Schedule 2017

Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Friday, 09-01-2017


Science of Marijuana
Georgia Tech engineering professor by day and comedian by night, Dr. Pete Ludovice takes an unabashed and educational look at the science of cannabis. We’ll examine everything from therapeutic results and biochemistry to delivery methods and government policy.
Pete Ludovice
10:00, Hilton 210-211

Graphene: The Material That Will Change the World
What will space elevators, pencils, and quantum computers all have in common in the coming decades? Carbon. Specifically, they’ll be made from carbon that has bonded into graphene: a flat, two-dimensional molecule exceptionally thin and strong. What’s it like? How do we make it? What can it do?
Les Johnson, Joe Meany
11:30, Hilton 210-211

The Year in Science
A lot has happened in the world of science since last Dragon Con. Come find out what science stories you missed, and learn more about the scientific events that are shaping our world.
Charles Blue, Kishore Hari, Joe Meany, Gwen Pearson, Cara Santa Maria
13:00, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Fantastic Beasts & What to Feed Them
Could Frank the Thunderbird really live in Arizona? How much food would you need to keep a dragon alive? Could a unicorn really stab you with its horn? Come ask your questions about caring for all manner of magical creatures.
Ryan Consell, Lali DeRosier, Kali Holder, Rachel Pendergrass, Scicurious
13:00, Hilton 210-211

What Comes After the March For Science?
The organizer who coordinated all of the satellite March for Science events holds a Q&A session about the march, its successes and failures, and what comes next.
Kishore Hari
14:30, Hilton Grand East

SAM Talks
Science. Alternate History. Robotics and Makers. These three tracks have taken inspiration from the TED Talks series to bring you great talks and ideas inspired from the three subjects. Each panel will feature 3 or more brief talks with a Q&A afterwards to discuss the ideas presented.
Sarah Bay, Daniel Garcia, Elizabeth Medley
14:30, Hilton 210-211

Managing the Multiverse
A look at multiverse theory, many-worlds quantum interpretation, and more.
Erin Macdonald
16:00, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Ancient Viruses in the Permafrost
Now that the permafrost is becoming less permanent, what ancient viruses (and bacteria!) are lurking there, waiting for the thaw?
Jessica Parilla
16:00, Hilton 210-211

Practical Kitchen Chemistry
From the Mailliard reaction that turns steaks brown and roasts coffee beans to the development of gluten in breads, there’s chemistry in most everything you eat.
Torrey Stenmark, Paul Currie, Joe Meany, Scicurious
17:30, Hilton 210-211

My Job is So Cool!
Panelists discuss their science-related jobs, what makes them so cool, and how they got them.
Julie Fooshee, Cara Santa Maria, Kali Holder, Leighann Lord, Mohamed Noor, Rachel Pendergrass (M)
19:00, Hilton 210-211

Rodents & Other Small Creatures in SFF
Rodents and similar small creatures show up in a surprising number of science fiction and fantasy. What can we learn about them by studying our terrestrial rodents?
Kevin Grazier, Robert Hampson, DN Lee, Rachel Pendergrass (M)
20:30, Hilton 210-211

The Science Team-Up Quiz Show
Teams of audience members paired with scientists compete head-to-head to answer science questions. But there’s one twist: the questions aren’t in the scientists’ field.
Lali DeRosier, Andy Dykes, Emily Finke, Nicole Gugliucci, Shareef Jackson, Trevor Valle
22:00, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

The Polyamorists Next Door
We can learn a lot about polyamory from a 15-year study of its practice & effects on families. We’ll cover issues like finding partners, coming out, and passing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of with poly families and the strategies kids and parents use to deal with disadvantages.
Dr. Elisabeth Sheff
23:30, Hilton Crystal Ballroom


Saturday, 09-02-2017


Heroes and Villains of the Animal Kingdom
We sometimes talk about animals being “good” or “bad”. But the animal kingdom is seldom that cut and dried.
Marianne Shockley, Paul Currie, Lali DeRosier, Kali Holder, Rachel Pendergrass
10:00, Hilton 210-211

