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Meet the Civic Science Fellows

  • Blake McGhghy

    Blake McGhghy

    Title

    AAAS Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Blake McGhghy will serve as the AAAS Civic Science Fellow, with a start date of March 30. Blake brings relevant research and practical experience in public engagement, science communication, and civic engagement to the role. He holds a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago, where he completed a thesis on public engagement in technology policy at the city level; and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where he worked with Sheila Jasanoff, professor of science and technology studies.

    Blake is currently finishing a Boren Fellowship at the Center for Science and the Environment in New Delhi, India, on air quality policy. A native of Keokuk, Iowa, he is interested in how the scientific community can meaningfully connect on science–society issues with audiences in rural areas of the United States. He is excited to contribute his perspective and expertise to civic science and public engagement initiatives, in collaboration with AAAS and with Civic Science Fellows at other institutions.

  • Gregory Carbonetti

    Gregory Carbonetti

    Title

    Alda Civic Science Fellow in Chronic Pain

    Year

    2020

    Gregory Carbonetti serves as a Civic Science Fellow in Chronic Pain at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Greg recently completed his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Stony Brook University, where he conducted research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in both pain alleviation and prostate cancer metastasis. His additional research projects include collaborations at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Greg has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Scientific Reports, the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Blood, and has been invited to speak at conferences across North America and in Europe. He holds a master’s degree in biological sciences from Hunter College, and a bachelor’s degree in both biology and philosophy from the University of Scranton.

    Greg is deeply committed to civic science and the importance of science communication to inform public policy, to build further support for research and discovery, and to ensure that patients and their families understand the choices facing them. He has previously worked with the Alda Center, where he helped to produce a web show, Science Unplugged, that provided researchers a platform to explain their work to a general audience. Through his Alda Center connections, Greg also traveled to various Long Island high schools to share his work with students. Greg is eager to begin his work to facilitate deeper and more meaningful connections between the chronic-pain research community and individuals, families, and communities affected by chronic pain.

  • Erica Kimmerling

    Erica Kimmerling

    Title

    ASTC Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Erica Kimmerling is managing the formation of the emerging network for Leaders in Science and Technology Engagement Networks (LISTEN) as ASTC’s Civic Science Fellow supported by the Kavli Foundation. She recently completed a Hellman Fellowship in Science and Technology Policy at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences working on the Public Face of Science Project. In this role, Erica was the lead drafter of the project reports Perceptions of Science in America, Encountering Science in America, and a final project report with recommendations for building capacity for science communication and engagement. She is a co-founder of the STEM education program BiteScis, which pairs educators with graduate students to design lesson plans inspired by research and grounded in science education standards.

    Erica completed a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering as a NIH Pre-Doctoral Fellow at Tufts University in 2016. Her academic research focused on designing new approaches for the three-dimensional culture of human kidney cells in order to gain a better understanding of kidney development and disease. Throughout graduate school she was an organizer for ComSciCon, a national series of communicating science workshops organized by graduate students for graduate students.

  • Ivel Gontan

    Title

    ASTC Civic Science Fellow, Community Science Initiative

    Year

    2020

    Ivel Gontan (she/her) is a museum professional with a background in research, evaluation, and program management, now serving as a Civic Science Fellow with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)’s Community Science Initiative. Ivel holds an M.A. in Museum Studies with a focus in Education from John F. Kennedy University, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Anthropology from SUNY Purchase. She is particularly interested in learning ways underrepresented audiences become engaged and succeed in STEM fields.

    Ivel believes museums are institutions uniquely positioned to affect real and meaningful change in communities. A two-time ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellow, her work in museums has revolved around social justice, focusing on how to make the scientific enterprise more equitable and helping make museums more inclusive institutions for local communities, visitors, and staff.

  • Stephanie Nguyen

    Title

    Consumer Reports Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Stephanie Nguyen is a designer and researcher focused on the intersections of human-centered design, public interest technology, and data privacy. Her work and research aims to empower industry practitioners to translate data privacy policy into actionable designs and use those insights to inform effective federal tech policy for marginalized and vulnerable populations. She is currently at Consumer Reports, exploring ways to create a digital privacy and security standard to help guide the future of design of consumer connected digital platforms and services. She was previously a research scientist at MIT Media Lab and is an appointed member of the IEEE’s Global Advisory Council on Children and Youth Experiences.

