Projects

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

Scientist Spotlight

Subscribe to Scientist Spotlight

Scientist Spotlight: Laurie Kinney

Television reporter turned science wonk, Laurie Kinney, talks to us about Russian spy technology and The Exchange's request to learn how to build WMDs with parts found in “interesting places.”

Scientist Spotlight: Kevin Grazier

 A recovering JPL rocket scientist, writer / producer Kevin Grazier is also currently the science advisor on TNT's Falling Skies, Syfy's upcoming epic Defiance, and the summer blockbuster Gravity.  In his spare time, he volunteers as a science consultant for The Exchange.  

Scientist Spotlight: Russ Maheras

Russ Maheras may have the coolest job in the world.  As an Entertainment Liaison for the United States Air Force, he's tasked with bringing together our nation's best aviators with film and television production and development teams.  He leads base tours as well as interacting with filmmakers anytime they have questions about how the Air Force works or would like to shoot on a base.  How did he get this job?  He told us that story and many others…

Scientist Spotlight: Laura Rose Semo Scharfman

From adventure sports to reaching for the stars, Laura Rose Semo Scharfman, an avionics mechanical engineer at Space X, is always on the go.  Explore her early inspiration, science in the movies, and thoughts on women in engineering. 

Tell us about your background.   What inspired you to become an engineer?  What drew you to the space program?

Scientist Spotlight: Jessica Brommelhoff

 “Science is magic that works.” From an early age, Jessica Brommelhoff, neuropsychology post-doctoral fellow at UCLA’s Semel Institute and Exchange consultant, was draw to science.  Explore her early inspiration, science in the movies, and alien hand syndrome.    

What drew you to science in general and to the study of the relationship between depression and dementia?

Scientist Spotlight: James Giordano

If you have been searching for new ways to manipulate the cognitive and decision-making abilities of an arch nemesis, look no further. James Giordano, Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, shares about neuroethics, his eureka moment at 6 years old, and working with Hollywood.

Tell us about your background.   How does one become an expert on neuroethics?  By the way, what is neuroethics?  Can you tell us a little about the research that’s being conducted in your field?

Scientist Spotlight: David Saltzberg

For many years, UCLA Professor David Saltzberg has been a leading thinker in particle physics.  Since 2006, he's also had a job title he may never have set out to put on his CV, but has proven hugely rewarding: science consult for the beloved CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory.  Whether it's adventuring in Antarctica, or advising by the camera, he always seems to be doing something story worthy.  We recently caught up with him to ask a few questions about science in entertainment, what it means to have a passion for the most cutting edge physics in the world, and what roles the two may

Scientist Spotlight: John Calkins

When CBS first aired The District in 2000, it was the first time a prime-time television series incorporated a geographic information system (GIS) as a key part of the story with a GIS/crime analyst (Lynne Thigpen). John Calkins, corporate technical evangelist for Esri, helped bring GIS to life in The District, and he continues to assist Hollywood as a volunteer consultant for The Exchange.

Scientist Spotlight: Aaron Blaisdell

Practitioners of science and fiction are both in the business of exploring the question “what if?” For a scientist the question is a hypothesis to be tested, for the fiction storyteller the question is explored in the medium of film or writing. UCLA psychology associate professor and Exchange consultant Aaron Blaisdell takes us on an adventure of animal behavior, what inspires him, and the value of a great story.

Tell us about your background. What inspired you to become an expert on animal behavior? Why is it important to study animal behavior?

Scientist Spotlight: Alice Wessen

Come explore the universe with Alice Wessen, Manager, Solar System Missions Education and Public Outreach at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL)!  Learn about her inspirations, thoughts on science in entertainment, and bringing the JPL missions to life for students and the general public.

Tell us about your background. What inspired you to work at the JPL?

Pages