Larissa Belcic

Larissa Belcic is an artist and landscape architectural designer working at the knotty entanglements of ecology and technology, engineering and emotional experience. She holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA in Linguistics from Boston College. She is a co-founding principal of Nocturnal Medicine, an interdisciplinary ecological design and art studio. Her work with Mars deals with place-based valuations, ethics, and actions for human-martian relationships.

Linda Billings

Linda Billings is a consultant to NASA’s Astrobiology Program and Planetary Defense Coordination Office in the Planetary Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She also is Director of Communications with the Center for Integrative STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia. Dr. Billings earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from Indiana University. Her research interests include science and risk communication, social studies of science, and the history and rhetoric of science and space exploration. She has worked for more than 30 years in Washington, D.C., as a researcher; communication planner, manager, and analyst; policy analyst; journalist; and consultant to the government. Her papers have been published by the NASA History Division, Space Policy, Acta Astronautica, Advances in Space Research, the Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, Scientific American, Space Policy, Space News, and The Space Review. She was the first senior editor for space at Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine (1986-88), founding editor of Space Business News (1983-85), and contributing author for First Contact: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (1990), Societal Impacts of Space Flight (2007), NASA’s First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives (2010), Media, Spiritualities, and Social Change (2011), Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned (2013), The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth (2015).


Kristin Block

I am currently Principal Science Operations Engineer / Systems Engineer for HiRISE aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. When I'm not imaging Mars, I'm drumming, tweeting, marching, and entertaining my cats.


Torie Bosch

As the editor of Future Tense, a joint collaboration between New America, Slate, and Arizona State University, Torie Bosch covers emerging technologies and their effects on public policy and society.

Joanne Braxton

Poet, Scholar, Teacher, Sage


Jennifer Breslin

I have spent the last 20+ years working in the UN system on Science, Tech and Innovation (STI) for global development. I now the Founder and Director of Futuristas, an organization dedicated to building inclusive and just STI ecosystems, with a strong focus on gender and youth. Amongst my current projects of interest to the unconference is 1) Space for Women and 2) engaging young people around Space, Society and Sustainability through an inter-disciplinary (STEAM+ Humanities) platform focused on Mars and inter-planetary societies.

Dana Burton

I am an Anthropology PhD student interested in astronaut health.

Murat Cem Mengüç

I am a historian who holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge UK. I am of Turkish origin and my original field of study was Ottoman history. Since 2011, I have become more interested in the debates regarding protests movements, anthropocene and political art. Presently I review this type of shows for the online magazine Hyperallergic, and make art myseflf mostly related to climate change and environment.


Alan W. Clarke

Alan Clarke is a professor of Integrated Studies at Utah Valley University holding a J.D. from William and Mary, an LL.M. from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, and a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. In 2014-15, he was a Fellow at Osgoode’s Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security. Before that he occupied the Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick and was a Research Associate at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. He is also a fellow of the George Romney Institute of Law and Public Policy, Adrian College, Michigan. His publications predominantly revolve around various human rights issues including the death penalty, torture, and genocide including settler colonialism and the genocide of Native Peoples. His interests include climate change refugees.

Sasha Dowdy

As program specialist at the Young Readers Center, I help kids connect with history and the Library's treasures through programming, field trips, and activities. I do all I can to spread the love of reading and support the curiosity of young people who visit the Library. I was born in Russia, grew up in Japan, and love my second career as a children's librarian.

Nadia Drake

Contributing writer, National Geographic.


Jared Espley

Dr. Jared Espley is a planetary scientist at NASA. He works in the Planetary Magnetospheres Lab at NASA Goddard and at NASA Headquarters he is the program scientist for the Juno mission. He got his PhD in physics from Rice University in Houston, TX. He is originally from southwest Virginia but now lives in Maryland. His wife is also a scientist and they have two young children. His hobbies include whitewater kayaking and Dungeons and Dragons.


Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer and producer based in Berkeley who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She’s the creator and host Flash Forward, a podcast about possible (and not so possible) futures, and has covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million dollar baccarat heists.


Bobak Ferdowsi


Matthew Francis

I'm a science journalist, physicist, writer of fictions, and hat-wearer


Sarah Frazier

I'm a science writer supporting NASA's heliophysics program as a contractor based at the Goddard Space Flight Center. I love cooking & TV.


Ronald H. Freeman

BA (Math), MS (Aerospace Science), PhD (Technology Management); AIAA's Space Operation and Support Technical Committee, Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group

Daniel Giles

I am a Physics PhD candidate at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. I do his research at the Adler Planetarium and I'm using machine learning to find the weirdest stuff in large datasets to try and find new types of astrophysical phenomena. I feels called to fight systemic injustice and endeavor to be an active resource to disenfranchised groups, either through participating in unconferences on inclusion and equity, listening to and sharing experiences of others through what platforms I have, or by volunteering the knowledge and skills I've had the privilege to develop.


