Victoria Battista is a Hoosier at heart and by birth, but currently resides in DC and is slowly (very slowly) renovating an 82 year old row house. She is interested in all things art and science, and studied mathematics, economics, and painting at Indiana University Bloomington. Since three undergraduate degrees were clearly not enough, she also has a masters in econ from Johns Hopkins. In between painting, going to science lectures, dancing like no one is watching, and visiting museums, she works as a senior economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics - to the utter confusion of her entire family.
Lauren Lipuma is a science writer at the American Geophysical Union, where she writes about all areas of Earth and space science, except for space weather (because no one understands space weather). She has previously written for the magazines EyeWorld and Ophthalmology Business, worked in conservation, and done extensive research on the bacteria that make up our poop. She thinks the most beautiful thing ever written that is not a poem is Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle and the most beautiful thing ever written that is a poem is I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings. Lauren has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Tulane University and is currently the vice president of the D.C. Science Writers Association. Follow her at @lipumal.
Liz Neeley is the executive director of The Story Collider. She's a marine biologist by training, and an optimistic worrier by nature. As the oldest of five children, she specializes in keeping the peace and not telling Mom. After grad school, Liz stumbled into ocean conservation. She focused on coral reef management and restoration in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and dabbled in international trade policy on deep sea corals. Next, she spent almost a decade at COMPASS helping scientists understand journalism, policymaking, and social media. Follow her at @lizneeley
Bri Riggio has spent the last six years working at various institutions of higher education, from a study abroad program in Greece to George Mason University, where she now supports the Office of Research at the executive level. While not a scientist by training, she has always loved research and the process of learning. She stupidly spent an extra year in graduate school after choosing to base her Master's thesis on a social science methodology that she didn't know and just barely managed to finish her MA in Conflict Resolution this past spring. To keep her sanity, she runs marathons, plays video games, and looks for opportunities to tell her stories.
Benjamin Rubenstein is the author of the "Cancer-Slaying Super Man" books and other personal essays. He speaks about personal health, feeling superhuman, and the urge when he's intoxicated to eat jelly beans--all of them. The two items he brings with him everywhere are a flask and gum, particularly Juicy Fruit or Big Red because those have sugar instead of sorbitol. Benjamin doesn't fuck around with weird chemicals (excluding whatever is in cheap whiskey). Benjamin loves inspiring others through a combination of insane stories of survival and attempted humor.