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3 Science Entrepreneurs: How They Built Unique Science Careers

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

3 Science Entrepreneurs: How They Built Unique Science Careers

Recorded 17 April 2018


In this webcast, Vanessa Hill, Dr Marcus Eriksen and Kára McCullough reveal how they built their own unique science careers from the ground up. Join us as they discuss what inspired them to create their own ventures and how they’ve made them succeed. These three experts in science communication, science advocacy, and science youth outreach, will walk you through the art of networking, getting your career off the ground and finding a mentor. Receive leading advice and techniques on making your entrepreneurial science venture successful, and identify ways to apply your skills and personal qualities to find the sweet spot in your science career. Featuring a live Q&A session at the end, tune in to learn career tips, tricks and insights from leaders in these unique fields.

Speaker bios

Vanessa Hill

Producer and Host
BrainCraft, PBS Digital

Vanessa Hill is a science communicator and host of the popular PBS web series BrainCraft, which educates viewers on psychology and neuroscience. Her channel has some 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, making it one of the most widely known science channels on the platform.

Hill also hosts the TV show Sciencey for ABC Australia. In 2016, she directed, produced and hosted a long-form documentary, Mutant Menu, commissioned by YouTube and Screen Australia. She’s also made expert appearances on Discovery, MTV, BBC America and BBC Earth.

Prior to moving to the United States, Hill worked at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, as a science educator, social media manager and spokesperson..

Her work has been featured in publications like TIME, Scientific American and The Huffington Post.

Hill earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of New South Wales in 2008 before earning her Master of Science Communication from The Australian National University in 2013.

Kára McCullough

Miss USA 2017
Founder, Science Exploration for Kids (SE4K)

Kára McCullough is a radiochemist and current Miss USA 2017. In 2012, while still in college, she founded the self-funded non-profit program, Science Exploration for Kids (SE4K) - a children’s STEM outreach program that she still works on today.

As Miss USA, in addition to her non-profit work, she also now tours schools in the NYC/ Washington DC area, giving talks on science topics and the value of STEM education, especially for girls.

In May 2017, McCullough was crowned Miss USA 2017. McCullough works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as an Emergency Preparedness Specialist, at the agency’s Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response. This role includes monitoring emergency plans for nuclear power plants to determine if they meet regulation standards.

McCullough studied chemistry at South Carolina State University, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science (with a concentration in radiochemistry).

Dr. Marcus Eriksen

Director of Research
5 Gyres

Dr. Marcus Eriksen is the cofounder of the 5 Gyres Institute, which has led expeditions around the world to research and put plastic marine pollution.

After receiving his Ph.D from the University of California, he experienced first-hand the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a massive vortex that sweeps plastic from land and out of sight, and made it his mission to put plastic pollution on the international agenda.

Beginning in 2010, 5 Gyres spearheaded a series of scientific firsts by researching plastic in all five subtropical gyres — sailing a total of 50,000 miles in the process.

In 2014, under Dr Eriksen’s direction, 5 Gyres convened eight scientists around the world to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our ocean. Dr Eriksen’s co-authored paper on plastic microbead pollution in the Great Lakes inspired a two-year collaborative campaign that culminated in a federal ban on microbeads, which President Obama signed into law in 2015.

Dr Eriksen’s peer-reviewed studies have been published in scientific journals, stories of his expeditions have appeared in Men’s Journal, National Geographic, and Newsweek.

He hosted the Weather Channel’s series, “Commando Weather” in addition to creating “Mississippi River Quest,” a 35-day river adventure, for the National Geographic Channel. He has also appeared as an expert on CNN and CBS News, as well as on the TEDx stage.

Dr Eriksen is author of the book 'Junk Raft: An ocean voyage and a rising tide of activism to fight plastic pollution', which was released by Beacon Press in 2017.

Jayde Lovell

Host, ScIQ with the Young Turks
CEO, ReAgency Science Marketing

Jayde Lovell is the host and creator of ScIQ, the popular science channel on TYT Network - the world’s largest online news network. She is also the co-founder of ReAgency Science Marketing - New York’s first science exclusive PR agency, and was the Director of Film and Video for 2016’s National March for Science.

After studying neuroscience as an undergraduate and earning a Masters degree in Science Communications at the University of Melbourne, Lovell was recruited as Vice President of Digital for Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest PR agency. Upon seeing how easily science could be misused for profits, she decided her career was in need of a change.

Her first major move was to New York City, where she founded ReAgency, with the vision to work exclusively with science and information-based clients. Her clients now include NASA, Yale, Columbia, and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Jayde is a regular on the speaking circuit, having lectured at New York University and giving talks at Google and SXSW.

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