Christina Agapakis is a synthetic biologist interested in the structure, evolution and design of the microbial communities that help us to produce and digest our food. Her research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, working with engineers, artists, and designers and ranging from the ecology of soil to skin to cheese. Her blog, Oscillator (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/oscillator), is hosted by Scientific American.
Rita Blaik is a multidisciplinary scientist and artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her life's goal is to find new and innovative ways of communicating science to people through interactive discussions, art, and other media. Since 2009 she has been an instructor for the Sci|Art Nanolab and from 2011-2012, was the Art|Sci Center Networking Outreach Coordinator. She had her first solo exhibition at the Art|Sci Center, Altered States, in Fall 2012. Rita received her B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of California at Irvine, and is currently pursuing a PhD in the same at UCLA. She is a proud fellow of the NSF IGERT Clean Energy for Green Industry fellowship and works with Professor Bruce Dunn on biological fuel cell systems and architectures.
I research and create inspirational experiences from health and biotech concepts. I like to fuse digital media, tangible hardware, and storytelling into something that makes life richer as well as longer. I'm also experienced in guiding teams through user-centered design and rapid prototyping to turn things and ideas into actions.
I am interested in the cusp of disciplines and the dialog that arises at that juncture. Art and Science have long been thought to be completely divergent fields, but I believe that there is a lot to be discovered by blending the two, and by allowing scientists and artists to engage with one another.