Special Guests coming to EV 2018

GREG BEAR
Award-winning science fiction author and Museum advisory board member, Greg Bear is coming to Escape Velocity! Greg’s Eon series is perfectly on-theme for this year’s event: Other Worlds. Greg will be discussing Thistledown and the science behind building artificial worlds as well as signing books and participating on discussion panels. You can check out Greg’s latest work here.


DAVID BRIN
Award-winning science fiction author and Museum advisory board member, David Brin is coming to Escape Velocity! David’s book, Heaven’s Reach is perfectly on-theme for this year’s event: Other Worlds. David will be discussing Fractal World of his Uplift series (a fresh spin on the Dyson Sphere idea), a cluster of space habitats circling a white dwarf and the science behind building artificial worlds. You can check out David’s latest work here.


KELLIE GERARDI
Kellie is a commercial spaceflight industry professional and popular science communicator. She is one of 100 candidates selected to colonize Mars via Dutch non-profit Mars One. Kellie serves as the media specialist of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and is also a member of The Explorers Club. In 2014, she became the youngest member to co-chair The Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD).


MASON PECK, PhD
Mason Peck is an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and the Director of Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. His research interests include space-systems architecture and satellite dynamics and control. Beginning in 2012 he served a two-year term as NASA’s Chief Technologist in Washington, DC. In that role, he acted as the agency’s chief strategist for technology investment and prioritization and chief advocate for innovation in aeronautics and space technology. Mason is also a member of the Museum’s Board of Advisors and Technology Subcommittee.


Ghostbusters Tri-State Division
Here at Ghostbusters Tri-State Division, we are driven by a single goal; to do our part in making the community a better place! As an Official Ghost Corps Franchise, we use nostalgia and our love of Ghostbusters to raise money for local charities. We strive to build productive relationships and make a positive impact with all of our pursuits.


DJ SHALEIGH
Shaleigh is a DC-based DJ and singer whose musical influences include Imogen Heap, Lana del Rey, Banks, Kid Cudi, and Eminem. When not spinning, she can be found studying audio at American University or working at SiriusXM in Washington, D.C.


C. ALEX YOUNG, PhD
C. Alex Young is a solar astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Associate Director for Science of its Helophysics Science Division. In this role he is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the education and public outreach (EPO) team for the division. In addition, he works with division scientists to promote and support their research. His research interests include solar activity, space weather, and statistical data analysis. Alex is also a member of the Museum’s Board of Advisors and Technology Subcommittee.


LENA DE WINNE, PhD, CEO NGO ASGARDIA
Lena holds an MSc in engineering, an MBA, and a PhD in psychology. After 15 years of a successful career at the European Space Agency (ESTEC, The Netherlands), where she worked in business development, liaison, promotion and education, she published several popular books in English and Russian on the topic of space for children and adults, and hosted a television program in Belgium.

In 2013 she joined AIRC as a director, where she took on further duties as a director of ROOM, The Space Journal. Lena also plays a pivotal role in setting up and running Asgardia, the first space nation in human history founded by Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli.


ERIC SUGGS, JR.
Eric is the founder of Animation Roots Studio (ARS) and he is hosting over 10 hours of free workshops for aspiring artists at Escape Velocity this year. ARS is a freelance for profit business that umbrellas The Art Way Alliance (AWA). AWA is an emerging organization dedicated to helping children in the D.C. region make art of their own choosing in an environment of acceptance and encouragement. Eric is a connector of like-minded people from novices to masters. Eric often helps artists to highlight their personal artistic voice with creativity and style.


JAMES SURIANO
James is a sci-fi and fantasy author originally from New York and educated at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Inbiotic and The Antarcticans. His next two novels, Dark and The Cult of Mao were released in 2016. A self proclaimed sci-fi fan since birth, James is thrilled to be a part of Escape Velocity.


AISHA MATTHEWS
Aisha is a Ph.D. student in English Literature at Southern Methodist University, having finished her Master’s Degree at Southern New Hampshire University in early 2017. As an undergraduate at Yale (’13), she studied Young Adult Science Fiction Literature (alongside more classical sub-genres), and wrote her thesis on Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies quartet and the function of adolescent mechanisms such as slang, body modification, and self-harm throughout the series and the genre. At the Master’s level, she explored African-American Literature, Science and Speculative Fictions, Postmodern and Feminist Theory, and Contemporary American Literature. Her Master’s Thesis focused on Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster quintet, examining the series’ power structures through the Foucauldian framework of panopticism and exploring the dynamics of social constructionism as they apply to the narrative. At present, her research interests are focused on Afrofuturism, Science Fiction Criticism, and YA SF Literature.


IRON KNIGHT COSPLAY
Iron Knight Cosplay, a cosplayer in Northern Virginia who represents several famous characters and specializes in children’s charities and events, and has been featured by Marvel.com, Cosplayzine, Wingman magazine, and Cosfamous collector cards.


CAPTAIN CODY
Richmond-based Captain Cody portrays a wide range of characters, from Spider-Man to Han Solo to Branch the Troll. He often works together with Iron Knight as a dynamic duo.


JEFF RUTENBECK, PhD
Dean of the School of Communication (SOC) at American University. Building on experience, he has launched an initiative with the College of Arts & Sciences to develop a center for persuasive gaming at AU. While at his previous position, Jeff oversaw growing programs in game design, game art and animation, public relations, broadcast and streaming media, and emergent media (MFA).member Jeff serves as one of the Museum’s Board of Advisors.


DAVID GRINSPOON, PhD
Dr. Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. His new book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR’s Science Friday. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and has participated on the science teams of several interplanetary spacecraft. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars.