Science Hack Day 2014

I’ll be participating in Science Hack Day San Francisco again this year with a cool bunch of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. Proposed projects run the gamut of topics and fields and there will always be many more projects that don’t make it onto the proposal wiki page. One of the great things about Science Hack Day is that you can go along without a proposal in mind, find some people to work with and just get started on something. Many successful projects start without a team at the beginning but have amazing outcomes just 24 hours later.

As for me, I’m not yet sure what I’ll hack on but I have a few proposals on the wiki that I’d be interested in working on. Feel free to join me on any of them, or if we don’t do them at Science Hack Day, I still want to work on them at some other time.

My proposals include:

I *Actually* Love Science

The popular “I Fucking Love Science” Facebook page has a long history of using images and content without permission. This project would be an activist science art piece that replicates the IFLS Facebook page but on each item includes a link back to the origin of the artwork that has been used without permission via a reverse image search.

Exoplanet Ball Pit

Want to bathe in a universe of extra-solar planets and adopt one for yourself? A ball pit that has 1781 balls, one for each known exoplanet. Each ball has a barcode/QR code on it which can be scanned to go to a webpage that gives you all the data on the corresponding exoplanet and allows you to print out a certificate for “finding” that exoplanet. (With Ariel Waldman.)

Journal of Brief Ideas (the next phase)

Last year at SF SHD, we started building the Journal of Brief Ideas. (More details here: We have shown some of the basic functionality but I am looking for developers who would like to build this further and continue on after SHD. I should be able to get some seed funding for building but want to find a right partner for development first. If nothing else, I’d love to have a discussion about the ideas at SHD with anybody interested so we could just set aside a time for that, even if we’re all working on other hacks.

Cards Against Science (Second Edition)

Last year for SF SHD, we developed an edition of Cards Against Humanity with a science theme. There were over 500 cards with sciencey goodness (or badness, depending on your perspective). I’ll bring a new edition this year but if you want to contribute ideas, you can do so at Just fill out the online form to add cards to the mix!


I’ll also be giving a 15-minute lightning talk in the “Oval Office” at github at 11.05am on “The intersection of art, science communication, and outreach.” Come along to that to hear about some of the projects above or find co-conspirators for your own project!

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