Posted on Mar 21, 2013 | 7 Comments

Yasaman Sheri with the ‘Jello Shot Electrophoresis’ hack, photo by Matt Biddulph

And I need your help to make it happen. Science Hack Day has open sourced a guide on how to organize a community of geeks to come together and make awesome things over a weekend.┬áNo experience in science or hacking is necessary – the mission of Science Hack Day is just to get excited and make things with science! Science Hack Day was created out of this frustration that there’s actually a lot of open science data and stuff out there, but often no one is doing anything interesting with it.

This is where you come in. Science Hack Day should be in your city – it just needs someone like yourself to take charge and assemble a friend or two to help make it happen. And you have me – I’m available to help you make it happen by advising and supporting your efforts wherever I can!┬áScience Hack Day isn’t an organization/company – it’s just a loose grassroots network of people like myself who are into thinking about weird/amazing/useful/fun stuff you could mashup and play with. So, it only happens if you create the event and run with it. There are already Science Hack Days lined up for 2013 in six countries: Cyprus, England, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, and USA. I’d love to add your city to the list of places that are getting excited about hacking science – and a few more countries, as well!

Speaking of getting excited, I’m excited to announce the 2013 Science Hack Day Ambassador Program. Thanks to a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (the Gordon Moore who famously came up with Moore’s Law!), 5 people interested in organizing a Science Hack Day from around the world will be selected to win a scholarship for a trip to Science Hack Day San Francisco. The selected five will be flown in from around the world to San Francisco where they’ll get to experience first-hand how Science Hack Day works and connect with a global community of organizers. Science Hack Day San Francisco will be September 28-29 at the California Academy of Sciences, where we’ll get to stay in the museum overnight and hack the planetarium, among other cool things. If you or someone you know might be interested in organizing a Science Hack Day, please do apply to the Science Hack Day Ambassador Program – we’re accepting applications until May 1, 2013!

More about Science Hack Day can be found at, including upcoming events, sponsorship information, examples of science hacks, etc. For anything not answered on the website, feel free to send me an email at

Yay, science!


  1. Alyssa
    March 21, 2013

    This seems like such a divine idea! I’m located in Ventura County, CA. If there is any way I could be a part of this let me know! Also, props to the creator of this!! Good for you! :)

    • Ariel Waldman
      March 21, 2013

      @Alyssa – Definitely! You could either scheme on organizing a Science Hack Day in Ventura, or I can connect you with a couple of folks that are working on organizing one nearby in Los Angeles. Let me know!

  2. Michael Saunby
    April 2, 2013

    Does a Science Hack Day need to be just that, or can it be combined with other events? e.g. we’re (Met Office in UK) about to host Space Apps Challenge in Exeter and London (70+ other cities also available) and already planning other hackathons for this year around themes such as climate change and ecosystem services.

    Also have a call out for conference papers on “Hackathons, open data, coding and creativity” at Science in Public 2013 maybe you’ve some tips you’d like to share :-)

    • Ariel Waldman
      April 6, 2013

      Ideally, a Science Hack Day should be open-ended, but each event will inherently have their own “flavor” to add to it. A Science Hack Day could be planned to occur at the same time or adjacent to other events, of course! I’d recommend keeping a Science Hack Day as just that, but infusing it with lightning talks on a topic you’d like to encourage people to consider playing with.

      In San Francisco, we like to encourage people to consider all types of science so that you get interesting unexpected mashups between disciplines. So our lightning talks usually involve geophysics, neuroscience, space, biotech, oceanography, particle physics, etc.

  3. Rachel
    April 4, 2013

    So excited to hear about this! Has anyone ever done a hack as a two-state event? We are located right on the border of Washington/Idaho here at Washington State University and would love to get people involved from University of Idaho and other orgs in our neighboring city of Moscow!

    WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources

    • Ariel Waldman
      April 6, 2013

      Not yet – you should be the first! Sounds awesome to me :)

      • Rachel
        April 8, 2013

        Cool!! :)