JD’s fascination with science began in his early childhood. Growing up on a subtropical island with a mangrove forest sparked an interest in biology that would continue through university, on to his career in the biological sciences, as well as several years as a birding guide and field naturalist.
In the late 90’s a career shift to the enological sciences gave him the opportunity to combine two of his favorite things; laboratories and wine.
Now retired, JD is devoting his time toward science communication and outreach, backpacking in the Sierra Nevada, and birding.
Sophie studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Oxford before completing placements in research in the UK, Norway, and Australia. She recently worked as Research Assistant in diabetes and cell signaling group within a Sydney research institute before starting a Ph.D. in cardiovascular biology.
She is a pro at blabbing about anything she finds even remotely interesting, an essential requirement to host at Blue Streak.
Along with her friend Helen, Sophie runs the bloody brilliant blog called BioDetectives. Upon leaving university in 2014 Sophie and Helen set up BioDetectives to follow science stories around the world, while making their topics accessible and engaging.
BioDetectives won ‘Best Student Blog' in 2016, awarded by the Association of British Science Writers, for an article on women in science. The blog is currently emerging from a dormancy that was inflicted by the relentless pace of Ph.D. life (and the booking of RyanAir flights around Europe).
Tom Di Liberto
Tom is a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center and a science writer at NOAA’s Climate.gov. When he is not attempting to explain climate science concepts without the use of scientific jargon, he is researching and forecasting the El Nino and La Nina. Previously, Tom has worked as a weather observer at airports around New York City where he has single-handedly brought airports to a stop because of bad weather. He apologizes but it was for your own safety.
Tom was also named America’s Scientist Idol in 2013 after winning a competition held at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has since given many well-received, humorous, informal science talks on weather and climate across the United States. Most recently, Tom served as emcee at the U.S. Department of States U.S. Center at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 in Paris in 2015 and will continue in this role at COP22, to be held in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016. As emcee, he led the U.S. government’s public outreach space, the US Center, during the negotiations introducing over 30 events with panelists much more important that himself including U.S. cabinet members, politicians, business leaders and scientists.
Outside of work, Tom can still be found looking at the clouds while walking around the great outdoors. He enjoys biking around his home in Washington DC and taking advantage of the many free museums that dot the Washington DC landscape. And if you’re nice, he will also provide free weather forecasts on demand.
Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Nevena graduated with a BSc in Biotechnology from Sofia University. Not having traveled much until then she decided to take the ultimate challenge and move countries for her Master’s Degree. Upon passing her final B.Sc. exam she was off to Helsinki, Finland. Two years later Nevena completed her M.Sc. in Biotech of Natural Resources.
Nevena then found herself in Brussels, Belgium with a piece of Finland still in her heart and a freshly printed M.Sc. diploma in her hand. And it’s been on these bumpy streets of this world capital that she’s been walking toward becoming a Doctor of Science in a joint lab between the VIB and Vrije Universitat Brussel.
Nevena is currently working as a Scientific Project Manager at a public-private international research institute in Brussels, and is in the process of finalizing her thesis. During this time she also graduated from the Science Communication and Outreach postgrad program in KU Leuven. Nevena is an aspiring science writer, an accomplished podcaster, and an integral member of the Blue Streak Science Podcast team.
Chris is a Veterinary Laboratory Manager with a degree in Zoology. Despite being an artistic individual, he was never completely satisfied with the arts as an area of academic study, preferring to learn about the universal mechanics that allow us to have art in the first place.
It was parenthood that really stirred Chris’ passion for science communication. The birth of his daughter, Matilda, inspired him to start his blog “Matilda’s Lab” which cuts through all of the messy data and detail in science and breaks down complex ideas to help parents and educators explain the science to their own children and students.
Whilst Chris is not a research scientist, he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge and trivia that is not confined to any particular scientific field. This is coupled with a compulsion to share that knowledge with people as there is nothing quite like that feeling you get when you finally understand something that used to have you stumped.
Amrita got her Bachelors and Masters in Life Sciences degrees in Mumbai India. After spending a year doing research in ACTREC she was convinced she wanted to do cancer research. Following which, she came to the US to pursue her PhD at Virginia Commonwealth University where she worked on how cells repair their damaged DNA, and how this process can be exploited to treat certain cancers.
During her time in grad school she got interested in science communication and outreach. Being in the leadership position of the Graduate Student Association and the Women in Science organization she was involved in organizing various science outreach events within the school and in the community.
Amrita graduated from VCU in Spring 2017 and is currently a Post Doc at Yale university. Here at Yale she is working on ways you can leverage the DNA repair process to find targets for drug treatment in some brain cancers. You can find her on Twitter or right here on the Blue Streak Science Podcast where she talks about some of the awesome science going on around us.
About Our Podcast
The Blue Streak Science Podcast exists to provide a voice for science in an increasingly anti-science world. Our goal is to help scientists get their message to the public.
Why? The words of Carl Sagan tell it best:
“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives…on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate…like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.”
…”there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
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