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Washington, DC - Expect the Unknown

  • Busboys and Poets 1025 5th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20001 United States (map)

From turtles and manatees to nutmeg and refugees, our first 2017 show in DC is all about the unexpected. Enjoy food & drink service in your seats and of course, five true, personal stories about science. Hosted by Shane M Hanlon and Farah Z Ahmad.

Stories by:


Yael Fitzpatrick is an art director, publications designer, sometimes writer, and science communicator. She spent the first part of her life concentrating on math and the sciences, and then took an unexpected detour into the arts. She has since managed to come somewhat full circle. Currently she is the Manager of Design and Branding for the American Geophysical Union, and previously was Art Director for the Science family of journals. She has almost accepted the fact that she will never be a backup singer or dancer. Follow her at @GazelleInDminor.

Liz Laribee is a writer and illustrator. She is the creator of Saved By The bell hooks, a critical theory humor blog based on a deep interest in pop culture studies that address racial, gender, and class. She has recently begun experimenting in the comics world: she illustrated Amira in America, a comic reference guide for and about refugees in the resettlement process. Her work also appeared in Colonial Comics, an anthology of undertold narratives traditionally ignored by history books.   Currently, she is a Graduate Assistant in the College of Information at the University of Maryland where she is pursuing a master’s in Library and Information Science. You can see her work at or follow her @lizlaribee. She lives in Washington DC, happily.

Winnie Lau is an expert on ocean conservation practice and policy. Currently she supports international efforts on marine environmental protection, with a focus on engagements in Asia, at a large DC non-profit organization. Prior to her current position, Winnie served as Climate Change Science and Technology Adviser for the USAID Mission to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Manager of the Marine Ecosystem Services Program at Forest Trends, and Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State. With a doctoral degree in Oceanography and a graduate certificate in Environmental Management from the University of Washington, Winnie has been bridging the fields of science and environmental policy for over a decade. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, and basic Spanish.

Rachel Pendergrass  is the host and producer of the Solve for X Science Variety Show. She has written for numerous publications as a science writer, journalist, and humorist, including McSweeneys, HowStuffWorks, SouthernFriedScience, TEDx, Eater, and more. She is on twitter as @sharkespearean.

Shannon Brescher Shea has loved nature and stories for as long as she can remember. While she didn't fulfill her elementary school goal of being a marine biologist in the summer and a famous novelist in the winter, she's pretty close. Currently, she's a senior writer and editor for the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy, where she's covered everything from dark matter to photosynthesis. When she’s not at her day job, raising her two young sons, or fighting climate change, she writes about her family learning to be kinder, more sustainable, and more adventurous at her blog We’ll Eat You Up, We Love You So. She also tweets at @storiteller.

Earlier Event: January 14
New York, NY - STEM Fest
Later Event: February 6
New Orleans, LA - Oil Spills