Science Hack Days

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Ariel Waldman:

'Science Hack Day is an event that started in London in June, 2010. I brought it to San Francisco in November of last year. It’s essentially a 48-hour all-night event where people from all different backgrounds — developers, designers, scientists, and just anyone who’s enthusiastic about hacking on science — come together in the same physical space to see what they can build in one weekend. It runs the gamut — if someone wants to make a lamp that lights up every time an asteroid flies by, that’s just as awesome as someone trying to create an augmented diagnostic tool for an accelerator laboratory.

At the San Francisco event, we had about 100 people, and the breakdown was 33% developers, 20% scientists, 20% designers and the rest were a mixed bag — anything from a roboticist to a marketer to a community manager. We had a 33% female turnout, which was pretty decent given that hack days are typically mostly white male developers in their 20’s and 30’s. Science Hack Day is trying to make an effort to show that different types of people can hack. You don’t necessarily have to be a developer in order to create something awesome. It’s more about the collaboration of all these people from different backgrounds.” (