Another Nano Check-up!

January 21st, 2011

How are things going? Well, great!

Nano is growing steadily, and according to all markers my pregnancy is progressing without any issues (I won’t say without any hiccups because Nano has those all the time). I’m in the middle of trying to do my usual job of creating science programming while at the same time trying to plan for my maternity leave. The juggling is fun. Really.

I’m also trying to figure out things like what kinds of diapers to buy and where to put the baby’s things, while I try to ignore the fact that I am going to have to go through with labor whether or not I like it. Seriously, I am in denial that this is actually going to happen. Can’t I just have this little guy spring fully formed from my forehead? No? Fine.

We still haven’t decided on a name. There are several contenders, but every time I say them for a while I end up really disliking them. Not good for a name I might potentially be saying several hundred thousand times (at least) over the course of years.

IF you are interested in the progression of things, check out the following videos, which were harvested from TWiT’s feed by gldisater:

Week 33:

Watch live video from gldisater on

Week 34:

Watch live video from gldisater on

Week 35:

Watch live video from gldisater on

5 more weeks to go people…

More Nano!

November 15th, 2010

We are officially into the third trimester!!! The home stretch…

Week 22:
Watch live video from gldisater on

Week 23:
Watch live video from gldisater on

Week 24:
Watch live video from gldisater on

Week 25:
Watch live video from gldisater on

Viruses Are Cool

May 25th, 2010

And, yes, they cause colds. But, when it comes down to it viruses are the sneakiest survivalists around… especially considering that they aren’t even alive.

Last Friday, I got to talk with Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Dr. Rich Condit, and Dr. Alan Dove (PhD turned science writer), virus experts the lot of them, on their show, This Week in Virology. Ostensibly, I was invited on the show to discuss my transformation from scientist grad student to scientist media person, but I was really just there for the virus science.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to this podcast, I highly suggest giving it one. The hosts are Columbia University professors, and they eloquently discuss the finer details of the viruses that make you sick. However, it’s not a show for the scientifically faint of heart. These guys really dig into the nuts and bolts of the living dead. The conversation is fairly high level, but they do a great job of making it interesting. I found myself hanging on their words wanting to learn how the little things work.

But, I am a certified geek. I thrive on the details because to me they add nuance to the scientific story unfolding around my ears.

You will just have to see what you think for yourself. Check it out at


April 1st, 2010

Dear TWIS Minions,

This Week in Science is making a few changes.

After 10 years of broadcasting live just about every Tuesday morning from KDVS 90.3 FM in Davis, CA, TWIS is making a move.

As of 8:00 pm PT on Monday, April 12th, 2010, TWIS will broadcast live on Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech Network.

It only seems natural that the TWI’s join forces as many people have been confused by the separate worlds of TWIS and TWIT for years anyway.

So, from April 12th onward TWIS will be live in video format on TWIT every Monday night at 8pm PT.

TWIS will continue to exist on KDVS, but as a pre-recorded show only.

You will also be able to continue to subscribe to and download TWIS as an audio rss feed without making any changes. We are keeping the feed address the same.

We think that the new format and platform will work together to make TWIS better than ever, and we’ll keep bringing you quality science infotainment.

Thanks for listening. We look forward to seeing you at on Monday nights.

It’s all in your head,
–kirsten and Justin

Dr. Kiki Sanford – Demo Reel

September 2nd, 2009

I’m a science popularizer and communicator. This reel includes examples of some of my recent work hosting, interviewing, and generally being Dr. Kiki for the likes of the Science Channel, Revision3, PixelCorps, and more.


I am currently looking for representation by way of a manager-type person. And, I am looking for new TV and/or online video host, interviewer, contributor, correspondent, writer, producer-type work. Work being the operative term. As in: paying with the money.


Let me know if you have any ideas or if you happen to be a manager looking for some scientific talent.

Michio Kaku on God

April 30th, 2009

Dr. Michio Kaku dishes on spirituality, Einstein, and God in this latest installment of our interview. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Totally Shameless

November 17th, 2008

Shameless Self-promotion

November 14th, 2008

I’m going to be on TV national today!!! At least, I think so. A few weeks ago I was flown down to LA by the producers of a show called The Doctors to be their food science expert for an episode of the show.