David Grinspoon

Dr. David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Scientific American, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars.


Peter Griffith

Born on a lake in Florida where I caught alligators and watched Saturn V rockets take off for the Moon. Founding Director of the Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Office at NASA Goddard. Project Manager for the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment and for NASA's Carbon Monitoring System. Volunteer SCUBA diver at the National Aquarium. Rookie birder.


Jacob Haqq-Misra

Jacob Haqq-Misra is a research scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. His areas of focus include planetary habitability, atmospheric dynamics, environmental ethics, and extraterrestrial life. He completed his Ph.D. in meteorology and astrobiology (2010) and his M.S. in meteorology (2007) from Penn State University. He also holds B.S. degrees in astrophysics and computer science from the University of Minnesota (2005). Jacob serves as a contributing editor for EARTH magazine, on the advisory council of METI International, and on the IAA SETI Permanent Committee. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He also participates in public outreach events and is periodically interviewed for science news, radio, and television.


Anicca Harriot

Anicca Harriot is currently working on her PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research focuses on mechano-transduction – the science of how mechanical stresses and physical forces, like gravity, affect cell signaling and function. Anicca plans to use her degree to explore the effects of long duration space missions on the human body and hopes to someday venture out into the final frontier for herself. Anicca is also the Social Media Coordinator & LGBTQ+ Engagement Specialist for #VanguardSTEM: Conversations for Women of Color in STEM, a non-profit dedicated to lifting the voices of women and non-binary people of color in STEM. In her free time Anicca volunteers with #Popscope, “popping up” with a telescope around Baltimore to promote public astronomy and encourage curiosity.


Tahir Hemphill

Hemphill's practice investigates the role systems play in the generation of form and the role collaborative knowledge production plays in the resilience of communities. Over the past 20 years, as an artist who works with technology, Hemphill's creative research has been fueled by the tension between his reverence for traditional models of scientific inquiry and the wisdom of uncertainty contained in the lived experience.

As a native New Yorker, Tahir came of age in the 1980s and divided his time between practicing various elements of Hip-hop culture and exploring cyberspace from a Queens basement with a dial-up modem connected to a Commodore 128 computer. A fundamental correlation between Hip-hop culture and hacking would inform the trajectory of his professional and creative life. Starting in middle school, Hemphill's exposure to curricula that foregrounded engineering-oriented making led him to acquire knowledge, values, and skills from educational institutions while Hip-hop’s “golden era” informed his perspectives on popular culture and politics. The theoretical frameworks that support these two educational influences have been synthesized into his current creative pursuits.


Travis Hensley

Suzanne Hobbs Baker

While attending art school at Appalachian State, Suzy’s sculpture and writing veered so far into the realm of climate science and biology that her professors could no longer grade her work – and had to bring in a science advisor for support. These were the days before Science Communication came into it’s own as a career a path, but she was not deterred. The desire to communicate science has driven each of Baker’s career steps: first as an art teacher at a children’s hospital exploring the science of cancer, the immune system and chemotherapy with young patients, and then as an education advisor to conceptual artist Mel Chin as he collaborated with scientists to tackle environmental lead contamination in inner cities including New Orleans and Detroit. In 2008, after a brief, but strategic stint working at a motorcycle shop in Asheville, NC – a chance to learn the ropes of small business management - Baker founded a nonprofit organization with the goal of reaching women, minorities and young people with critical information about climate change and nuclear energy. Utilizing a unique mix of art, digital media, social science and sheer enthusiasm – Baker spent 6 years traveling the world, visiting nuclear sites, working with communities and developing novel, far-reaching outreach campaigns. In 2014, Baker accepted a position at the Idaho National Laboratory, where she focused her efforts on advanced reactor development, supporting communications for the Nuclear Innovation Workshops and subsequent events that have rapidly pushed new nuclear technologies into the public spotlight. In this role, she also completed a detail assignment in the Office of International Nuclear Energy Policy & Cooperation at the U.S. Department of Energy before joining Third Way’s Clean Energy team as Communications Advisor. Follow Suzy on Twitter at @SuzyHobbsBaker

Jarita Holbrook

Astrophysicist/Anthropologist, Afrofuturist and Professor at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Filmmaker focused on astrophysics and diversity.


Eric Holthaus

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist and journalist and father of two boys who may live to see the 22nd century. He has been drawn to space exploration since he was a small child -- learning about the universe is one of the best ways we can understand how precious all life on Earth (and anywhere else) is. He is currently writing a choose-your-own-adventure style book exploring humanity's choices at this critical moment in planetary history, and would like to learn from our discussions on decolonizing Mars about how we can better decolonize the future.


