Past Guests

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Richard Altstatt
Richard “Hawk” Altstatt is an expert in survivability, martial arts, and catching stuff on fire. But most important, he is a showman and storyteller who helped build the Space and Science Tracks to what they are today.


Professor Boggs
Silly Songs of Serious Science! Professor Boggs performs songs that actually teach real science, on topics from Avogadro to Kepler to electricity and heat transfer. Original songs and ultimate geek music!

Sarah Bay
Sarah Bay is on the cusp of completing her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology at Emory. She’s also a Science Writer with the Genetics Society of America. When she’s not sciencing, she can be found buying makeup, drinking champagne, and reading comics.

Arie Bodek
University of Rochester George E. Pake Professor of Physics, Arie Bodek earned his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from MIT. Doctoral thesis provided evidence of the quark’s existence (1990 Physics Nobel Prize – Friedman, Kendall, and Taylor). Awarded 2004 APS Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics. CERN/LHC, neutrinos.

Raychelle Marie Burks
Raychelle is a chemist and researcher in academia. A blerd in the Ivory Tower, she often makes a tower break to talk about the science behind pop-culture. She also smuggles pop-culture into the classroom.

John Burns
John Burns is an ex-Navy man with experience in ops, chem, radpro, rad waste, research, vitrification, DOE, and currently dry fuel storage.

John Burns
James Burns is a television graphic designer, comic book creator, and illustrator who lives in Athens, Georgia.


John Cmar
John Cmar, MD, is the Director of Infectious Diseases at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and an Instructor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He the regular monthly co-host of Midday On Health with Dan Rodericks on 88.1 WYPR radio, and regularly blogs and podcasts at /.

Jessica Cail
Ryan Consell
Ryan is an author, and writer for He has a background in education and engineering science with research focused on composite materials and bicycle destruction.

John Cressler
John D. Cressler received his PhD from Columbia University in 1990. He is the Schlumberger Chair Professor in electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech. He is also a novelist, specializing in historical fiction set in medieval Muslim Spain.


Ben Davis
Dr. Ben Davis is a former college professor of mathematics, programming, astronomy, and physics who has a successful career in software and engineering and an interest in history, futurism and skepticism.

Lali DeRosier
Science teacher and education blogger, Lali DeRosier (a.k.a. Adverbia) promotes youth involvement in science through student writing and kitchen science outreach. Together with her co-hosts in the Curly Hair Mafia (, she tackles themes of science in scifi, fantasy, and horror in film and TV.

JL Doty
Jim is a SF&F writer, and a scientist with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, specializing in laser physics; he spent 4 decades in the laser industry. As a writer, his first real success came through self-publishing when he sold close to 50,000 eBooks 3 years ago. That led to more traditional publishing contracts, and his ninth book will be released by Harper Collins Voyager late in August 2016. A few years ago he quit his day-job to write SF&F full time.

Andy Dykes
Andy is a real, live rocket scientist who currently flies satellites for a living and has supported all kinds of manned and unmanned space flight at NASA. He also worked at U.S. Space Camp, teaching humans of all ages about space history and technology.


Emily Finke
By training a forensic anthropologist, but by passion a science communicator. Emily Finke is happiest when she is in a creek, teaching 10 year olds how to catch crayfish and look for tardigrades. Or at a convention, dressed up as Batgirl while talking about animal reproduction, entomophagy or superhero science. When she is not talking about science professionally, She is… well, still talking about science or social justice. Her main blog can be found at This View of Life. Online, she can be found on Twitter as @Seelix. Offline, she can be found at the pub talking to strangers about how penguins don’t live at the North Pole.

Julie Fooshee
Julie Fooshee is a professional science communicator and coordinator of the Science Festival Alliance (SFA) organized out of the MIT Museum at MIT. With an educational background in history, her professional career has largely been defined by work in informal science education, museums, network communication and event management.


Charles Gannon
Professor/Fulbrighter Charles Gannon’s award-winning hard SF Caine Riordan novels are multiple best-sellers and Nebula finalists. His other novels in the Ring of Fire and Starfire series are National & WSJ Bestsellers. Rumors of War & Infernal Machines won the 2006 ALA Choice Award. A frequent SME at TLAs, NPR, Discovery Channel.

Dr. Pamela Gay
Dr Pamela L. Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in learning and doing science. From co-hosting the Astronomy Cast podcast, to directing the CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility, she is at the forefront of online science communications and engagement.

Michael Gilkey
Michael Gilkey is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the National Center for Regenerative Medicine and CEO of Trailhead Biosystems. He is responsible for the development and execution of organizational strategy, external and internal marketing efforts, coordination of education programs and provides administrative, financial and operational oversight.

