2019 Science Inspiration Award

 

Organization - California Council on Science & Technology

Brie Lindsey - Science Translator’s Showcase

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The Science Translators Showcase was initiated as a California-wide competition by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in February 2018. The Showcase brings a handful of students and early-career scientists to the capitol each year to discuss their research in a conversational setting with legislators, agency leaders, and their staffs.

Applications are open to graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists throughout California. A critical component of the application process is a 60-second audition video. In it, applicants must explain their research and how it helps inform potential policy solutions in California. This is the applicant’s chance to demonstrate their ability to engagingly and concisely translate technical information, tailoring their message and delivery to a senior policymaking audience and staff.

The impacts of this growing program can already be seen as previous Translators apply for science-policy positions and fellowships, and CCST is thrilled to continue to develop materials to encourage the professional development of early scientists who want to make an impact outside of academia.

Brie Lindsey received her PhD in Oceanography from the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University and her BA in Environmental Sciences from University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation focused on the population dynamics and distribution of a krill species off the coast of Oregon, which she investigated with numerical models of its bioenergetics and migration behaviors, modeling them in FORTRAN. Partly because people’s eyes typically glaze over upon the first mention of mathematical models, and partly because she wanted to convey the importance of her work to her family, she developed a keen interest in effective communication of science and its impacts on society to various audiences.

After her PhD and Fellowship, Brie joined CCST’s research team, managing projects on topics ranging from Maker education in California’s community colleges to water use in the oil and gas industry.Becoming a CCST Senior Program Associate, Brie had the opportunity to collaborate on the design of the Science Translator Showcase.She has conducted three Showcases to date, with 39 students from California’s fourteen public and private research universities.


Historical Preservation - Pelkey Productions

James Pelkey - Entrepreneurial Capitalism & Innovation: A History of Computer Communications 1968 - 1988

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Starting a company requires the investment of immense human capital - of time, energy, the risk of foregoing salary income for the potential of capital gains and the knowing that failure could foreshorten the possibility of ever having a successful career. Yet even with the formidable odds stacked against them, men and women become possessed with an idea of how doing something better could make a great difference and commit themselves to its pursuit. The magical energy that becomes unleashed and the unbounded camaraderie that emerges when virtual strangers launch a new firm, always inspires me to believe that any goal can be accomplished given the right vision, leadership and resources.

The first two decades of the history of computer communications are filled with countless, interrelated stories of entrepreneurs and the engineers needed to produce the innovations promised to pry venture capital from skeptical investors. I wanted to preserve their stories so that the future will never forget their struggles and monumental contributions.

The basis for the collection is 88 oral interviews across 31 pioneering networking companies and organizations—during the formative years of the Internet conflated the work of the historian with that of the businessman and venture capitalist, inspiring a new genre of historical research and perspective.

As a mechanical engineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic with a Harvard MBA, Pelkey was CEO of both Sorcim and Digital Sound Corporation before a career with Montgomery Securities. He has served on multiple boards, including Blue Sky Research, Metapath, Retix, and Telebit. A founding member of the Charles Babbage Institute, Pelkey was also Chairman for three years of the Santa Fe Institute.