Stephon Alexander

Stephon Alexander is a musician and professor of physics and astronomy at Brown University.

He was previously a professor at Dartmouth College, where he directed the Dartmouth EE Just Scholars program which promotes excellence and innovation for young scientists especially from underrepresented backgrounds. He is the president of the National Society of Black Physicists. Born in Trinidad, Alexander is a theoretical physicist, jazz saxophonist and author specializing in the interface between cosmology, particle physics and quantum gravity.

Alexander has worked on a variety of projects throughout his career. In August 2014, he released a critically acclaimed album, Here Comes Now, in collaboration with electronic producer RIOUX. His 2016 book, The Jazz of Physics, explores the secret link between music and the structure of the universe.


Areas of Expertise: Cosmology, Particle Physics, Quantum Gravity, Intersections with Jazz Music

Location: Providence, R.I.

Contact Information: 

Phone: 215-264-7096


Twitter: @stephstem

Heard on Closer to Truth:

Added December 2015

Last Verified: February 2020

Kristala Jones Prather

Kristala L. Jones Prather teaches in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, the highest honor given for undergraduate teaching at MIT. Prather joined the faculty of MIT after four years in BioProcess Research and Development, working on projects in the areas of biocatalysis for small molecule transformations, high-yield production of plasmids as DNA vaccines, and mammalian cell line development for production of therapeutic proteins.

Prather’s current research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches. She has been the recipient of many awards, among them the Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), and a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions (2012).

Kristala Jones Prather

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Co-Director of Microbiology Graduate Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas of Expertise: Metabolic Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Biochemical Engineering

Location: Cambridge, MA

Contact Information:

Phone: (617) 253-1950

Heard on Lecture on Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering

Added August 2015

Last Verified: August 2015

Wendy Chung

Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. teaches and directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University. She is a clinical and molecular geneticist who performs human genetic research. Her current research focuses on the genetics of many types of diseases including breast cancer, birth defects, heart disease, autism, rare and undiagnosed disorders.

Dr. Chung is a member of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy and has won many awards for teaching including the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, American Medical Women’s Association Mentor Award, and Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She was also the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke.

She was the original plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that overturned the ability to patent genes and is a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and the Genomics & Society Working Group.

Wendy Chung

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Director of Clinical Genetics Program at Columbia University

Areas of Expertise: Human Genetics, Medical Genetics

Location: New York City, NY

Contact Information:


Heard on TED Talks: Autism – What We Know (And What We Don’t Know Yet)

Added July 2015

Pearl Chiu

Pearl Chiu teaches at the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and in the Virginia Tech Carilion Institute in Roanoke, VA. Dr. Chiu’s research team studies the neuroscience of how, when, and why humans make and change their decisions. Using functional neuroimaging, behavioral tasks, and quantitative analytic methods, Dr. Chiu’s group aims both to understand the brain mechanisms involved in healthy decision-making and to specify how these pathways may be disrupted and repaired in disorders such as depression and addiction that affect decision-making.

Dr. Chiu was a recipient of a Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) from the National Institute of Mental Health, and her work has been published in outlets including American Journal of Psychiatry, Neuron, Biological Psychiatry, and Nature Neuroscience.

Pearl Chiu, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, VTCRI, lab, research
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Areas of Expertise: Decision-Making, Decision Neuroscience, Computational Psychiatry, Depression, Substance Dependence, Social Influences on Decision-Making, Motivation and Incentives

Location: Roanoke, VA

Contact Information:

Heard on WNVT Virginia Tech Public Radio: VT Risk Study Shows We’re Influenced by Those Around Us

Anthony Brickhouse

Anthony Brickhouse, Associate Professor, is assigned to the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Aviation/Aerospace Safety. During the span of his career, he has investigated numerous aircraft accidents. He was previously assigned to the Vehicle Performance Division of the Office of Research and Engineering at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington, D.C. Since entering academia, Professor Brickhouse has been involved in research surrounding flight operational quality assurance (FOQA), airport ground safety, the use of flight recorders in accident investigation, and the mental health aspects of accident investigation. He teaches courses on safety management, aircraft accident investigation and aircraft crash survival, analysis and design.

Anthony Brickhouse - Assistant Professor of Safety Science - College of Aviation Instruction

Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Areas of expertise: Aviation/Aerospace Safety, Aviation/Aerospace accident Investigation, Accident Survivability, Flight Recorders, Safety Management

Location: Daytona Beach, FL

Contact Information


Phone: (386) 323-8028

Heard on NPR Morning Edition: U.N. Agency Sets New Standards for Tracking Aircraft In Flight

Heard at Embry-Riddle University: Aircraft Accident Forensics Lab—Daytona Beach Campus

Added March 2015

Nalini Nadkarni

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, also known as “the Queen of the Forest Canopy,” is a Professor of Biology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where she directs the Center for Science and Mathematics Education. Her forest ecology research focuses on how biodiversity, forests, and the stability of world climate interact. With nearly 30 years of experience teaching public engagement with science for all parts of society, she also holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Science in Seattle. In 2001, Nadkarni received the Guggenheim Fellowship for her work in Plant Sciences.

