Last week EUREKA co-creator Jaime Paglia and actor Colin Ferguson were invited to be featured guests at the Science Cafe, an event sponsored by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Below is Jaime's report on the event.
So I have toured Lawrence Berkeley Labs and been a guest at their first-ever Science Cafe and am relieved that I survived to tell the tale. We writers on the show have had the pleasure of meeting many fans over the last many seasons, but this crew of real dang scientists means business. Luckily, they're also fans.
Jeff Miller from the public affairs department at LBL, and the lovely and patient Beverly Harris, were kind enough to invite me and help me navigate the byzantine hillside of lab buildings (stupid GPS) at Berkeley. There, I visited real-life Global Dynamics counterparts like the Molecular Foundry (coolest name ever) with Aditi Risbud (checking out nano-building robots and clean labs featuring electron strippers -- oh, behave) and the brilliant, purple-haired, Ben Feinberg, at the Lasers, Optical Accelerator Systems Integrated Studies (LOASIS) where they create X-rays a million times brighter than the sun (or was it a billion? -- Ben had lost track).
I also had a lunch-time brainstorming session with the following brainiacs whose many impressive titles and lengthy resumes would intimidate the most intrepid of science buffs:
part of this group: http://loasis.lbl.gov/main.html
working on this project: http://eetd.lbl.gov/r-atmospheric-urs.html
Needless to say, I was humbled in the presence of such brilliant thinkers (when I wasn't busy taking snapshots of myself in front of biohazard warning signs.
After all, we writers get to sit around and make stuff up. These folk actually formulate hypotheses and test them in the real world. This has earned them more than a few Nobel Prizes (I tried to snake one on my way out, but nothin' doin' -- "I toured LBL and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.").
The Science Cafe I did with
Colin Ferguson on Skype and Jeff Miller moderating, was a two-hour
discussion about the science of the show and how we integrate it into
our stories. Luckily, we seem to be passing muster with the majority
of the people in attendance. Jennifer Ouellette from the Science and
Entertainment Exchange even drove up from L.A. for the event. God
bless you, Jennifer. Now that's dedication. And the amazing research
I was exposed to will no doubt wind up in a future Eureka episode. For
a more detailed account of the event, check out Jennifer's wrap-up at: