Recently, we caught up with Greenhall to ask her a few questions about her work for The Exchange, if science consulting matters, and what message she wants to share with future scientists and filmmakers.

Scientist Spotlight: Sean M. Carroll

Sean M. Carroll has invented time travel. How do we know?

Featured Entertainer: Jane Espenson

For most kids, television is a welcome distraction from homework. But for screenwriter Jane Espenson, watching television as a kid turned out to be a crystal ball into her future. Her writing credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the web series Husbands, and ABC’s newest hit, Once Upon A Time. Recently, we chatted with Espenson about her background in television, why she is drawn to the sci-fi genre and what she learned from scientists along the way.

Scientist Spotlight: Ralph J. Cicerone

Is it ironic that the President of the National Academy of Sciences had very little interest in science as a child? We think so, but then again, the science bug bit Ralph J. Cicerone at the right time. The former President of the American Geophysical Union and current President of the National Academy of Sciences  is an accomplished scientist (and engineer!) with an intimidating biography, which includes guiding and supporting The Science & Entertainment Exchange (The Exchange).

Featured Entertainer: Janet Zucker

The Exchange is celebrating its third anniversary this month, and to commemorate the occasion (and more than 350 consults!), we will be featuring interviews with the people who made the program possible. This week, Janet Zucker (producer, and Advisory Board Vice-Chair for The Exchange) tells us her vision for the future of The Exchange, why she feels an immense debt to science, and what scientific topic gets the most air-time in Hollywood.

Featured Entertainer: Sean Gesell

The Exchange is celebrating its third anniversary this month, and to commemorate the occasion (and more than 350 consults!), we will be featuring interviews with the people who made the program possible. This week, Sean Gesell (Vice President of Zucker Productions and The Exchange Advisory Board member) tells us where he sees the program three years from now, what he learned from interacting with scientists, and what Exchange event wowed him.