A Somewhat Self-Centered Page
Ostensibly about the California Academy of Sciences

Last modified: 23 September 2008

I initially put together this page to collect various news items and links related to my new position as Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences. Since that time, I’ve expanded it to include links to various articles; it’s easier than sending email updates, especially since many of the URLs are long and convoluted.

To start with, you can read the official press release about me (although I ask that you ignore the picture and check out more recent images of me) and the equally-official press release about the new Morrison Planetarium. The Academy website also has a spectacular new section devoted to the big changes going on. If you have a fairly high-bandwidth connection, you can also take a look at a KQED special about green buildings that describes the new Academy in some detail.

In fact, if you prefer video to verbiage, two of my presentations are now online… A talk I gave at the 2007 CineGrid workshop gives a good introduction to the “virtual experiences” available at the Academy. My presentation at the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2007 conference, on the other hand, has a more general focus on planetariums. Oddly enough, I seem to be wearing the same outfit in both. Hmmm.

New update! More of me talking, though… Wired Science, which is also available as a podcast, chose to piece together snippets of me, me, me talking, talking, talking. Flattering, but am I really that interesting?

You can also check out Google Maps to find the Academy in Golden Gate Park (“Street View” shows the state of construction from several months ago). And here’s a panorama of the building, taken on 2 June 2007 from atop the tower of the DeYoung Museum across the Music Concourse. Better pix are available; remind me to post those sometime.

But enough from me! Here’s what the press has to say:

San Francisco Chronicle, Ongoing
They simply made a page of links to all the stories. Much simpler that way. They’re supposed to review the planetarium show, “Fragile Planet,” soon, so I’ll link directly to that.

Contra Costa Times, 21 September 2008
The brief article includes a short video that spends a lot of time on the planetarium. See me in unflattering lighting! Fun!

The Urban Astronomer, 18 September 2008
Is it press? I guess so. Paul Salazar came on press day… Anyway, he reviews the show fairly favorably.

The Bay Area Reporter, 4 September 2008
The Bay Area Reporter covers local queer issues, and the article “Gay staffers ready new academy” elucidates contributions from a few of us “openly gay” staffers. The combination of the headline and the picture, however, might make you wonder if we have gay penguins.

Vanity Fair, May 2008
Madonna’s on the cover (yeah, she’s so green), and the Academy’s on the inside. Quite an expansive article, although it focuses on architecture more than anything. (And the planetarium’s dome does not contain fiberglass.) Nice pictures.

KGO TV Channel 7, 15 April 2008
A great story about “the Great Migration” of animals to Golden Gate Park. The main focus is on Diego the Turtle and the rays making the move, but you can read about the sharks doing the same in a San Francisco Chronicle article from last week.

New York Times, 9 December 2007
The New York Times included us in their “Where to Go in 2008” list—number 39, to save you some searching. That’s after Iran, but (thankfully) before Detroit.

Nature, 7 November 2007
It doesn’t say much, but it’s kewl to get coverage in Nature magazine, of all places, since it normally maintains a purely research focus.

Wired Online, 31 October 2007
A charming little blog entry about touring the new site…

San Francisco Chronicle, 28 October 2007
A lengthy article (with associated images and video) describing many facets of the new Academy, with a focus on the building.

Wired Magazine, 24 July 2007
Wired does about as good a job as any showing the sustainable aspects of the Academy—in one page, no less! Although it includes a star projector in the planetarium (and there won’t be one).

San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2007
An interview with the new Executive Director of the Academy, Greg Farrington. It captures some of his pithy humor and insight, but really only scratches the surface…

The Epoch Times, 5 April 2007
The Epoch Times covers the story of the Academy as a whole, with particular focus on (surprise, surprise) the environmental aspect. (The front page is also available as a PDF.)

San Francisco Chronicle, 4 April 2007
The Chronicle article does a great job capturing a sense of the project, and David Perlman came up with good examples of the kind of science that will be presented in the dome. The part about me being the Director of the Hayden Planetarium, though… Not true. And although the exterior dome has a diameter of about 90 feet, the interior dome is 75 feet across. C’est la presse.

San Francisco Business Times, 3 April 2007
The Business Times interviewed me the day before our press conference, so their article appeared first. The writer definitely got the sense of the project, although I sound a little harsh about the planetarium field.

I’ll keep adding articles as they come along. Check back for more!

Email Ryan if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or gripes about this page.

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