Donna Governor
Dr. Governor is a science teacher with 30+ years experience. She is the 2014-15 President of GSTA and the current Executive Director. She is also the District V Director for NSTA. Honors include the 2014 Georgia Outstanding Earth Science Teacher and the Georgia 2007 Presidential Award for Science Teaching.

Stephen Granade
Stephen Granade is a physicist specializing in robotic sensors. His sensors have read fingerprints from ten feet away, controlled robot helicopters, and guided the shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope. He’s provided scientific commentary for, CBS Marketwatch, and Jalopnik, and won awards for presenting to non-scientists.

Kevin Grazier
Dr. Kevin R. Grazier is a former Jet Propulsion Laboratory rocket scientist and science advisor for the Syfy series Defiance andAscension, and previously for Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, and the film Gravity.

Nicole Gugliucci
Astronomer, writer, educator, skeptic, maker-of-tiny-comets, and geek Dr. Nicole Gugliucci has made it her mission to study and share the Universe. Known as the “NoisyAstronomer,” she earned a doctorate studying radio astronomy, is finishing a postdoc in science education, and will be an assistant professor of physics starting in August 2015.


Kishore Hari
Kishore is a science educator communicator, founder of the Bay Area Science Festival, host of the science podcast Inquiring Minds, and science correspondent for

Jeff Hubbs
Jeff Hubbs is an energy systems and policy analyst at Georgia Tech, where he earned an MS in Public Policy in 2013 and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering in 1985. He has presented at Comic Con twice and this is his second year at Dragon Con.


Les Johnson
Les Johnson is a science and science fiction author and a NASA scientist. His novel, Rescue Mode, is a story of Mars exploration. Les was the featured Interstellar Explorer in National Geographic magazine, a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report and is leading an asteroid rendezvous mission for NASA.


Roy Kilgard
Dr. Kilgard is an astrophysicist who researches black holes in nearby galaxies with an emphasis on intermediate-mass black holes: an enigmatic class of objects whose origins are unclear. When not studying the heavens, he lectures on astronomy in science fiction and pop culture.

AB Kovacs
A B Kovacs is a founding partner and the “Director of Døøm” at Empty Set Entertainment, as well as a contributor at She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — she helps creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn’t like chocolate all that much.


Aaron Lanterman

Leighann Lord
Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian and author who’s been seen on HBO, Comedy Central, and The View. Her comedy album, I’ve Got Connections, is played heavily on Sirius satellite radio. Leighann is a co-host NatGeo’s StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson.


Maryn McKenna
Maryn McKenna is an award-winning journalist and author who writes about science, food and scary diseases.

Mika McKinnon
Mika McKinnon is a science consultant in the entertainment industry, disaster researcher, geophysicist, journalist, and irrepressible educator.

Joseph Meany

Brandon Moore

Erin Macdonald
Erin Macdonald, PhD regularly gives presentations about “science and sci-fi” at schools and conventions. Her PhD and postdoctoral research was in gravitational waves with the LIGO collaboration. Currently she works as a systems engineer in Denver, CO.

Leigh Mansfield
Leigh is currently working in Addiction Medicine in Nashville Tennessee with a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology. He is currently completing neuropsychological research on hemispacial neglect and sleep deprivation with Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University. He intends to begin a Ph.D program next fall for Medical Clinical Neuropsychology

Cara Santa Maria
Cara Santa Maria is a Los Angeles Area Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer, and podcaster. Current credits include Talk Nerdy and The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcasts, TechKnow, SoCal Connected, FabLab, Real Future, and America’s Greatest Makers.

Siobhan McCarthy

Greg Munson
Greg Munson is the Co Creator and Executive Producer of the hit ABC television show BattleBots. Greg also serves as the President of BattleBots Inc., running the day-to-day operations of the growing company’s television, sports league, educational and licensing efforts.

Julien Musolino
Julien Musolino is a cognitive scientist, public speaker, and author who holds a dual appointment in the Psychology Department and the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University. His research has been published in top scientific journals and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.


Maki Naro
Maki Naro is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator known for his comics about science and his role as a contestant on Penny Arcade’s reality web series, Strip Search.

Bob Novella
Bob Novella is co-host of the award winning Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and science blogger.

Mohamed A Noor
Mohamed Noor is chair of the Biology Department at Duke University. He teaches and does research on evolution and genetics (also online in Coursera), and he is an avid Star Trek fan who talks about science as applied in the Star Trek universe and in other science fiction.


Matt Oehrlein
Raychelle is a chemist in the Ivory Tower, though she often makes a tower break to talk about the science behind pop-culture and can be seen on Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science.