I had almost given up hope that it would ever air when, yesterday, I happened to check the episode schedule for this week. At the bottom of the list was the episode of which I was a part, and it was scheduled for today.

Yikes! So, barring being completely edited out of the episode, I’m going to be on TVs across the nation for a whole 5 minutes. That’s right. A whole five minutes.

During the recording session, I talked with one of the docs about acidity of sodas, sugar versus saccarine, taste buds, Miracle Fruit, and iron in cereals. The shortness of the segment forced me to talk in soundbites, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get a message across.

I am most excited to be making the jump from podcasting into network television. There is a certain amount of validation for the work I am doing in new media with this invitation to be a part of the larger media realm. We’ll see where it goes from here.

I would love a full half-hour of TV time to talk about science. Anyone want to hire me as the face of science? Science’s spokemodel? I’m throwing my hat into the ring. A half hour a week is all I ask.

In the meantime, check me out if you have the time today — The Doctor’s Local Listings.

Update: I have already been seen in the NYC area. That’s awesome. 🙂

Science Channel Website

August 21st, 2008

So, today I randomly decided to check whether the Science Channel had decided to make use of any of the interviews I did during the World Science Festival. It turns out that several of them are up on their website. Buried, yes, but there just the same.

I am extremely excited to see myself affiliated with the Science Channel. Unfortunately, one must sit through an ad before each video, but I promise it’s worth it. I would really appreciate it if anyone who watches the Science Channel could let me know of they’ve seen anything on the cable channel.

A World of Science

June 5th, 2008

This past week I attended the World Science Festival in New York City as a reporter for the Science Channel. I ran around the multitude of events with Melissa, the outstanding producer,

and a camera crew (Thanks, guys!)

wrangling all too brief interviews with scientists. I have never interviewed so many people in such a short period of time. It was fun, but I wish that I had more time with each of the scientists. I had so many questions to ask. Ah, well… I’ll just have to schedule them all for some time on TWIS!

For those of you who are not aware, the World Science Festival was a meta-event, encompassing something like 70 events within the city of New York. There were lectures, panel discussions, movies, performances at venues throughout the city, which managed to interlace science and culture in a way that I don’t believe has ever been done before. The whole shebang was brought to life by theoretical physicist, Brian Greene, and his wife, news reporter/journalist, Tracy Day. Scientists from all over the world were in attendance, and a majority of the events sold out with many experiencing lines down the street hoping for last minute tickets. In all, I think that everyone involved considers this inaugural year a massive success.

I thought they did a fantastic job with the multimedia presentation aspect of the various events. It gave a depth to the events that is not normally part of science lectures or discussions. Also, many of the events were designed with kids in mind. This was an essential part of the entire festival in my mind. It’s great to give adults the mental stimulation that might come from a discussion on quantum physics, but kids are the next generation of both scientists and voters. Creating events that stimulate a child’s scientific curiosity should be a major component of any science festival.

What specifically did I do at the festval, well here’s a synopsis…

Day one: We started with a presentation called Pioneers in Science, which brought two such pioneers, Leon Lederman and Cynthia Breazeal, to the stage to be interviewed by two teams of thoughtful high school students. The audience was filled with kids, and everyone seemed to react positively to the format. I got to interview both Leon and Cynthia after the event was over, and was highly impressed with how strongly they both felt about educating and working with youth.

Next it was off to a documentary premiere called Parallel Worlds, Parallel lives in which Mark Everett of the indie rock band the Eels delves into his now deceased father’s (Hugh Everett) body of work in the field of quantum/theoretical physics. After the film, three prominent physicists discussed Dr. Everett’s theory of parallel worlds, which has made quite a splash in recent years. I was able to interview all of the panelists: Mark Everett (who was interesting in his position because he doesn’t really have an interest in science, but knows the importance of his father’s ideas), Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, and Brian Cox.