Jen Howard

I'm a journalist/writer/editor based in DC. I'm a former senior reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where I wrote about humanities research, digital humanities, libraries, and publishing/scholarly communication. Before that I was a contributing editor for The Washington Post. I'm a contributing writer for EdSurge and write for a lot of different places, including the TLS, Slate, and Humanities magazine. I've run press for a nonprofit environmental group. I write some fiction, too. I spend too much time on Twitter (@JenHoward).


Andrew Johnston

Vice President of Astronomy and Collections at the Adler Planetarium. Through research, books, exhibitions, and programs he has explored environmental dynamics, geophysical processes, the history of space exploration, earth science, climate change, and the history of navigation.

Ingrid LaFleur

Ingrid LaFleur is an artist, activist, and Afrofuturist. Her mission is to ensure equal distribution of the future, exploring the frontiers of social justice through new technologies, economies and modes of government. As a recent Detroit Mayoral candidate and founder and director of AFROTOPIA, LaFleur implements Afrofuturist strategies to empower Black bodies and oppressed communities through frameworks such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, and universal basic income. As a thought leader, social justice technologist, public speaker, teacher and cultural advisor she has led conversations and workshops at Centre Pompidou (Paris), TEDxBrooklyn, TEDxDetroit, Ideas City, New Museum (New York), AfroTech Conference, Harvard University and Oxford University, among others. She serves as board chair of Powerhouse Productions, a founding member of the Detroit Culture Council, board member of the Cooley Reuse Project and ONE Mile, and advisory board member of Culture Lab Detroit. LaFleur is based in Detroit, Michigan.


Sara Langston

Aerospace lawyer, ethicist, writer, educator and strategist.


Kayla Lewis

I am an artist and designer focused on the intersections of art, science, and technology.


Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo

I am an Afrofuturist producer and rapper as well as a PhD candidate at Cornell University in the Science & Technology Studies Department. I am most interested in issues of access around sound (re)production technology.


Andrew Meade McGee

Historian of information, technology, policymaking, and culture associated with Carnegie Mellon University and the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Shay-Akil McLean

Shay-Akil McLean is a writer and scholar trained in Biological Anthropology (BA, MA) and Sociology (BA, MA). Shay-Akil is the founder and editor of and where provides free decolonial political education and STS resources. He is currently a UIUC PhD candidate studying race, racism, human ecology and health, evolutionary biology, and theoretical population genetics.


Tony Milligan

Tony Milligan works on ethics and the non-human. He is the author of Nobody Owns the Moon: The Ethics of Space Exploitation (2015); co-editor of The Ethics of Space Exploration (2016); and the author of various other books and numerous articles on space as well as other matters. He is an associate editor for the Springer 'Space and Society' series; a member of the Organizing Committee for the International Association of Geoethics Working Group on Astrobioethics; and part of the editorial team for a forthcoming White Paper on Astrobiology in Europe. He is a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London.

Steve Mirmina

Space Law Professor - Georgetown Law School - Washington, DC

Jarah Moesch

Jarah Moesch is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Associate Director of Design Cultures and Creativity at the University of Maryland. Jarah is an artist-scholar whose work explores issues of justice through the design, production, and acquisition of embodied knowledges, specifically with the ways particular values are embedded within the design of systems and ‘industrial complexes,’ from health care and bioethics, to ecologies on Earth and in outer space. Jarah uses these concerns to design new worlds.


Teresa Monsue

I am a graduate student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. My research interest is in Heliophysics. I currently reside at NASA Goddard, while working on completing my PhD at the end of the year. I was born in Jamaica and became a naturalized citizen of the US.

Michael Morris

Michael Morris is the principal of Morris Sato Studio Architecture , NYC and Co-Founder of SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture)

Heidi Neilson

Heidi Neilson is an interdisciplinary artist interested in giving visual and sensible form to the connections between people on the ground and off-planet conditions and infrastructure. Her work includes, recently: Sonic Planetarium, an immersive sound installation made from recordings of orbiting satellites; several works which involve receiving satellite transmissions (Go GOES Radiotelescope, Beachball Antennas, Outernet Library Branch – Wave Farm, among others); Menu for Mars Supper Club, a series of dinners envisioning Martian cuisine; and SP Weather Station, where weather data-gathering instruments serve as a hub for various activities addressing earth’s atmosphere.


Erika Nesvold

Erika Nesvold has a Ph.D. in Physics and has worked as both a research astrophysicist and a video game developer. She recently produced and hosted a 13-episode podcast, Making New Worlds, about the ethical issues involved with human settlement in space.


