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Cool Jobs 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The Festival’s ever-popular Cool Jobs is back with a jaw-dropping show that brings you face-to-face with amazing scientists with amazing jobs. Imagine having an office that’s a zoo and co-workers that are lemurs and porcupines. How about getting paid to build machines that can read people’s thoughts. Or imagine your desk was a basketball court and your clients were superstars trying to improve their game through biomechanics? Well, you don’t have to just imagine. Hear from scientists who have these jobs—find out what they do, how they do it, and how they got the coolest and weirdest gigs on the planet. The program begins with Alan Alda hosting The Flame Challenge Prize Announcement. The contest, conceived by Alda and Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science, called on scientists worldwide to give their best explanation of how a flame works—but in a way that makes sense to a kid. The winner was chosen by hundreds of 11-year olds around the country.


Alan AldaActor, Author, Director

Alan Alda, a seven-time Emmy® Award winner, played Hawkeye Pierce and wrote many of the episodes on the classic TV series M*A*S*H. He has starred in, written, and directed many films, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Aviator.

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Baba BrinkmanRap Artist, Writer

Canadian rap artist, writer, and former tree-planter, Baba Brinkman has personally planted more than one million trees in the Rocky Mountains. After graduating with an M.A. in comparative literature in 2003, he began his career as a rap troubadour.

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Cynthia BirBiomedical Engineer

Cynthia Bir studies what happens to the human body after sports injuries, ballistic impacts, and explosive blasts. She is known worldwide for her research into the effects of blunt ballistic impacts from rubber bullets and other less-lethal ammunition.

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Jarod MillerZoologist

Jarod Miller is a young naturalist, zoologist, pet expert, and regular guest lecturer for zoos, universities, and promotional events, having lectured on captive management and wildlife conservation at venues including the White House.

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Wendy SuzukiNeuroscientist

Wendy Suzuki is a professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University where she studies the effects of physical aerobic exercise on brain function.

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Adam WilsonBiomedical Engineer

Adam Wilson was the first person to communicate over the Internet using only his mind. The biomedical engineer studies neural prosthetic devices that can allow people with severe motor disabilities, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease or “locked-in” syndrome, to communicate with the outside world.

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