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The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!) is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory. Six brave speakers will present their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of judges with real science credentials, who together will determine which speaker takes home the coveted sculpture of Darwin shrugging skeptically. And eternal glory, of course.
Keynote and Host
Adam Savage – Keynote
Adam Savage is an industrial design and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, and television personality, known as co-host (of the Discovery Channel television series “MythBusters” and “Unchained Reaction.” He currently is the Editor-in-chief of Tested.com. His model work has appeared in major films, including “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “The Matrix Reloaded.”
Dr. Kelly Weinersmith – Host
Dr. Kelly Weinersmith is an adjunct assistant professor in the BioSciences Department at Rice University. Kelly’s research on parasites that manipulate the behavior of their hosts, and has been featured in National Geographic, The Atlantic, Science, Nature, and BBC World. She co-hosts the podcast Science…sort of, and her new book Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything is out through Penguin Press on October 17, 2017.
Judges and Speakers
Maggie Koerth-Baker – Judge
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the senior science writer for the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight. Previously, she was a columnist for The New York Times Magazine and UnDark. Maggie is a 2015 Harvard Nieman Fellow and a member of the board for the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.
Carl Zimmer – Judge
Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times, where his column “Matter” appears each week. He is the author of thirteen books on science, and is a frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts such as Radiolab. In 2016, Zimmer won the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science.
Gail Patricelli – Judge
Gail Patricelli is a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the evolution of courtship and sexual behaviors in birds and the impacts of noise pollution on breeding behaviors and populations.
Katie Mack – Judge
Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist. Her work focuses on finding new ways to learn about the early universe and fundamental physics using astronomical observations, probing the building blocks of nature by examining the cosmos on the largest scales. Throughout her career as a researcher at Caltech, Princeton, Cambridge, and now Melbourne University, she has studied dark matter, black holes, cosmic strings, and the formation of the first galaxies in the Universe. Katie is also an active science communicator and is passionate about science outreach. As a science writer, she has been published by Slate, Sky & Telescope, Scientific American, and other popular publications, and has been a columnist for Cosmos Magazine.