Exhibits & Programs

Meet A Scientist (formerly known as Scientist Spotlight) on the first Saturday of every month.

Meet A Scientist (formerly known as Scientist Spotlight)

Discover how science works alongside the pros at Meet A Scientist. This program is free with admission and happens nearly every month (always on first Saturdays). Meet A Scientist features two rounds (11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m.) of local scientists who share their work with you through hands-on activities and conversation. You might learn how scientists detect cancer-causing genes, how bugs fly, or how our brains remember what we’ve seen: come back for new scientist guests each month.

This program exclusively features Pacific Science Center Science Communication Fellows. Fellows are local science-based professionals who are trained in communication and committed to sharing their love of science with you.

Entry to Meet A Scientist is included with the price of general admission – FREE for Pacific Science Center members. Contact Marley Jarvis at mjarvis@pacsci.org or (206) 269-5768 for more information.

Meet A Scientist: August 1

Meet one of our scientists for August, Brian Connelly, a postdoctoral researcher from the University Of Washington Department Of Biology. He studies Evolutionary Biology.

Activity title and description:

“Where is Evolution Going??” will explore if evolution has a master plan, or is it just winging it? What happens if the environment changes? See how to build different structures with Legos to see how evolution works.

Why did you get into this field of science?I started out as a computer scientist. I was interested in designing computer networks that could arrange themselves automatically to allow people and machines to share information easily. I met some engineers who used the process of evolution to develop new and unexpected solutions to problems (like building an antenna or parts of a car) and started trying to evolve computer networks. Pretty quickly, I became more interested in the evolutionary process itself and started working with biologists to study evolution using both computer simulations and bacteria.

What was your first science experiment?

Life was one big science experiment when I was a kid. I spent my summers building things, taking them apart, and mixing things from around the house and garage.

Give us a science fact not very many know:

Bacteria aren’t just solitary, simple organisms. They have rich and complicated social lives.

What is your favorite science/tech gadget?

My smartphone; it’s amazing always having something with you that is so powerful.

But a more nerdy answer would be computer programming. I feel like absolutely anything is possible with programming, and it’s fun to be able to make new things and try new ideas.

Complete this sentence: Science is ___________.

Science is like a good mystery. You never know what’s coming next.

Meet A Scientist: August 1

Meet another of our scientists for August, Molly Gasperini. Molly is a graduate student at the University of Washington Genome Science.

Activity title and description:

“The Genetics of Puppy Fur” will explore how puppies inherit fur from their mom and dad.

Why did you get into this field of science?

I was always fascinated as to why everyone looked like combinations of their mother and father.

What do you like to do in your leisure time outside of science?

I love biking around Seattle and playing with my family dog.

What was your first science experiment?

My first experiment involved looking at bacteria from the mud in my backyard.

Who is your favorite scientist and why?

Rosalind Franklin; she is a famous scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA, but unfortunately did not receive credit for it until much later.

Give us a science fact not very many people know about:

Not all of your cells have the same DNA in them.

Complete this sentence: Science is _____.

Science is a box of chocolates; you’re always solving mysteries!