    Stephanie has conducted global field research and usability testing for citizen-facing technology and services. She led user experience and design for projects in healthcare with the National Institutes of Health’s million-person genome project and Johns Hopkins’ Precision Medicine team. At U.S. Digital Service under the Obama White House, she led design work at the Departments of Education, State, and Health and Human Services. In industry, she worked with Google X’s Project Loon, an initiative to increase internet accessibility to rural and remote communities.

    Stephanie manages her own independent design + research consultancy, working with domestic and international clients. She was a 2017–19 Gleitsman Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, focused on public interest technology.

  • Rose Hendricks

    Title

    Kavli Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Hosts: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Society for Cell Biology, and Research!America

    Rose Hendricks is a cognitive scientist with expertise in how language shapes thought. She has applied this background as a researcher at the FrameWorks Institute, where she studied public thinking about a range of social and scientific issues to determine best practices for communicators.

    Rose is also the vice-chair of the leadership team for ComSciCon, a science communication workshop series for graduate students, by graduate students. Through ComSciCon, she has led teams of workshop organizers and evaluators to make science communication training accessible to as many graduate students as possible. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Anand Varma

    Anand Varma

    Title

    National Geographic Society Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Anand Varma grew up exploring the woods near his childhood home in Atlanta, Georgia. As a teenager, he picked up his dad’s old camera on a whim and found that he could use it to feed his curiosity about the natural world—and to share his discoveries with others. 

    Anand graduated with a degree in integrative biology from UC Berkeley and now uses photography to share the story behind the science on everything from honeybee health to hummingbird biomechanics. He works to reveal the invisible details around us with the goal of sparking a sense of wonder about our world.

    Since receiving his first grant from the National Geographic Society in 2010, he has photographed numerous stories for National Geographic Magazine. In between assignments, he teaches workshops on visual storytelling to early career scientists around the world.

  • Shannon Dosemagen

    Shannon Dosemagen

    Title

    Open Environmental Data Project Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Shannon Dosemagen is co-founder and executive director of Public Lab, a community and nonprofit organization democratizing science to address environmental issues that affect people. She is also an organizer of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware and previous Chair of both the U.S. EPA National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology and the Citizen Science Association.

    Shannon has spent more than 15 years working with environment and public health groups to address declining freshwater resources, coastal land loss, and building monitoring programs with communities living adjacent to industrial facilities.

  • Sam Dyson

    Title

    Science in Society Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Sam Dyson is the Science in Society Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow. Based at the Rita Allen Foundation, he plays a connective role among the six members of the Collaborative–the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Kavli Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation. His fellowship is focused on the collective learning needed for the Funder Collaborative to help build strong, diverse, and inclusive connections between science and civic life.

    For ten years, Sam taught high-school physics, receiving the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. As a nonprofit leader, he directed a professional learning network that equipped more than 200 organizations and 500 educators to expand out-of-school learning opportunities for more than 20,000 Chicago youth. Sam earned a B.A. in physics from Yale and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

  • Karen Andrade

    Karen Andrade

    Title

    Science Philanthropy Alliance Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    An interdisciplinary environmental health scientist by training, Karen Andrade has expertise in community-based participatory research and a robust track record of engaging diverse communities in science. The breadth and depth of her scientific knowledge is coupled with a firm conviction in the essential role of basic sciences, the benefit of cross-disciplinary approaches, and an enduring interest in exploring the role of science in society.

    Karen recently completed postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and the University of California, Davis, where she led biomedical and environmental health research to benefit marginalized and vulnerable communities. Her interest in exploring new paths to inspire support of, and engagement with, science led her to found and direct the University of California, Berkeley, Science Shop when she was a graduate student. This student-led organization facilitated research collaborations between Berkeley students and San Francisco Bay Area communities with environmental research needs. Karen is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, and earned a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Kathy Pham

    Kathy Pham

    Title

    Shorenstein Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Kathy Pham is a product leader, computer scientist, and founder who has held roles in product management, software engineering, data science, consulting, and leadership in the private, nonprofit, and public sector. Her work has spanned Google, IBM, Harris Healthcare, and the federal government at the United States Digital Service at the White House, where she was a founding product and engineering member. She has founded the Ethical Tech Collective, Product and Society, Women in Product Boston, the Cancer Sidekick Foundation, Team Curious, and Unite for Sight Southeast. Kathy focuses on product, ethics, responsibility, and technology. 

    At the Harvard Kennedy School, Kathy created and teaches Product Management and Society, and launched Product and Society. Kathy is an Affiliate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center where she leads the Ethical Tech working group, and focuses on ethics in technology, with an emphasis on engineering culture and computer science curricula. She is also a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center, faculty affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard, faculty affiliate with Assembly:Disinformation, and Fellow at Mozilla partnering with Omidyar Network, where she co-leads the Responsible Computer Science Challenge. As a 2018 fellow of the MIT Media Lab and Harvard Assembly, Kathy co-founded ai-in-the-loop focused on community inclusion in the development of artificial intelligence.