Finally, we raced across the city to NYU to catch the end of a panel discussion/presentation called Illuminating Genius: Unlocking Creativity. Unfortunately, we were late and I was unable to see much of the discussion. Given my interest in neuroscience and memory this was one of the sessions that I really wanted to see. However, I was able to meet and (briefly) interview V.S. Ramachandran (a.k.a Rama), Nancy Andreasen, and David Eagleman. All three were fascinating, and I just wish I had more time, but it was already 10pm and everyone was getting tired. Knowing I had a full day coming up, I politely turned down an invitation to go out with Dr. Eagleman and friends.

Day Two: With a full day under our belts, this second day of the festival went a bit smoother. We also weren’t running around the city quite as much. First, was an event called Cool Jobs, and boy were the jobs represented cool. A monkey researcher – Laurie Santos, a forensic scientist – Peter Diacek, an oceanographer/research diver – Eileen Prager, a Disney Imagineer – Ben Schwegler, and a NASA researcher – Christopher McKay. I interviewed everyone except the monkey researcher, and I want all of their jobs. Although, I am quite aware that what I am doing is amazingly cool as well. How many people get to talk to their scientific heroes and share it with the world? My life is definitely not boring.

Later in the evening, we attended the presentation called Invisible Reality: The Wonderful Weirdness of the Quantum World, which was a fascinating discussion between leaders in the realm of theoretical and experimental physics and philosophy. I got to speak with Brian Greene, David Albert, and William Phillips after the event. We set the interviews up to look very red-carpet because scientists should be celebrities afterall.

Day Three: This our final and longest day of shooting and interviews was also by far the most fun. We attended a session called Your Biological Biography: Genes and Identity, which discussed the Human Genome Project and DNA testing in light of how this new knowledge might change the way we as humans think about ourselves. The take home message that all panelists seemed to agree with was the fact that we still don’t understand enough about the genome to make many useful inferences from genetic information. Afterwards I was able to speak with Dr. Francis Collins, director (until August at least) of the Human Genome Project, Paul Nurse (my third Nobel laureate of the week!), and Nikolas Rose.

Then it was time to hit the street fair. We ran around Washington Square Park taking a look at all the sciencey booths, performances, and interactive stuff. Most of it was aimed at kids, and there were many in attendance of all ages. My favorite interview from the fair was with the Imagineer who developed the most advanced animatronic robot to date, Lucky the Dinosaur.

After a rejuvenating sushi meal, we headed back to the festival for Powering the Planet: a Townhall Meeting. Although informative if you are new to the green arena, I wasn’t much impressed by the overall discussion here, and unfortunately the person who I thought would be the most interesting was not so much. Ah, well… you can’t win them all. And, maybe I was just tired. The interviews were not my best either. I think this was because I wanted to ask more complex questions that might have provoked argument, and really didn’t have the time to get into them. Also, this whole thing with the Science Channel was pretty much an audition. Not such a good idea to get people riled up during an audition. So, I was left frustrated and the questions I did ask suffered as a result. I spoke with M.Glen Kertz of Valcent Products, Saul Griffith of Makani Power, and Dan Nocera. At least I got to hug a chemist.

The final group of interviews were after a session that I wish I had time to attend, What it Means to be Human. The panelists were certain to play against one another in viewpoint and practice. I heard it was a vibrant discussion, and considering the hour the scientists brought that energy to our interviews quite readily. I had a lot of fun interviewing this lot, and again it might be due to my own scientific inclinations. Pat Churchland and Daniel Dennett were both interesting and inspired me to many more questions that could not be asked. It turns out that Dr. Dennett has worked with one of my graduate advisers, and I probably met him while I was in the early years of my graduate study. Unfortunately, I was oblivious to the greatness that was before me at the time. Heh. What a difference time makes.

Sunday was my last day in NYC, and thankfully I was able to get out a bit before heading home. I was able to connect with my adviser, Dr. Max Gomez, from my AAAS Mass Media Fellowship at WNBC back in 2005. It was a very pleasant lunch…

Oh, and this was the view out my hotel window…

And, this was the spyglass that came with the room…