Watch Science Speed Dating

Written by: The Exchange

Listen to five quick-fire talks by experts whose work spans a range of scientific fields. Hear about research taking place on the cutting edge of science, peer into the possibilities of our technological future, and leave inspired by a STEMM smorgasbord of ideas!


Chris S. Crawford is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama’s Department of Computer Science. His research focuses on human-robot interaction and Brain-Computer Interfaces. He has investigated systems that provide computer applications and robots with information about a user’s cognitive state. He previously developed the world’s first brain-drone racing system. His work has been featured on multiple news outlets including Discovery, the New York Times, and Forbes.

Jasmine Drake is an Assistant Professor and laboratory coordinator of the Forensic Science Learning Laboratory in the Barbara Jordan- Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs Administration of Justice Department at Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. She is also very passionate about introducing science and in particular, forensic science, to the youth, K-12 educators, and law enforcement officials through the various hands-on forensic science workshops and training opportunities she has organized and conducted.

Juan Gilbert is The Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering at the University of Florida, where he leads the Human-Experience Research Lab. Dr. Gilbert is an expert on issues relating to diversity and election technologies. He has led a number of successful efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the computing disciplines. He has also served as a national expert on election systems for Congress and the nation.

Lekelia “Kiki” Jenkins is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Kiki’s research interests center on the rigorous, empirical study of the process of conservation, specifically exploring marine conservation, bycatch, fisheries, conservation technology, tidal energy, invention, technology transfer, and diffusion of innovations. Kiki is currently expanding her research into role of science dance in science education, science communication, and social change.

Emmanuel Taylor is an engineering consultant, urban farmer, and social entrepreneur. As a Senior Electricity Consultant at Energetics Incorporated, Emmanuel aids governments, institutions, and corporations in making strategic decisions concerning energy, infrastructure, technology, and policy. As a farmer and entrepreneur, Emmanuel partners with local communities to develop resilient food and energy infrastructure. His current work includes strategic planning, technology roadmapping, science communication, and microgrid design.


Ahmed Best is an Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and senior fellow at USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. He’s the Assistant Artistic Director of the Echo theater Company, host of Star Wars Jedi Temple Challenge on Star Wars Kids and the Afrofuturist Podcast; CEO of BISN Media; and a writer, director, producer, actor, musician, and futurist. He starred in the Broadway musical Stomp and as the first CGI lead character in a motion picture, as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars Prequel trilogy.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.