Meet the Big Picture Science Advisory Board

Barbara BogaevBarbara Bogaev is the host of Soundprint, public radio’s national weekly documentary program. In more than twenty years in broadcasting, Bogaev has interviewed rock stars and war correspondents for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, talked with poet laureates and conscientious objectors for American Public Media’s national culture magazine Weekend America, and hosted and produced science, news and arts programming for NPR member-stations WHYY and WXPN. A Philadelphia native, she began her radio career as the producer of the award-winning talk show, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. When not on the air, Bogaev writes for the critical-culture website, blogs at, and donates her family homebrew, Biohazard Ale, to the underground trap-door bar of the LA art collective, Machine Project.

About Big Picture Science:
“Molly and Seth explore science with equal parts intelligence and panache. They manage to inject humor and creativity into very challenging material. Big Picture Science is the class you would have bribed the dean to get into in college, if it had only existed.”

Ken CaldeiraKen Caldeira is a senior member of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology staff and a professor, by courtesy, in Stanford’s Environmental Earth System Sciences department. Professor Caldeira has a wide-spectrum approach to analyzing the world’s climate systems. He studies the global carbon cycle; marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography, including ocean acidification and the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle; land-cover and climate change; the long-term evolution of climate and geochemical cycles; and energy technology. He is a lead author of the “State of the Carbon Cycle Report,” a study requested by the U.S. Congress. From the early 1990s to 2005, he was with the Energy and Environment Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he was awarded the Edward Teller Fellowship (2004), the highest award given by that laboratory. Caldeira received his B.A. from Rutgers College and both his M.S. (1988) and Ph.D. (1991) in atmospheric sciences from New York University.

About Big Picture Science:
“I subscribed to Big Picture Science on iTunes a long time ago, so the podcast shows up each week on my iPod for my listening pleasure. The show manages to be humorous and informative at the same time. Molly and Seth both do great jobs interviewing scientists in a way that makes them easily understandable. I listen because I find the show enjoyable. Big Picture Science entertains me in a friendly, relaxing, and clever atmosphere, and I learn new things without really intending to.”

Randall DavidsonRandall Davidson is the Director of Radio Services at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he teaches classes in broadcasting and journalism and is the adviser to the campus radio station WRST-FM. Prior to joining UWO he spent eighteen years with Wisconsin Public Radio, where he was a news producer and the network’s chief announcer and afternoon newscaster. He also was the unofficial historian of WPR, which led to a book on the topic: 9XM Talking: WHA Radio and the Wisconsin Idea. He also has worked as a commercial radio disk jockey and reported for United Press International.

Andrew FraknoiAndrew Fraknoi is Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College near San Francisco (where he teaches courses on astronomy and physics for poets), Senior Educator at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute. He has appeared regularly on local and national radio programs for more than 30 years, and is currently the astronomer-in-residence of the syndicated Mark & Brian program out of Los Angeles. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi in recognition of his work in science education and outreach, but he is eager to reassure everyone that it is a boring asteroid and no threat to the Earth.

Roy GouldDr. Roy Gould is a researcher in science education at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His lifelong interest in science communication has led him to create films at public television’s NOVA Science Series; numerous exhibits for science museums; and astronomy-based curricula for students in secondary schools. Roy’s research focuses on developing new scientific visualizations, technologies for learning, and broader avenues for public participation in scientific research. Roy is a fan of Big Picture Science because, as he puts it, “the show is catnip for anyone who loves the magic and mystery of nature and science. I’ve always felt that the best motivator is to see someone else’s passion for a topic. Seth and Molly are consummate story-tellers whose enthusiasm is irresistible.”

Pierre SchwobPierre Schwob is the founder/CEO of He serves on the SETI Institute Board of Trustees. A cosmology and astronomy groupie (asteroid 32890 Schwob has been graciously named after him), he helped establish the Computing and Information Center at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford/SLAC.

Eugenie ScottEugenie C. Scott, Ph.D. is executive director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc., a membership not-for-profit that defends the teaching of evolution and climate change in the public schools.

Ariel WaldmanAriel Waldman is the founder of, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the creator of Science Hack Day SF, an event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend. She is also the coordinator for Science Hack Days around the world, an interaction designer, and a research affiliate with Institute For The Future. Previously, she was a CoLab Program Coordinator at NASA, a Digital Anthropologist at VML (a WPP agency), and a sci-fi movie gadget columnist for Engadget.

NASA Liaison to the Advisory Board

Carl PilcherDr. Carl B. Pilcher is Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), a distributed research, training, and educational organization headquartered at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He received bachelors and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively. Upon receiving his Ph.D., he joined the Institute for Astronomy (and later the Department of Physics and Astronomy) at the University of Hawaii, where he taught and conducted planetary science research for 12 years. His scientific research included discoveries of water ice in Saturn’s rings and on three of Jupiter’s Galilean satellites including Europa, now a high priority astrobiology exploration target because of its subsurface liquid water ocean. He also discovered and analyzed “weather” on Neptune and participated in the discovery of methane ice on Pluto.

He transitioned from academia to government through a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. His NASA management career began as Science Director in the Office of Exploration, established at NASA Headquarters by astronaut Sally Ride following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger. Dr. Pilcher subsequently held a series of NASA Headquarters management positions with responsibility, sequentially, for continued planning for human and robotic solar system exploration; strategic planning and developing international partnerships for the space science program; and scientific direction of the solar system exploration program. His transition to astrobiology was inspired by announcements, in 1995-96, of the first discoveries of planets around other stars and possible evidence of biological activity in the Martian meteorite ALH 84001. He initially assumed responsibility for astronomy-related astrobiology programs, then moved to overall management responsibility for the Astrobiology Program, and to his current position as NAI Director in September 2006.

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