Significant praise

By Phil Plait | July 24, 2009 12:00 pm

Jennifer Ouellette is a science writer, blogger, smart chick, and head of the Science and Entertainment Exchange (SEE), a high-level effort to get more science into movies. She also spoke at TAM 7 last week, where we threw her on a panel with Penn & Teller, My Close Personal Friend Adam Savage™, and Bill Prady (co-executive producer of "The Big Bang Theory").

Jennifer Ouellette head shot

She was concerned about her impact in such a high-powered panel, but I think she was awesome. She has an ability to take personal anecdotes and extrapolate them to the bigger picture, and do it in a charming and meaningful way. And, just to prove it in meta fashion, she took that panel experience and wrote an excellent blog post about significance and insignificance in the Universe. It’s a great piece, as usual for her.

I’ll be seeing her again at Comic Con when I moderate the Science in Science Fiction panel, supported in part by SEE. That’ll be great; one of my favorite things in the whole world is to hang out with smart and interesting people, and she ranks very high on both Column A and Column B.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, JREF, Piece of mind

Comments (10)

  1. JHGRedekop

    Speaking as an unbiased observer and (at the time) TAM neophyte, I thought she was an excellent addition to the panel. I didn’t know much about her, other than the bio in the program (and I’d seen the little SEE trailer that was also played at TAM), but I enjoyed both her contributions to the panel and her talk.

  2. Arj

    “Jennifer Ouellette is a science writer, blogger, smart chick, and head of the Science and Entertainment Exchange (SEE)”

    What you neglected to mention is that she’s originally an English major(!) who turned 180 degrees to science relatively late (…this helps explain the excellence of her writing, but not the quality and insight of her science reporting!). I’m always amazed by these humanities-to-science switcheroos.

  3. Loved her at TAM7. She’d be a welcome addition to almost any panel. Give her a hug for me, tell her I said hi. Then ask if Sean is playing poker. (That way might better know where the “hi” is coming from.) Her husband, Sean Carrol is a physicist at Cal Tec, where he holds the former position of Richard Feynman. See his blog at: Maybe we can get him to sit in at Tam some time.

  4. Sili

    She’s also the reason that I cannot love Sean Carroll unconditionally – I want to bury him somewhere and run off with her (and PeeZed’s trophy wife(tm)).

    I keeeeeeed.

    Ms Ouellette is an execellent writer and I do not admire her (solely) for her looks and charm.

  5. Joe Meils

    I’ll have to take your word for it, Phil. I haven’t had a chance to read her stuff yet…

    Still, I’m sure it’s not a drag on her to be so SMOKIN’ HAWT!!!

  6. T.E.L.

    Speaking of connections to Cocktail Party Physics, get a load of this blog post from a few weeks back:

  7. intelligence is sexy, cause a brain is a terrible thing to waste. good for her. i will have to find time to read her stuff. right now my schedule is loaded till xmas time

  8. Kimpatsu

    Hey Phil, you and Jennifer might want to get into a punchup. In her book “The Physics of the Buffyverse”, Jennifer states explicitly that there is no such thing as centrifugal force (she calls it an “illusion”). You have written here on this very blog before that whether the force is centrifugal or centripetal depends on your position as the observer; i.e., the definition of the force is relative. Would the two of you like to take up jousting or something to settle it?

  9. IHeartLandoCalrissian

    I read “The Physics of the Buffyverse” a few years back and LOVED it. I never realized that she had a blog!! Now I know! (and knowing is half the battle)

    SO YAY!!

  10. I love the accelerating growth of using science fiction to spur interest in science (and science using scifi as an inspiration for creativity), and delighted by the takeover of popsci sections in bookstores with titles of “The x Science of y TV Show.” The same sort of fans who can list every episode in chronological order are learning to identify where their shows diverge from plausible and play in the world of “What if?” science.

    I am curious why Vancouver (Canada) is a bit slow on the uptake: most scifi TV shows are filmed here (Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, 4400, Supernatural, Smallville, X-Files, and a whole lot more), yet I think I’m the only local science consultant who has done any interviews or talks linking science and science fiction. Have you heard of anyone else in the Great White North doing SEE-like activity?


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