Summarizing Science Hack Day SF 2013

Science Hack Day SF attendees inside the Morrison Planetarium, photo by Matt Biddulph

Wow. The 4th annual Science Hack Day in San Francisco was our most epic yet! I was ecstatic to bring the most science hackers yet (200+) to the largest venue yet – the California Academy of Sciences! Each year of Science Hack Day SF has brought some of the most unexpected creations to life. Each year, I’m asked by reporters what I expect to see at Science Hack Day, and I struggle to explain that it’s simply not something you can predict – and that’s precisely what I love about it. When I talk to audiences about the beauty of it, I evoke a quote from John Peel that sums it up to me: “At the heart of anything good there should be a kernel of something undefinable. And if you can define it, or claim to be able to define it, then in a sense you’ve missed the point.” 

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Meet the organizers!

Each year, Science Hack Day San Francisco is organized by a group of volunteers who do awesome work on top of helping us all hack science:

Jun Axup
Jun is interested in changing the way science is conducted and perceived in society. She is a chemical biologist in biotech developing antibody-based cancer therapeutics. Jun is also the founder of Biochemies, a science education/outreach startup that makes cute DNA plush toys.


Matt Biddulph
Matt is a software developer, data tinkerer and hardware hacker. A few years ago he co-founded Dopplr, the travel social network. He recently relocated to San Francisco to start a new company called Product Club, after a couple of years living in Berlin and London. He is also the official photographer of Science Hack Day SF.


Rose Broome
Rose creates new technology for social good. She is the founder of HandUp, a direct payment app for homeless people and neighbors in need ( In addition to co-organizing Science Hack Day, Rose runs the SF Homeless Innovation Meetup Group and a poetry group focused on the work of 13th century Sufi poet Hafez.


Ian Fung
Ian is a computer scientist and security enthusiast. He currently works at Fastly, a content delivery network specializing in caching dynamic content. In his spare time he plays with drones and tries to replace as many parts of his life with software as possible. One of his passions is organizing events to facilitate collaboration and the open exchange of ideas. In addition to Science Hack Day, he also organizes an information security conference called BSides SF.

Matt Ganucheau
Matt is a developer, designer, teacher and musician, but at the end of the day calls himself an Artist. Regardless of the title, he strives to create environments that foster empathy, curiosity and introspection through the use of technology. Matt works at the California Academy of Sciences as a Digital Learning Specialist.


Ariel Waldman
Ariel focuses on making space exploration more open through hacking. Outside of Science Hack Day, she is working on projects with Institute For The Future, the National Academy of Sciences’ committee on human spaceflight, and her own She recently submitted her first NSF proposal to try to go to Antarctica (fingers crossed!).

Nic Weidinger
Nic loves to make tools for making tools. He spends his days thinking about the potential of humanity at the Institute for the Future. On the weekends he works on projects like WikiSeat (an open tool for maker education), 3D printers, or a new general-purpose bio science tool (think Arduino or 3D printer, but for biology). Nic is also on the board for the San Francisco Institute of Possibility and a co-organizer for Science Hack Day.

Also, special thanks to Ruth Klotz-Chamberlin at the California Academy of Sciences for helping us coordinate the event. In addition to seeing all of us in lab coats, you’ll see many of our friends in red shirts throughout the event who are also volunteering their time to help make it awesome! Many of these friends have helped organize Science Hack Day in previous years. The San Francisco event will also be welcoming six Science Hack Day Ambassadors from Madagascar, Canada, Lebanon, Myanmar, Brazil and India.