About


Bio / Résumé / Social

Work


Writing, speaking, media, and more

Science


Education, research, and presentations

Data Lover · Skeptic · Chemist · Communicator
Evidence-Based Advocate for a Better World
Accidental Crusader for Criminal Justice Reform
...Indicted Trump Protester ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Résumé/CV

Click to download PDF CV

More on my background in academic science


Social Media

Public Science Education

Explaining Science in the Age of Denialism


In a warming world, where the 20th century’s vaccine victories are today’s emerging diseases, science enthusiasts are understandably frustrated! Worse yet, well-meaning, busy people who rely on the media for information are understandably confused. We need a toolkit to gently and compellingly present evidence without alienation.

Ignite Baltimore · Sept 29 2015


Communicating Injustice

Writing, speaking, and outreach surrounding the unjust arrest and prosecution of over 200 'J20' protesters



Testimony at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Organization of American States · Dec 7 2017


Video/Audio Interviews

Salon Interview

Criminalizing Free Speech in the Trump Era


Video interview in which we break down how the DOJ is criminalizing dissent in the J20 cases

Salon · Jan 26 2018

VICE News Interview

Inauguration Protesters Facing Up To 60 Years In Prison


Video interview with Elle Reeve, discussing the 1st Amendment implications of the J20 prosecutions

VICE News · Jan 18 2018

Inauguration Arrest Puts Young Woman's Life On Hold


Video interview focusing on the human cost of excessive, politically-motivated prosecutions

AJ+ · Dec 21 2017

Judge Reconsiders Gag Order in J20 Case


Video interview with Baynard Woods, discussing the courts decision to impose a gag order, and the order's implications for police accountability

The Real News Network · Oct 11 2017

Facing Jail Time For Protesting Trump


Video interview explaining the civil liberties implications of the J20 cases, as well as their human cost

Mic · Oct 11 2017

Is the US trying to make protest a crime?


Video interview with host Femi Oke discussing the implications of the J20 arrests and prosecutions on the right to protest

Al Jazeera English · Nov 22 2017

The J20 Trials Begin


Audio interview with Baynard Woods, discussing court room developments and the prosecution's legal strategies

Democracy in Crisis · Nov 20 2017

200+ Inauguration Protesters, Journalists & Observers Face Riot Charges From Mass Arrest


Video interview discussing the injustice of the J20 arrests and prosecutions

Democracy Now! · Nov 28 2017


'Print' Interviews

Paper: "A high throughput mutagenic analysis of yeast sumo structure and function"

Sumo PDF

Thesis: "Structural Studies of the Human Astrovirus 1 Capsid Acidic Domain"

Thesis PDF

Public Talk: "Explaining Science in the Age of Denialism"


Background

STARTING OUT

At first glance, my personal history doesn’t seem conducive to work as a skeptic, scientist, and advocate for social justice. Much of my research has been rooted in the intricacies of evolutionary theory, yet as a child I was taught that modern biology is an elaborate hoax. The origins and scope of our universe have captivated me for as long as I can remember - in spite of science classes that contradicted much of modern cosmology, geology, and biology. Even the moral framework that motivates my advocacy is not the one in which I was raised.

These experiences have contributed to my determination to use my technical and scientific skills in support of causes that matter. I have spent much of my adult life as a community activist promoting skepticism, diversity in STEM, and public science literacy. Moving forward, my overall goal is to make the greatest possible impact as an evidence-based advocate for a better world.

BECOMING A SCIENTIST

My introduction to scientific research involved using bioinformatics to study the evolution of a protein family. This experience was an incredibly valuable introduction to the process of answering scientific questions, and an opportunity to learn the programming skills that have made the rest of my work possible.

Because evolution is an unguided search - which tends to find ‘good enough’ solutions rather than optimal ones - evolutionary insight can often lead to functional insight. In the case of the protein family I studied, there is an alternative form of the protein without the ‘on switch’ - creating a safeguard against developmental abnormalities and cancer.

To further develop my skills in bench chemistry and experimental design, I joined a protein bioengineering lab. My goal was to uncover the structure of a viral protein, which also had chemical properties that show promise for engineering drug delivery nanoparticles.

My recent research has involved one of today's most difficult computational problems: protein structure prediction. Many devastating diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, are related to defects in protein structure. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics can also be caused by a critical change in protein structure.

In addition to the human costs of these issues, the problems themselves are innately irresistible - with solutions that require a combination of chemical intuition, clever computation, and an understanding of the protein’s evolutionary past. With an international team of scientists and engineers, I helped build and use a suite of software to predict protein structure and design synthetic molecules.

Beyond the satisfaction of working on fascinating and important problems, my scientific experiences left me with a broad base of technical and intellectual skills for tackling hard problems in any context.

Download CV