Samantha Oester
Samantha (Dr. Cyborg) is an aquatic scientist, specializing in marine conservation, aquatic microbiology, exploration research, and science communication. She dabbles in coding and programming and is a self-proclaimed movie/TV/book geek. She is Chair of the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress and PhD research fellow at George Mason University.


Dr. Jessica Parilla
Dr. Jessica Parilla is the Undergraduate Director of the Biology department at Georgia State University. She also teaches Microbiology and Virology, and has an extensive background in infectious disease.

Rachel Pendergrass
Assistant Director of the Dragon Con Science Track.
I do SCIENCE! And get others to do science with us.

Gregory E Pence
Author of WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CLONE CLUB: BIOETHICS AND PHILOSOPHY AND ORPHAN BLACK (BenBella Books, 2016). Noted bioethicist famous for pro-human cloning stance and testifying before Congress about such.


Chad Ramey
Chad Ramey is President of the GaTech Invention Studio, a professional research scientist, and known for constructing nuclear apparatus in his garage.

T.S. Rider
T. S. Rider has had two short stories published. An Artist and Writer, T. S. Rider has been working on making quality hand made wands from naturally sourced materials and her longer fiction.

Tedd Roberts
Tedd Roberts is the pseudonym of Dr. Robert E. Hampson, Neuroscientist and co-inventor of the first neural prosthetic for human memory. Tedd’s Hugo-award-nominated nonfiction appears at Baen Books and Teddy’s Rat Lab blog. His short fiction has appeared in Riding the Red Horse and Black Tide Rising anthologies.

Trey Roski
Edward “Trey” Roski is the Co Creator and Executive Producer of the hit ABC television show BattleBots. Trey also serves as the CEO of BattleBots Inc., managing all aspects of the company’s growth and initiatives.


Scicurious is a neuroscientist and an award-winning science writer at Science News. She’s written for Slate, The Guardian, and Scientific American; appeared on radio shows like Science for the People; and her Twitter feed, @scicurious, has more than 34,000 followers. Her PhD is from Wake Forest University.

John Sheffield
John is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Secure and Sustainable Environment at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and the author of Fun in Fusion Research.

Eric Spana
Eric Spana is a Biology faculty member at Duke University who uses common science fiction and fantasy culture to help students understand basic tenets of genetics, genomics, and developmental and molecular biology.

Tina Hesman Saey
Tina Saey is a former scientist who became a science journalist. She writes about things microscopic, genetic, and cool for Science News magazine.

Robert Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer has won the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, all for best science-fiction novel of the year. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name, and he was one of the writers for that program.

Elisabeth Sheff
James Burns is a television graphic designer, comic book creator, and illustrator who lives in Athens, Georgia.

Scott Sigler
NY Times best-selling author Scott Sigler has created fifteen novels, six novellas and dozens of short stories. His works are available from Crown Publishing and Del Rey Books. Scott co-founded Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his Galactic Football League YA series.

Torrey Stenmark
Torrey Stenmark is a science educator and award-winning costumer, making her a jack of some trades and master of two. When not teaching community college chemistry, she does science outreach at conventions and supports children’s wellness by being a superhero.



Juliana Texley
Juliana Texley is President of the National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional society of teachers in the nation. She represents science teachers through presentations, authorship and advocacy throughout the United States and in other nations. During her presidency she has emphasized reaching beyond the classroom to lifelong science learners.


Trevor Valle
Trevor S Valle is a mitigation paleontologist, specializing in the rapid recovery of fossils from large scale construction sites, and has traveled to places far and wide to uncover the mysteries involved in the study of ancient life.

Dr. Scortt Viguié
Dr. Scott Viguié is an archaeologist, novelist, actor, and creator of Doctor Geek’s Laboratory, a STEM outreach program exploring science fiction concepts and relating them to scientific breakthroughs. He created “Doctor Geek’s Science Fair,” a traveling show combining elements of a science fair and a science fiction convention.



Jennifer Watson
Biomedical engineer and neuroscientist Dr. Jennifer Watson has discovered novel genetic contributions to disease states through the positional cloning of neurological mouse models. Her interests include science education, fantasy, and Dragon Con!

Yin-Yin Wang
Yin-Yin recently completed her PhD at University of Rochester in Microbiology and Immunology. She’s currently working as a product specialist for Stemcell Technologies in New York City. This is her 3rd year working on the Dragon Con Science Track.

Philip Wohlrab
Philip Wohlrab is an experienced combat medic with multiple tours to Iraq. He holds a Masters in Public Health and currently is an instructor in combat medicine. In his free time he writes short fiction in modern military fantasy.