We Were Hacked!

As you may have noticed, our website was down for a while. We are back up and running, but yes, we were hacked. We decided to let you in on what happened and how to protect yourself—if you can—by talking to Ralph Echemendia, a world-renowned cyber security expert known as “The Ethical Hacker.” Echemendia helped The Science & Entertainment Exchange understand the hack and gave us advice on what we can do to keep ourselves safe. He’s currently working on a project that may help. We’ll keep you updated on it as he provides us with details!

The Science & Entertainment Exchange: Can you tell us what happened with the hack?

Hollywood Inspired Science

While Hollywood has been known to use ideas from the great minds of science as a springboard for its storytelling, scientists have also been enlivened by what they have seen on screen to think about their research in different ways.

"Movies blow the lid off of imagination and creativity and we need to do this in science," says Steve Ramirez, a neuroscientist and junior fellow at Harvard University.

Ramirez explains that many of the ideas that he explores in his research have been influenced by films that he watched. "I really love Chris Nolan movies, specifically, Inception," says Ramirez. "At the movie's core, Nolan is really asking a neuroscience question: How do we alter the contents of a memory?"



I was recently invited along with other entertainment executives, writers, and producers to spend the day at the Auto Club Raceway the weekend of a NASCAR race. I did not know much about NASCAR before arriving, but the energy was palpable. I arrived on a Friday morning with the main event taking place on Sunday, but already the parking lot was packed with excited fans.

Data, Digital Biology, and the 21st Century

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, SoHo House hosted The Science & Entertainment Exchange for a tantalizing peek into the bleeding edge of Synthetic Biology: its relatively short past, its current state, and its future potential.

The Exchange welcomed Andrew Hessel, a researcher with Autodesk Inc.’s Bio/Nano Programmable Matter Group and the co-founder of the Pink Army Cooperative (the world’s first co-op biotech company), and Ed You, Supervisory Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) Directorate, Biological Countermeasures Unit. James Peaco, the local WMD Coordinator for the Los Angeles Branch of the FBI joined later for the Q&A portion of the evening.


Scientist Dan Siegal-Gaskins and writer/director Mike CahillOn a cool, mid-summer Los Angeles evening just after sunset, filmmakers and film lovers gathered in an intimate theater on the 20th Century Fox Studios lot for a night of wonder, beauty, and science. Organized by The Science & Entertainment Exchange and the Sundance Institute, the event kicked off with a screening of Mike Cahill’s new science-fiction feature film I Origins. The film was winner of this year’s Sundance Institute’s Alfred P. Sloan Prize, an award presented to outstanding films that focus on science or technology as a theme, or depict a scientist as a major character.


GroupLast week, The Exchange brought its Science Speed Dating format to Los Angeles. The event kicked off with a YouTube video titled “The Fiction of the Science,” featuring Robert Wong from the Google Creative Lab. In the video, he argues that the collaboration between art and science is crucial to actual scientific development, detailing examples from popular movies and television shows, such as Iron Man and Star Trek, where technologies on the screen have inspired real-life products. Before we build it, we have to imagine it.

Real Aliens with Seth Shostak

Usually, when a group of creative minds meets in Hollywood to discuss the lives of stars, they’re talking of the terrestrial sort – the ones who appear in films and adopt packs of children. Guests of the Science & Entertainment Exchange were buzzing over the extraterrestrial life of stars, or more accurately, life on the planets orbiting those stars. 

Are we alone in the Universe? Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, and host of their weekly science radio show, enraptured the Exchange audience with a witty and contagiously enthusiastic talk on his answer to that very question. Wondering about the answer? In short, no, we are not alone. 

To Mars and Beyond

'Twas the evening of Mars, with experts discussing space exploratory clout, as Hollywood and science met, at the SoHo House.

The Science & Entertainment Exchange met at the beautiful SoHo House in West Hollywood, for an affable evening of science and conversation.

Acclaimed scientists and Hollywood’s elite attended the event held above the twinkling City of Stars. Yet, as the night drew on another luminous region was explored - Space.

A visit to Mars may no longer be science-fiction. According to Phil Plait, author and astronomer, as well as Jennifer Trosper, JPL’s Mars Mission Manager, the journey to our neighboring planet is more like science-reality

Event Recap: Science Speed Dating

Just outside of our comfort zone is the space where magical things can happen, whether that be finding love, expanding professional horizons, or learning something new and exciting. 

Science Speed Dating was an event that did just that - stretched our programmatic skills to new places, but with an excellent, and spicy, result! 

The brainchild of none other than our excellent Exchange team, Science Speed Dating sent participants on an intellectual journey to explore the work of seven different scientists in seven, seven-minute sessions. Sound like a lot to take in? Remember that all seven scientists worked in disparate fields!