John Edward Warnock is an American computer scientist best known as the co-founder with Charles Geschke of Adobe Systems Inc., the graphics and publishing software company. Dr. Warnock was President of Adobe for his first two years and Chairman and CEO for his remaining sixteen years at the company. Although retired as CEO in 2001, he still co-chairs the board with Geschke. Warnock has pioneered the development of graphics, publishing, Web and electronic document technologies that have revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communications. Warnock has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Philosophy, a Master of Science in Mathematics, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Computer Science), and an honorary degree in Science, all from the University of Utah. At the University of Utah he was a member of the Gamma Beta Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He also has an honorary degree from the American Film Institute.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2006 he has hosted the educational science television show NOVA scienceNOW on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy!. It was announced on August 5, 2011, that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series. Dr. Tyson’s research has focused on observations in cosmology, stellar evolution, galactic astronomy and stellar formation. He has held numerous positions at institutions including University of Maryland, Princeton University, the American Museum of Natural History, and Hayden Planetarium. Tyson has written a number of popular books on astronomy. In 1995, he began to write the “Universe” column for Natural History magazine. In a column he authored for the magazine in 2002, Tyson coined the term “Manhattanhenge” to describe the two days annually on which the evening sun aligns with the cross streets of the street grid in Manhattan, making the sunset visible along unobstructed side streets. Tyson’s column also influenced his work as a professor with The Great Courses.
James Watson Cronin is an American nuclear physicist. Cronin was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Cronin and co-researcher Val Logsdon Fitch were awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for a 1964 experiment that proved that certain subatomic reactions do not adhere to fundamental symmetry principles. Specifically, they proved, by examining the decay of kaons, that a reaction run in reverse does not merely retrace the path of the original reaction, which showed that the interactions of subatomic particles are not indifferent to time. Thus the phenomenon of CP violation was discovered. Cronin received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1976 for major experimental contributions to particle physics including fundamental work on weak interactions culminating in the discovery of asymmetry under time reversal. In 1999, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. Cronin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and a spokesperson emeritus for the Auger project. Cronin is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
James Franklin “Jamie” Hyneman is an American special effects expert, best known for being the co-host of the television series MythBusters. He is also the owner of M5 Industries, the special effects workshop where MythBusters is filmed. He is known among Robot Wars devotees for his robot entry, Blendo, which, for a time, was deemed too dangerous for entry in the competition. He is one of the designers of the aerial robotic camera system Wavecam, used in sports and entertainment events. On May 16, 2010, he delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering, from Villanova University. Hyneman was born in Marshall, Michigan and raised in Columbus, Indiana. Describing his early life, Hyneman said “I was a problematic kid, to be sure. I left home when I was 14 and hitchhiked all over the country.” He earned a degree in Russian linguistics from Indiana University. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from Villanova University and the University of Twente. A variety of careers fill his resume, including scuba diver, wilderness survival expert, boat captain, linguist, pet shop owner, animal wrangler, machinist, concrete inspector, and chef. He apparently has a mild case of acrophobia (fear of heights), as mentioned in the “Hammer Drop” episode segment of Mythbusters.
Robert Lee “Bobby” Satcher, Jr. is a physician, chemical engineer, and NASA astronaut. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during STS-129. He participated in 2 spacewalks during STS-129, accumulating 12hrs 19min of EVA time. Satcher holds two doctorates (Ph.D., M.D.) and has received numerous awards and honors as a surgeon and engineer. He is married with two children. Bobby Satcher enjoys running, scuba diving, and reading. Born in Hampton, Virginia, Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, SC (1982), and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then went on to study medicine at Harvard Medical School, and received his medical doctorate in 1994. Satcher did his internship, residency, and postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley from 1994–2000, and an orthopedic oncology fellowship at the University of Florida from 2000-2001. Prior to being accepted into the astronaut program by NASA, Satcher was the Assistant Professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Satcher also held appointments as an Attending Physician in Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in Musculoskeletal Oncology; and an Adjuct Appointment in The Biomedical Engineering Department at Northwestern University School of Engineering. Satcher was also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Advanced Medicine at Northwestern University. Satcher was also a Schweitzer Fellow at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, in Lambaréné, Gabon. Satcher’s experience in engineering includes internships at DuPont in the Textile Fibers Research Group, and the Polymer Products Division.
Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. Pinker’s academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. His academic pursuits include experiments on mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children’s language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of innuendo and euphemism. He published two technical books which proposed a general theory of language acquisition and applied it to children’s learning of verbs. In his less academic books, he argued that language is an “instinct” or biological adaptation shaped by natural selection. On this point, he opposes Noam Chomsky and others who regard the human capacity for language to be the by-product of other adaptations. He is the author of five books for a general audience, which include The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007).
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In the latter years of his life, Gould also taught biology and evolution at New York University near his home in SoHo. Gould’s greatest contribution to science was the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972. The theory proposes that most evolution is marked by long periods of evolutionary stability, which is punctuated by rare instances of branching evolution. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record.