Andy Weir

ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, THE MARTIAN, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. His most recent novel, ARTEMIS, was published in November and was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in California. (Photo credit: Aubrie Pick)

Dr. Sheila Rowan

DR. SHEILA ROWAN is an experimental physicist, and since 2009, Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research in the University of Glasgow in the UK. Her research is focused on optical and mechanical systems for use in interferometric gravitational wave detectors such as the Advanced LIGO observatories – the detectors which were responsible for picking up the first gravitational wave signals from colliding black holes in 2015. She was awarded Fellowship of the American Physical Society in 2012, made an MBE for services to science in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2011, and received the Hoyle Medal and Prize of the UK Institute of Physics in 2016 in recognition of her pioneering research on aspects of the technology of gravitational wave observatories. In 2016, she was seconded (part-time) to be Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government.

Dr. Adam Becker

ADAM BECKER is an astrophysicist and author. The New York Times praised his recent breakout debut, WHAT IS REAL? THE UNFINISHED QUEST FOR THE MEANING OF QUANTUM PHYSICS, as “a thorough, illuminating exploration of the most consequential controversy raging in modern science.” The Washington Post called it “splendid”, and Science Magazine dubbed Adam “a riveting storyteller”. Adam has also written for the BBC, NPR, Scientific American, NOVA, New Scientist, Publishers Weekly, and Aeon. Working with the BBC, he recorded a series of animated videos on physics and astronomy. Adam has a PhD in cosmology and is currently a visiting scholar at at UC Berkeley’s Office for the History of Science and Technology.

Kimiko Hahn

KIMIKO HAHN is the author of nine books of poems, including: BRAIN FEVER (W.W. Norton, 2014) and TOXIC FLORA (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; THE NARROW ROAD TO THE INTERIOR (WWN, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; THE UNBEARABLE HEART (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; EARSHOT (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. Hahn currently serves as President of the Board, The Poetry Society of America and is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York.

Dr. Amanda Hendrix

Dr. Amanda Hendrix

AMANDA R. HENDRIX is a Senior Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute, based in Boulder. She worked for twelve years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was the Deputy Project Scientist for the Cassini–Huygens mission (2010-2012). She has been a scientific investigator on the Cassini, Galileo and Lunar Reconnaissance missions, a principal investigator on NASA research and Hubble Space Telescope observing programs, and is the author of many scientific papers. Hendrix is the director of NASA’s Toolbox for Research and Exploration (TREX). With Charles Wohlforth, she authored BEYOND EARTH: OUR PATH TO A NEW HOME IN THE PLANETS, published by Penguin/Random House. (Photo credit: Michael Lionstar)

Bill Ritter Jr.

BILL RITTER, JR. is the founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University which launched on February 1, 2011. The Center works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, planners, policymakers, and other decision makers. It provides technical assistance to help officials create the policies and practices that will facilitate America’s transition to a clean-energy economy. Ritter authored a book that was published in 2016 entitled, POWERING FORWARD – WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AMERICA’S ENERGY REVOLUTION. He was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006, and built consensus to tackle some of the state’s biggest energy challenges. Ritter is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and a senior fellow and member of the board of directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.