The 2014 World Science Festival, which ran from May 28-June 1, delivered more than 70 science-packed events for science enthusiasts of all ages. World-renowned scientists delved into the most cutting-edge theories and research on everything from quantum mechanics to genetic therapy to the search for alien life, NASA astronauts taught us what it’s like to work in space, robots played soccer, and science was celebrated in many ways by hundreds of thousands of attendees.
Get your fix for drama, space, and beautiful imagery in this special showing of Gravity in the first-ever screening in the Space Shuttle Pavilion of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Immediately following the film, broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr, who is Sally Ride’s biographer, will lead a conversation about the real challenges of space exploration and the everyday oddities of living and working in microgravity. Then join us on the Intrepid Museum’s pier for stargazing, conversations with astronauts and astrophysicists, a search for exoplanets, and more.
Award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering everything from women’s issues, social change and scientific explorations to investigative reports, politics and the space program. She was a semifinalist in NASA’s Journalist-in-Space competition, a contest that, she regrets, was terminated before she could fly. Sherr has also anchored and reported for PBS and public radio. Her books include Outside the Box: My Unscripted Life of Love, Loss and Television News; Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words; and the bestselling Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes, which was also the subject of a documentary for the PBS Nature program, and the 2012 bestselling book SWIM: Why We Love the Water . Her new book, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, will be published June 3, 2014.
Bobak Ferdowsi, also known as “Mohawk Guy,” is a member of the Engineering Operations Team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He acted as Flight Director during the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity on Gale Crater in 2012. He now serves as Mission Engineer on the Europa Clipper study, a project to further explore Jupiter’s icy moon. His prior positions have included Mission Planner and Integrated Launch and Cruise Verification and Validation Engineer on Mars Science Laboratory, as well as Science Planner on the Cassini mission. Ferdowsi holds a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT.
Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus is the executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest aerospace professional society. Born and raised in Belleville, Ill., Magnus attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology, graduating in 1986 with a degree in physics and in 1990 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She also holds a Ph.D. from the School of Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Tech. Magnus was selected to the NASA Astronaut Corps in April, 1996, she flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months on board. Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office. Before joining NASA, Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company from 1986 to 1991, as a stealth engineer. While at McDonnell Douglas, she worked on internal research and development and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program, studying the effectiveness of radar signature reduction techniques.
John M. Grunsfeld was named Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, managing the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Grunsfeld’s background includes research in high energy astrophysics, cosmic ray physics and in the emerging field of exoplanet studies with specific interest in future astronomical instrumentation.
Grunsfeld graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He subsequently earned a master’s degree and, in 1988, a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago using a cosmic ray experiment on the space shuttle Challenger for his doctoral thesis. From Chicago, he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology as a Senior Research Fellow in Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.