In 2005, she co-founded the Sustainability in Prisons Program, bringing science lectures and hands-on conservation projects to incarcerated adults in Washington State, Utah, and around the country. In 2009, she created the Research Ambassador Program, which recruits and trains other scientists to carry out engagement with science and conservation to underserved public audiences around the country.

Her latest project, to bring nature imagery to inmates in solitary confinement to reduce stress and violence, was recognized by TIME Magazine as “one of the “Best Ideas in 2014”. Nadkarni has published over 100 scientific articles, three scholarly books, and three children’s books.

Dr. Nadkarni has been featured in television documentaries, including Bill Nye the Science Guy and National Geographic, and her work has appeared in publications such as Natural History and the New York Times.

Nalini Nadkarni
Professor of Biology, the University of Utah

Areas of Expertise: Forest Ecology, Rainforest Conservation, Science Education, Inmate Education and Rehabilitation, Prison Reform

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Contact Information:
Phone: 801-581-4161

Featured on American Public Media’s The Promised Land: “Meeting the Queen of the Canopy”

Added February 2015

Jennifer Eberhardt

Jennifer L. Eberhardt is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. Eberhardt is a Social Psychologist with nearly 20 years of teaching and research work, much of it focused on what she describes as “the stereotypical associations between blacks and crime.” Since 1998, Eberhardt has been at Stanford University, where she is an Associate Professor of Psychology and co-director of Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions (SPARQ).

Eberhardt received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1993, and began her teaching career at Yale University, working in Psychology, African, and African American Studies Departments, while also being a research fellow at the Center for Race, Inequality, and Politics. In addition to Eberhardt’s research on racial profiling, she’s currently assisting law enforcement agencies to develop improved methods of serving their communities, and working with colleagues from other scientific disciplines on a new way to explain cognitive dehumanization by breaking down it’s process and how it aids in discrimination and marginalization in our society.

She has spoken on various panels, at Stanford University’s panel discussing how race alters perception of people, places, and things, at the U.S. Department of Justice with the Racial Disparities Working Group, and at the Ford Foundation Conference on a panel discussing ‘Renewing Communities: Improving educational access in California’s correctional facilities and beyond.’ In addition, Eberhardt has been quoted in the Stanford News, the Oakland Tribune, and co-authored an op-ed for The New York Times.

2014 MacArthur Award Winner Jennifer Eberhardt, Stanford University.

2014 MacArthur Fellow and Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University

Areas of Expertise: Sociology, Science, Racial Stereotyping, Psychology, Human Development, Law

Location: Stanford, CA

Contact Information:


Dr. Eberhardt’s assistant, Lynda Ichinaga
Phone: (650) 725-2449

Heard on the MacArthur Foundation Website: Introducing Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Added December 2014

Ainissa Ramirez

Adapted from

Ainissa Ramirez is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She co-authored (with Allen John) Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game and authored Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists.

Before taking on the call to improve the public’s understanding of science, she was an associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science at Yale University. Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, named her as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology. She has been profiled in The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, CNN, NPR, ESPN, The Hartford Courant an numerous scientific magazines.

She now focuses her energies on making science fun, and gave an impassioned call to action at TED on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, which generated widespread enthusiasm. At Yale, she was the director of the award-winning science lecture series for children called Science Saturdays and hosted two popular-science video series called Material Marvels and Science Xplained.

Science Evangelist

Areas of Expertise: STEM Education, Popular Science, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science

Location: New Haven, CT

Contact Info:


Phone: (201) 780-2401

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: The Science Behind Hard Hits And Touchdowns

Nita Farahany

Nita Farahany is a “leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies.” She is a professor of Law & Philosophy at Duke University, the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society and principal investigator of SLAP Lab.

Farahany is an expert on the intersection of science and ethics. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and she has testified before Congress on various issues related to policy and science.

Farahany is a co-editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, an editorial board member of the American Journal of Bioethics (Neuroscience), and on the Board of Advisors for Scientific American. She is a frequent media guest and contributor and has appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, Radiolab and the PBS special “Brains on Trial.”


Professor of Law and Philosophy at Duke University

Areas of Expertise: Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Biosciences and Emerging Technologies; Law; Philosophy; Bioethics; Neuroethics; Neuroscience; Genetics

Location: Durham, NC
Contact Information:


Phone: (919) 613-8514

Assistant, Julia Walker: (919) 684-8839

Heard on WNYC: For a full list, click here.

The Takeaway: The State of American Privacy

Last updated February 2021.

Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman Hrabowski has been President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since 1992. In 2012 President Obama named him to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and his leadership has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Time magazine, and the Washington Post.

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus primarily on science and math education, with an emphasis on minority participation and performance. He has been a guest on NPR’s Tell Me More to discuss the challenges blacks face in the tech world.

President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Areas of Expertise: Science and Math Education, Minority Participation and Performance in STEM Fields, Blacks in Tech

Location: Baltimore, MD

Contact Info:


Please also email UMBC’s director of communications Dinah Winnick and cc Hrabowki’s chief of staff Elyse Ashburn when you contact him.

Winnick email:

Winnick office: (410) 455-8117

Winnick mobile: (443) 823-0639

Ashburn email:

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: U.S. Is Becoming More Diverse, But Is The Online Population?