What Kids Have Taught Me About Science
Educators share their experience working with kids and what they’ve learned about science. Questions from the audience, especially from kids, welcome!
Emily Finke, Donna Governor, Scott Harris, Shareef Jackson, Julie Fooshee
11:30, Hilton 210-211

The Science of Luke Cage
What would it take to give someone invulnerable skin? Could you improve people’s healing?
Raychelle Burks, Shareef Jackson, DN Lee, Caleph Wilson
13:00, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Science for Writers
When you’re writing a novel or a screenplay, how do you balance what’s scientific with what’s narratively needed? Is there such a thing as too little or too much science in science fiction? Our writers and science advisers tackle these issues and your questions.
Stephen Granade, Robert Hampson, Kali Holder, Erin Macdonald
13:00, Hilton 210-211

But That’s Impossible!
Things like powered flight, space travel, and brain surgery were once considered impossible. What do we consider impossible now, and how sure are we of that?
Ryan Consell, Andy Dykes, Les Johnson, Tina Saey
14:30, Hilton 210-211

The Math and Science of Cosplay
Making costumes is creative, but it also takes math and science! Math is essential to pattern design, engineering keeps pieces together, and even material science helps in picking the best products for your creations.
Ryan Consell, Torrey Stenmark, Emily Finke, Mika McKinnon
16:00, Hilton Grand East

Ridiculous Things I’ve Done for Science
Licking rocks. Setting yourself on fire. Letting a monkey have its way with your leg. Our panelists have done a lot of weird things for science.
Marianne Shockley, Nicole Gugliucci, Gwen Pearson, Scicurious, Trevor Valle, Kishore Hari (M)
16:00, Hilton 210-211

Evil Geniuses Just Want to Improve the World
Our resident evil geniuses explain their totally foolproof plans to take over the world…or destroy it. Got your own plans? Try to convince our evil geniuses that your plan is better than theirs. You’ll probably live through the experience.
Andy Dykes, Kali Holder, Mika McKinnon, Gwen Pearson, Kishore Hari (M)
17:30, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Reversing Extinction
Can we bring extinct animals back from the dead? And given that life often finds a way, should we?
Tina Saey, Eric Spana, Trevor Valle, Mel White, Rachel Pendergrass (M)
17:30, Hilton 210-211

The Psychology of Jessica Jones: Gaslighting, Mind-Control, & PTSD
Even superheroes deal with mental health issues, especially after enduring mind-control. We’ll break down the symptoms of PTSD and look at the neurobiology behind our bodies’ reactions to trauma and various coping mechanisms as shown in Jessica’s abusive trauma, treatment, and recovery.
Heather Ness
19:00, Hilton 210-211

Personal Genetic Testing
Personal genetic testing is more available than ever thanks to companies like 23andMe. But what are the limits of what that testing can tell you?
Mohamed Noor, Tina Saey, Jennifer Hardee, Caleph Wilson
20:30, Hilton 210-211

Science vs TV
Our “experts” are here to explain how the science in TV shows is 100% and totally accurate, yes, even the science in “Scorpion”.
Yin-Yin Wang, Raychelle Burks, Paul Currie, Lali DeRosier, DN Lee, Trevor Valle, Ryan Consell (M)
22:00, Hilton Grand West

Hollyweird Science
Kevin Grazier and his co-authors talk about their books touching on all the ways that Hollywood producers, writers and directors are working to integrate real (and accurate!) science into their works.
Kevin Grazier
22:00, Hilton 210-211

Sunday, 09-03-2017



The Science Power Hour!
Give us an hour and we’ll give you plenty of hands-on science activities!
10:00, Hilton 309-312

The Microbiology Behind What You Eat
Beer. Bread. Yogurt. Cheese. Come discuss the microbiology behind some of our most awesome foods.
Jessica Parilla, Robert Hampson, Rachel Pendergrass, Tina Saey
10:00, Hilton 210-211