  • Natasha Udu-gama

    Title

    Thriving Earth Exchange Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Natasha Udu-gama serves as Program Manager, International and Community Engagement at the Thriving Earth Exchange, helping scientists, community leaders, and sponsors work together to solve local challenges related to natural resources, climate change, and natural hazards. She is responsible for recruiting, vetting, onboarding, and coaching communities to succeed within community science projects and leading Thriving Earth Exchange’s international operations. As part of the team, she has helped to develop Thriving Earth’s community science approach and successfully launched both domestic and international community science projects.

    Prior to joining the Thriving Earth Exchange in 2014, Natasha had more than 10 years of experience in the fields of community engagement, disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, and climate change adaptation. She has extensive experience in community engagement, partnership, and development at the local, national, and international levels. She holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Geography, specializing in multi-sector partnerships for effective and sustainable community-owned early warning systems, from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She also holds an M.Sc. in Disaster Management from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and a B.A. in International Affairs with a focus on International Development Studies from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

  • Clio Heslop

    Clio Heslop

    Title

    UK Civic Science Fellow

    Year

    2020

    Hosts: US–UK Fulbright Commission and Center for Media Engagement, University of Texas at Austin

    Clio Heslop is an experienced project manager and practitioner whose work focuses on bringing together professionals from business, research, policy, media, and nonprofit sectors to work on science engagement. Since 2016 she has been based at the British Science Association, where she works on strategy including partnerships, audience research, program design, and organizational development relating to equality, diversity and inclusion. She led the BSA’s research into the UK science engagement landscape including diversity, motivations, and working patterns of science engagement professionals. As part of this, she created and coordinated a network of organizations working on equality, diversity, and inclusion in science engagement, and has developed and tested science engagement formats that connect researchers with diverse public groups.

    She also manages the long-running Media Fellowship Scheme, works with organizations to implement findings from the BSA’s audience research, and she coordinates the annual Huxley Summit science-in-society thought leadership event.

    Previously, Clio held roles leading researcher training at Springer Nature and managing science policy events and communications at University College London.

  • Headshot of Adnaan Wasey.

    Adnaan Wasey

    Title

    WGBH Civic Science Fellow in Science Communication

    Year

    2020

    Adnaan Wasey is the recipient of the first Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication and is currently completing the second year of his fellowship as part of the pilot Civic Science Fellows cohort at WGBH Boston. His work focuses on bridging gaps between research and practice to address underserved audiences, and creating and launching new media specifically targeting those audiences.

    Adnaan is an executive producer with a history of championing the work of a diverse group of creators for new platforms. He has developed media for news and information organizations, including PBS, the New York Times, Snapchat, and WNYC, and his work has been honored by the Emmy Awards, Webby Awards, and many others. While at WGBH, he has led efforts to create digital TV for social medial platforms through Launchpad, with the goal of producing science communication that is more effective at developing science literacy for non-elite, underserved audiences.

    “There is a problem—there is a worthy challenge. And I was excited by that.”

    — Adnaan Wasey

  • Reyhaneh Maktoufi

    Reyhaneh (Rey) Maktoufi

    Title

    WGBH Civic Science Fellow in Science Misinformation

    Year

    2020

    Reyhaneh (Rey) Maktoufi is a Ph.D. candidate in Media, Technology, and Society at Northwestern University, currently housed at NOVA as the WGBH Civic Science Fellow in Science Misinformation. Rey is a science communication researcher, practitioner, and trainer with an emphasis on public engagement with science, curiosity, and empathy. She has been engaging in research through her Master’s degree in health psychology and Ph.D. dissertation work in addition to her collaboration with Iran’s Cancer Network and The Adler Planetarium. 

    As a producer for the StoryCollider podcast and a freelance science artist, writer, and video producer, Rey communicates the science of science communication and attempts to show science in the context of everyday life. Rey has also worked as a health communication facilitator and cancer preventive/palliative care campaign manager in Tehran, Iran. She trains scientists and science communicators in collaboration with organizations such as ComSciCon. Her training focuses on principles such as empathy and engagement, and she designs the workshops to reflect such values and strategies. Her work is informed by evidence-based research, and she is an avid advocate for the production of science media with attention to the latest research, and with consideration for inclusion of different voices.