Greg Niguidula

Currently I am pursuing my M.A. in Security Studies at Georgetown University. I received my B.S. in Biology and Sustainability in 2015 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In the past I have worked as an engineer and marine biologist. My current research interests include space warfare, terrorism, Southeast Asia, and any combination of the three.

Hakeem Oluseyi

Hakeem Oluseyi is an astrophysicist and the Space Science Education Lead at NASA Headquarters on a two-year assignment from his duties as a Professor at Florida Institute of Technology. Professor Oluseyi has worked as a mentor and diversity activist in the U.S. and Africa for over three decades, mentoring a large cohort of students to successful careers in science and technology.


Oderah Justin Otor

I am an early career astronomer who currently does software development for WorldWide Telescope.

Andrea Owe

Master's student of interdisciplinary Sustainable Development from Norway. Doing my Master's project on Astrobioethics, specifically emphasizing environmental ethics in space.


Karina Perez Molina

Karina Perez is a recent graduate from California State University, Northridge, with her BA in Public Policy and Management. Karina is a current intern at Aerospace Industries association and active member of Space Generation Advisory Council SGAC. Karina joined SGAC in April 2017 while completing an internship with the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology. She is a member of a planning committee for a Women in STEM initiative with the City of Los Angeles on encouraging diversity in STEM.


Maria Popova

Reader, writer, founder of


Lee Ann Potter

Andrew Reinhard

Archaeologist on the Atari Burial Ground excavation. No Man's Sky Archaeological Survey founder. #Archaeogaming


Doris Elin Salazar

I am a science writer, primarily focused on astronomy, space flight, and environmental-satellite projects. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, and worked as a community organizer in 2016.


Fred Scharmen

Fred Scharmen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University. Fred is currently finishing his first book, Space Settlements—on Gerard O'Neill's design work with NASA and others in the 1970s—that will be published in late 2018 by Columbia University's Columbia Books on Architecture and the City imprint. In addition to this research, Fred maintains an art and design consultancy based in Baltimore.


Jesse Shanahan

I am a research assistant at the University of San Diego and a contributing science writer for Forbes Magazine.


Ashley Shew

I like thinking about disability in space. As an assistant professor at Virginia Tech, I work in philosophy of technology with interests in animal studies, emerging technology, and disability studies.


Miona Short

Recent grad from UW-Madison. WrI like science and poetry and entrepreneurship...and chocolate


Lindsay Marlies Small

Lindsay Marlies Small is a PhD student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Her research examines heritage sites and objects in outer space through the lens of museology and ethical tourism. Small has also conducted research on how space is communicated to the public in national museums through objects and text. She focuses on decolonizing narratives and inclusive language practices.


Dan Turello

Annie Vedder

Hi! I'm Annie. I'm form Chicago and work at the Adler Planetarium. I'm not a trained scientist, but my work at the Adler has made me fall in love and appreciate the creativity, process, and and human ingenuity behind our scientific explorations and discoveries.

Ashley Walker

Undergraduate: Aspiring Theoretical Astrochemist


Justin Walsh

Co-PI of the first archaeological project to study a human habitation site in space, the International Space Station Archaeological Project.


Claire Isabel Webb

PhD Candidate in History, Anthropology, and STS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Laurelyn Whitt

Currently a Professor of Native Studies at Brandon University, Laurelyn Whitt received a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science from Western University (Canada). Her scholarly work covers a wide range of areas - notably indigenous studies, science studies and legal studies. She has served as chair of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on the Status of Indigenous Philosophers, and as Project Advisor for the Native Eyes Project, an online Indigenous Studies major at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Damien Patrick Williams

Damien Patrick Williams is a PhD researcher at Virginia Tech in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. His research areas include ethics, epistemology, philosophy of technology, philosophy of mind, and the occult. He writes at, and


Ytasha Womack

I am an author, filmmaker, dancer and independent scholar most known for my work in Afrofuturism, culture, and the imagination. My book "Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture" is a Locus Awards Nonfiction Finalist and is taught is universities across the world. I'm also author of the books "Rayla 2212," "Rayla 2213," "Post Black," and "Beats Rhymes and Life." My latest film is the Afrofuturist dance film "A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago" which won Best Experimental Film at the Collected Voices Film Festival and screened at Afropunk, Blacks to the Future in Paris, among others. My novella series "A Spaceship in Bronzeville" will be released by Mouse Books this summer.


Ed Yong

I'm a science writer at The Atlantic.


Maryam Zaringhalam

I'm a biologist by training and currently an AAAS Policy Fellow at the National Library of Medicine working on policy for open science. I'm also the DC producer for The Story Collider — bringing true, personal science-inspired stories to the public — and a leadership member of 500 Women Scientists — working to make science open, inclusive, and accessible. You can learn more about me on Twitter: @webmz_