Who Are We, and Where Are We Going? (1)
Where do we come from? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? Astrobiology tackles these questions. This first interactive symposium covers current scientific thought on our biochemistry’s beginnings, our planet’s evolution as a habitable system, and how we search for signs of life in space.
Kenneth Knoespel, Loren Williams, Chris Reinhard, Amanda Stockton, Lisa Yaszek, Luju Ojha, and Britney Schmidt
11:30, Hilton 210-211

The Higgs Boson & the Mystery of Dark Matter
What is a Higgs boson? Why’s it such a big deal? And what might it have to do with the mysterious dark matter?
Stephen Granade
13:00, Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Who Are We, and Where Are We Going (2)
Where do we come from? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? Astrobiology tackles these questions. This second interactive symposium explores the influential roles of science and science fiction, the implications of the discovery of water on Mars, and what life might look like on other worlds.
Kenneth Knoespel, Loren Williams, Chris Reinhard, Amanda Stockton, Lisa Yaszek, Luju Ojha, and Britney Schmidt
13:00, Hilton 210-211

Let’s Eat Bugs!
The next big thing in food is actually tiny. Eating insects is the latest gastronomic fad, but it’s not new. Come and learn about this sustainable and delicious protein source that’s a regular part of the diet of people worldwide!
Gwen Pearson, Marianne Shockley
14:30, Hilton 210-211

What It’s Like in the Field
Often when we talk about science, we imagine it happening in quiet, air-conditioned labs. But what’s it like doing science outdoors or in remote areas?
Julie Fooshee, Scott Harris, DN Lee, Mika McKinnon
16:00, Hilton 210-211

Chemical Warfare in Wonder Woman
The First World War was dubbed “The Chemists’ War” for its use of new deadly agents: high explosives, shelling propellants, and mustard gas, among others. How did this summer’s blockbuster measure up to the real-life Doctor Poisons of both the Central Powers and Allies?
Erica Klonkowski, Raychelle Burks, Joe Meany, Caleph Wilson
17:30, Hilton Grand East

Science Motivation: Imagination to Reality
People have talked about the science behind the fiction for years at cons. Come discuss what motivates people to be interested in science, how science fiction influences real world science, and how we make connections between being consumers of science and practitioners of science.
Kania Greer, Vaughan James
17:30, Hilton 210-211

Star Wars Biology vs Star Trek Biology
Does the biology in Star Wars make more sense than Star Trek? Two biologists argue for the superiority of the biology in their chosen fandom.
Mohamed Noor, Eric Spana
19:00, Hilton Grand East

Exciting Medical Practices of History
Patent medicines! Phrenology! The art of sneakily advertising medicines for STIs in Victorian newspapers! Come hear about various alarming medical practices of the past.
Ryan Consell, Raychelle Burks, Emily Finke, Scicurious
19:00, Hilton 210-211

Pokémon and Biology
The world of Pokémon, with its amazing creatures and environments, reflects our own in so many ways. What can we learn about them based on ours? We’ll look at Pokémon through the lens of biodiversity, adaptation, and the animals that inspired the games’ coolest monsters.
Lucas Hernandez
20:30, Westin Augusta E-G

Scientific Slap-Fights
Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope blowing up each others’ fossil sites. Richard Owen and Charles Darwin fighting over evolution. Scientists don’t always behave civilly towards each other.
Nicole Gugliucci, Kishore Hari, Joe Meany, Scicurious, Trevor Valle
20:30, Hilton 210-211

Solve for X
Our science-themed variety show returns with storytelling, comedy, and PowerPoint karaoke.
22:00, Hilton Grand West

Monday, 09-04-2017



Xenomorphs and Rocket Racoon
What makes the alien from Alien tick? Could you actually turn a regular trash panda into a gun-toting cybernetically-enhanced raccoon?
Raychelle Burks, DN Lee, Lali DeRosier
11:30, Hilton 210-211

Little Science, Big Science
Sometimes scientific discoveries come from big collaborations, like LIGO detecting gravitational waves. Other times it comes from small teams in a lab, like CRISPR. What are the pros and cons of these approaches?
Pamela Gay, Robert Hampson, Erin Macdonald
13:00, Hilton 210-211