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Washington, DC - Pressure

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

Deadlines. Competition. Emergencies. From a high-tech rescue mission, to a rare flower that's a late bloomer, to a pride-on-the-line dance competition, when the unexpected happens in science, we feel the pressure. Join us this month for these stories and more!

Hosted by Shane Hanlon and Liz Neeley.

Stories by:

Jonathan Drake is a Senior Program Associate with the Geospatial Technologies Project, a part of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program. A former research assistant at the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, he has over ten years’ experience in both terrestrial and planetary remote sensing, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which technologies from these fields can be used to benefit the greater good. Through his work with AAAS, he has provided training to multiple human rights organizations, as well as international courts and commissions on the ways in which geospatial methodologies can be used to advance human rights documentation. He holds a Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics (with honors) from Dickinson College.


Ari Novy joined the U.S. Botanic Garden in 2012 and was appointed Executive Director in 2014. In this role, he leads the Garden's efforts to demonstrate the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humankind. This includes overseeing a staff of approximately 65 employees who work to maintain the Garden's facilities, steward its plant collections and facilitate visitor services and education. In addition, he oversees various innovative partnerships that seek to make plant science and horticulture relevant and accessible including the Garden's highly regarded Landscape for Life and Sustainable SITES programs.


Kasha Patel is a science writer and stand-up comedienne based in Washington, D.C. In addition to telling jokes about her childhood in West Virginia, she runs a Science Comedy show where only funny science jokes and stories are allowed. She majored in chemistry at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and earned her Masters degree in Science Journalism at Boston University. She likes writing about Earth science and stories about the intersection of art and science.


Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist.  He has appeared on the Food Network, the Weather Channel, the Travel Channel, Discovery International, and NPR, and he currently hosts Outrageous Acts of Science on the Science Channel.  Adam is a Moth Story Slam winner, a teacher with Story District, and a producer of Mortified.  He writes the humor column "Experimental Error" in the otherwise respectable journal Science and is the author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School and Pinball Wizards:  Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball, which comes out this November.  Adam has a Bachelor's degree from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in molecular biology and is the Associate Director of Vaccine Stabilization and Logistics at Sanaria Inc.  Learn more at


Jennifer Shieh is Chief Scientist of the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs - America's Seed Fund advancing technology commercialization. When not coordinating policy for/ herding 11 Federal agencies & building an inclusive innovation ecosystem, you can find her on the dance floor, enjoying a live performance, or exploring some new foodie haven suggested by Eater. Jennifer studied brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, then earned her PhD in neurosciences at Stanford University. She is co-author of the textbook Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience. Follow her @Neurostradamus


Earlier Event: July 12
New York, NY - Pain
Later Event: August 9
Portland, OR - Ecology